Blessed are the poor in spirit

Friends in Christ, in ancient times, Moses ascended Mt. Sinai to receive the 10 commandments from God. Today, Christ ascends the mountain and GIVES us the 8 beatitudes. In St. Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is depicted as the New Moses, the awaited ‘prophet.’ Moses received the commandments from God, but Jesus himself teaches the beatitudes – he IS God. 
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The beatitudes represent an entirely new way of looking at things. Today let us focus our attention on the first one: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’
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Fr. Gerald Vann, in his book the Divine Pity, tells us that this beatitude instructs us to walk as a child, to be simple.
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There is a pride lurking in us, which makes us want to be autonomous; we wish to be our own master, which really is a state of isolation and independence from God. A proud, controlling person never loves. By trying to treat everything as our own, as utilities, to use all things and people and even God himself simply as means to our own plans – this is a person who possesses much but actually has nothing.
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Freedom from this narcissism is found in the first beatitude: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit.’ We must learn the lesson of detachment. The detached person will care about things and people, but in a different way. They will not just be tools for his own desires. A person must learn not to cling to things. Then his possessions, his desires, his relationships will no longer be a cause of anxiety or frustration, but of freedom.
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This is reflected in the poem by T.S. Eliot, He says, ‘Teach us to care, and not to care’. The virtuous man first of all ‘cares.’ We care about things, we want things or relationships; but we are to care about them not as means to an end, but with a detached enjoyment, a ‘disinterested love,’ even a calm reverence.
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When we hold too tightly to a relationship, it becomes ruined. If we hold too tightly or obsess on material things, we become frustrated because they are not able to fulfill us. We must learn to stop and look at all the things and people that come our way, that God has put in our path, with an appreciation, but without holding them too tightly.
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To care, but not to care too much, or wrongly. Our heart should appreciate things, but we should not set our heart on things, or even persons. This way we find the freedom Christ wants for us; then we have begun to find the kingdom of God. Blessed are the poor in spirit.

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