Villa la Paz Newsletter September 2008
Posted on September 1, 2008
Filed Under Villa La Paz Newsletters
Poverty: The condition or quality of being poor; indigence; need.
Webster’s New World Dictionary
Third College Edition
The mystery of the poor is this: That they are Jesus, and what you do for them you do for Him.
The poor, the weak and the hurting are God made visible.
Thomas Gerard Straub From the book “When Did I See You Hungry” Saint Anthony Messenger Press
Poverty is very difficulty to comprehend, very difficult to accept. It seems contradictory to the concept of a loving Providence. The greatest philosophers and Christian mystics have struggled with the concept of poverty, have tried to come to terms with it. It is seemingly a mystery but contemplating it can lead us to a greater understanding of our Creator and our response to the needs of others. God showed his preference for the poor by being poor Himself, by being rejected and despised by his kinsman and by being ignominiously executed by them. He continually admonishes us in the gospels to care for the destitute and rejected. And in our world, in which guise does he present Himself to us? He comes to us in the poor, the sick, the dying, the prisoners, the lonely, the disabled, the rejected and asks us to serve and love Him through them. What is our response? Do we respond with love, time and talent? Do we share our gifts with the poor? Can we look into the eyes of a poor man and see the indwelling Trinity? Can we cease centering our attention on ourselves and center them on the other? The more abject, dirty and offensive the poor are the more they cry out for God’s love which has to be channelled to them through our concern and actions. The stark fact is, that being created by the same universal Father, we are all intimately interrelated so that we are all diminished by the hunger, suffering and rejection of another. Our material goods, wealth, titles, awards do not define who we are. Our responses to the poor, to the less fortunate, to the rejected define who we are and which legacy we will leave when we are finally called home.
Our children seen on these pages have experienced poverty and its consequences. They have been rejected by society and denied needed medical care because of a lack of personal resources. A basic human right has been denied to them because they suffer from the ravages of poverty. Our children and all the poor are treasures for they open the door to heaven for us. They offer us a direct way to encounter God.
We thank you for making the care of our children possible and for making our home a haven for the poor. We love you and wish you God’s peace.
When we hear the cries of the oppressed, the cries of the poor, we hear the voice of God. Where there is weakness there is God. We need to ask God to shatter our complacency, to strip us of our need for comfort.
Gerard Thomas Straub From the book “Thoughts of a Blind Beggar: Reflections From A Journey To God” Orbis Books
The more goods I keep for my own enjoyment, the less there are for others. My pleasures and comforts are, in a certain sense, taken from someone else.
Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island
Men pray to the Almighty to relieve poverty. But poverty does not come from God’s laws – it is blasphemy of the worst kind to say that. Poverty comes from man’s injustice to his fellow man.