Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sept. 7, 2011 Wednesday: 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

"Blessed are you who are poor... But woe to you who are rich"

When our Lord was proclaiming the blessedness of the poor he was correct in saying that the kingdom of heaven is theirs, not that it will be theirs... How near must they be to the kingdom of God if they already possess and carry within their hearts their own King. To serve this King is to reign... Worldly men may quarrel among themselves about the allotment of the inheritance that they expect in this life; "Lord, it is you who are my portion and my cup" (Ps 16[15],5). Let them fight among themselves and see which of them needs the most pity; for my part, I envy them none of those things for which they are struggling. My soul and I, «we shall take our delight in the Lord" (Ps 104[103],34). o wonderful Inheritance of the poor! 0 blessed Possession of those who possess nothing! You provide us not only with all that we need; you overflow, giving all glory; you abound, giving to all happiness and joy, like «the measure in a man's lap, overflowing on every side» (cf. Lk 6,38)... 0 you poor... let your souls glory in their humility and scorn all the lofty dignities of the world... The world of eternity stands ready for you, and would you prefer the world of fleeting things, things with no more substance than dreams?... How wretched are they who... by the practice of blessed poverty, have become honorable in the sight of heaven, remarkable in the sight of the world, and to include all, terrible in the sight of hell, but who have subsequently become so blinded that they have come to look upon their poverty as misery and their humility as cowardice. In their desire to become rich they have but fallen into the snares of temptation held out to them by the devil when they were lords of all creation!... But to you, brethren, who look upon your poverty as a friend, and find your pleasure in humility of spirit, to you Truth unchangeable gives the certainty of possessing the kingdom of heaven. He declares it belongs to you and he guards it safe, laid up in readiness for you.

-Blessed Guerric of Igny