A dear friend of mine made some unfortunate investments. The result is that his income has been reduced by 95%, as he is retired and was living on the returns from his investments. Sadly, he has not even been able to recoup money owed to him.He, like so many others, is now living on the bare minimum of what he needs–food and lodging.

A person from Idaho has been sharing with me the new rules for pension funds received. These amount to drastic changes in that nation’s policies. Also, two very old people I know in the States as well, have had their pensions lopped significantly.

These long-term plans of these good, holy, Catholic people have been interrupted by the flaws or greed of others. No one can foresee the future, but one can be prepared by asking God for the grace of spiritual poverty.

Detachment is key. Some of us have been trying to practice the virtues connected with spiritual poverty for some time: detachment is one; wearing old cloths and uncomfortable shoes, not getting medical needs met or teeth problems dealt with involve other types of giving up on self- will. Being judged by others because one does not have a car or a house, especially in the Midwest of America, where people are judged by what they have, not who they are, are other ways of learning detachment.

When God allows privation, to accept these humiliations and lack of comforts graciously brings merit. The goal is to become like Christ, Who, as we know, gave up His “status” in a sense, to become Incarnated as a Man.

Imagine, God becoming Man….we cannot fully grasp this truth. But, Christ Himself shows us what spiritual and physical poverty entail.

Philippians 2:5-11 Douay-Rheims 

5 For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.

8 He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.

9 For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names:

10 That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:

11 And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.