Poorness as the highest stage of richness

Good Friday/Easter thoughts about Totality
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1. Poorness as Christ’s virtue consummating humility and purity. In the current, customer-centric centuries poorness is a highly non-popular virtue. It is very difficult to accept that each and every of our properties is an additional bond to Earth that does not enrich but restrains us. Poorness is not a lack of possessions but a gain of unlimited freedom. The three Christian virtues: humility, purity and poorness are the three stages of the spirit’s path leading to Totality (God). How are the virtue-trinity of humility, purity and poorness related to the cardinal virtues of justice-temperance-fortitude-prudence and to the theological virtues of faith-hope-love? How are the virtue-trinity of humility, purity, and poorness related to the essence of God? (If you want to know more about this, please read the post here.)

 

2. Totality of Christ’s Way. The totality of the virtues of humility, purity and poorness is revealed in Christ’s mission, too. During His life and mission Christ overwrote everything that was human in Him. By this Christ became a bridge, a stretched ladder of love connecting the believers, the church and the Father. (If you want to know more about this, please read the post here – preferably on Good Friday or Great Saturday.)

 

3. Poorness as the highest stage of richness. With humility we have been opened for Mercy. In purity we have become transparent. In poorness we have left behind everything that in the form of bonds, possession-gummy-glues or unsettled insistences would have prevented us to unite with Totality. All this is not an exceptional status for a few people. The love of the Father dwells in all of our spirits. Christ is a "stumblingstone" (Romans 9:32). We do not come up against Christ Only, if we are within Him and so: go along with Him on His Way. But this also connects us into the omnipotent stream of love in which we become united with the Father, Christ, their Holy Spirit, as well as everyone and everything who has understood and experienced this. This is the mystery of Easter and Eternal Life. Christ has risen! Hallelujah! Amen. (If you want to know more about this, please read the post here – preferably on Easter Sunday.)

 

 


 

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1. Poorness as Christ’s virtue consummating humility and purity

„Poor is the man who wants nothing,
knows nothing, and has nothing.”

(Meister Eckhart: Sermon 52)

In the current, customer-centric centuries poorness is a highly non-popular virtue. It was not popular in Christ’s time either. There have always been and there are still long discussions about the real content and the correct translation of the Words „blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). It is very difficult to accept that each and every of our properties is an additional bond to Earth that does not enrich but restrains us.

 

Here is an example of the captivity of our possessions: it is in vain to have a yacht, about what I think that it provides me freedom, if it takes at least as much time to take care of it as the experience of rush. It is in vain to have a sailor for it, who can fix all this, if it takes more time to look after him, to pay him, etc. than to take care of the yacht by myself. I may build a whole empire of companies in vain to take care of the yacht and its crew, as well as the persons who take care of them by the time when I recognize (if ever…) that I have got into a trap, since this self-amplifying growth (which, by the way…, destroys our Earth) will never end. (The yacht can be replaced by anything you like, even your husband or wife,  – if the way of ‘possession-type living’ (in the sense of Erich Fromm has already poisoned your whole life.) Because of the accumulating properties piling up on us, our freedom will be restricted to smaller and smaller circles by them. After realizing this we may try to regain our freedom with additional layers and piles of possessions. This is a life-trap. You can only destroy it, but you will be never able to solve it.

 

"It is the nature of God
to make something out of nothing.
Hence one who is not yet nothing,
out of him God cannot make anything."

(Martin Luther: Third penitential psalm, 1517)

 

The three Christian virtues: humility, purity and poorness are the three stages of the spirit’s path leading to Totality (God). Humility is the first stage, when the spirit gets free from the captivity of the ego and becomes able to start its journey to Totality. Purity is the second stage, when Totality starts to shine in our spirit and washes off everything that has accumulated there as the impurity of human life. With this, Totality becomes not only accessible in our lives but also becomes the most important aspect of life. Poorness is the third and last stage, when everything else disappears and loses its significance in our lives but Totality. Reaching poorness Totality becomes not only The most important but the singularly important cornerstone of our lives.

 

Poorness is not
a lack of possessions
but a gain of unlimited freedom.

 

How are the virtue-trinity of humility, purity and poorness related to the cardinal virtues of justice-temperance-fortitude-prudence and to the theological virtues of faith-hope-love? For developing the cardinal human virtues it is enough to be determined and persistent, while divine virtues can be realized in their Totality only by Mercy. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas by faith the soul is linked to God, by faith the eternal life begins in us, faith shows us the right way, and due to faith man can surmount the temptation. Hope (showing what is essential and what is inessential) bridges the gap between man and God. By hope we can get near to God. Love experienced as Agape is the consummation of virtues in which we unite with Christ and the Father. So the faith, hope, and love trinity of virtues follows a very similar path approaching Christ and the Father than the humility, purity, and poorness virtue-trinity.

 

How are the virtue-trinity of humility, purity, and poorness related to the essence of the Father? The last line of the Lord’s Prayer (“For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory”) recites the characteristics of the Father’s essence. "Kingdom": With His existence and creation of the World, God has created and is spreading a space, which is incomprehensibly large for the human brain. During experiencing this space all human words become useless and only the deep, contemplative Silence remains accepting the Totality of God. The grandiosity of God’s space helps us to recognize the dwarfism of our egos and provides the Mercy of humility. "Power": However, the infinite space of God is not empty. God shows the Direction in this space in every moment of our lives with Christ’s life, teachings, their Holy Spirit, and the whole two thousand years’ history of Christian faith. Stepping on and following the Way of Christ we are given the Mercy of purity. "Glory": Moreover, shining in love, the Glory of God fills His infinite space (having a Direction) with dynamism and life. The firstfruits of the Spirit bring new and new forms of merit and beauty into the created World continuously. When we get immersed to Totality with the help of this love, we receive the Mercy of poorness. The infinite space of the Kingdom of God, His power that gives sense and Direction to space, and His Glory bringing dynamism and life into His space describe and determine the essence of our existence. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, the irrevocable will of God is that we become exquisite participants in His World’s Totality and Joy. In this way Mercy gives a new sense to our lives when it places us into the world as God’s children both in our Earthly lives and in the Eternal Life.

 

Based on the above two exampes it is important to feel that the attraction of Christ’s and the Father’s love is so strong that no matter in how many different ways we speak about it, finally we go along the same wonderful Path: which leads us to Them, to Totality. Amen.

 


 

2. Totality of Christ’s Way

 

The totality of the virtues of humility, purity and poorness is revealed in Christ’s mission, too. (All of these three virtues filled up Christ in every moment of His life but the order of their key appearance in the Gospels shows a beautiful metaphor of the stages of getting closer and closer to God’s Totality.) The starting step of Christ’s mission, His Baptism, is a wonderful starting example of humility. St. John the Baptist hesitated to baptize Jesus: "I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?" For what Jesus answered: "Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice." After that, one of the most beautiful peaks of the Gospel happened, when the Father said the following: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:14,15,17).

 

The virtue of purity reveals itself right after Christ’s Baptism when Christ surmounts the devil’s temptations. The description of purity in the Gospel culminates when Christ "was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow." (Matthew 17:2). A special emphasis is given to this part of the Gospel because the Father speaks here for the second time confirming and extending His previous words: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him." (Matthew 17:5).

 

Poorness (although it is a characteristic virtue of Christ’s whole life together with the other two virtues) in pursuance of total deprivation, is manifested mostly in Christ’s sufferings. At the Last Supper Christ does not only remind us to be humble, does not only give purity with washing the apostles’ feet, but He also shares Himself in the forms of bread and wine. During His sufferings (just like the Good Friday’s altar) Christ becomes deprived of everything. His dignity, His clothes, the soundness of His body and His life are all taken away from Him one after the other. There are a lot of other (more correct) interpretations of His "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46) saying on the Cross, but this interpretation of the sentence gives the consummation of the poorness’ metaphor: as the very last step of poorness, Christ is becoming deprived even of His Father in order to become united with His Father again, totally and forever.

 

 

 

 

Christ (symbolically) overwrote everything that was (or could have been) human in Him: during His temptations hunger, will and  power; later all human bonds and human life itself. By this He became a bridge, a stretched ladder of love connecting the believers, the church and the Father.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

3. Poorness as the highest stage of richness

 

"For I am sure that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor might,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love
of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

(Romans 8:38,39)

 

 

 

With humility we have been opened for Mercy. In purity we have become transparent. In poorness we have left behind everything that in the form of bonds, possession-gummy-glues or unsettled insistences would have prevented us to unite with Totality. In the state of poorness Christ shines in us continuously, unbeatably, unhideably and overwhelming everything. This is how we can reflect the infinite love and Glory of God undistorted.

 

 

 

All this is not an exceptional status for a few people. The love of the Father dwells in all of our spirits. Christ is a "stumblingstone" (Romans 9:32). You cannot ignore Him. You cannot pretend as if He did not exist. You simply cannot go along any other Way but His. If you go anywhere else, you come up against Christ. Why? Since He is the stumblingstone. We do not come up against Christ Only, if we are within Him and so: go along with Him on His Way. But this also connects us into the omnipotent stream of love in which we become united with the Father, Christ, their Holy Spirit, as well as everyone and everything who has understood and experienced this. This is the mystery of Easter and the Eternal Life.

 

Christ has risen! Hallelujah! Amen.

 

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