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Two Ways To Be "Spiritually Poor"

The Gospel According to Saint Matthew attributes nine beatitudes (blessings) to Jesus, the first of which is "Blessed are the poor in spirit,* for their's is is the kingdom of heaven."
This suggests that being poor in spirit is a very good thing.  Mother Theresa of Kohlkatta, also a Christian saint, once called These United States a "spiritual Bangladesh." suggesting that spiritual poverty is a very bad thing to have.  Paradoxically we cannot be spiritually poor because we are so spiritually impoverished!  The paradox exists because spiritual poverty (as used by Matthew) is not a phenomenological condition but an "essential" one.

My favorite sermon, possibly my favorite piece of reading, is Meister Eckhart's German sermon "On Spiritual Poverty."  Briefly, he said that spiritual poverty is to have nothing, to want nothing,and to be nothing.  What i think he means is to empty myself of self interest, to empty myself of all cencepts (including my concept of who or what "God" is) so  that i am totally empty, waiting patientlly to be refilled by whatever my Higher Power fills me with.

Right now i am feeling spiritually empty, but i do not know what kind of emptiness it is.  Am i an inheritor of "heaven" or a "spiritual mess?"  It might even be some mixture of the two.  And i know what to do about it either way, but i am not doing it.  I had better get started.

Love, peace, and joy to all.

*I think it is more  likely that Jesus actually said something more like "Blessed be  ye poor..." refering to economic poverty, as Luke puts it.  Nevertheless, spiritual poverty is a valuable idea, wherever it might have come from



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