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Author: Nathaniel Slattery
Posted: Month of the Immaculate Heart, 12th Day, Year of Our Lord 2023

Poverty causes temptations to anxiety and sadness. The saints always consistently speak of it as a very fruitful thing, however, and so we are bound to desire it. We do not have a great understanding of the fruits of it because we come from such evil corruptions, but Saint Clare whose feast day is today, considered it nearly indispensable for the development of virtue. Saint Francis de Sales esteems it so highly that he endeavors to teach even those with many possessions how to operate as if they were poor.

This is perpetual poverty. It is not some temporary difficulty to be succeeded by ease and plenty upon the earth. No, it is crushing poverty to death which they recommend in such strong terms so that, if we resist this recommendation, we are guilty of stupidity.

Poverty teaches humility since it forces you to request help from your community and strangers. It teaches simplicity because, in your request, you will have to detail your needs plainly. It teaches detachment because you cannot control what you receive. It teaches prudence by forcing you to divest yourself of every possession which generates an expense. It teaches you diligence by requiring the full labor of your strength to justify your need being beyond the power of your provision. It teaches faith by pressing you against the evil maxims of the world. It teaches you hope by driving you to fruitful and amorous prayer. Finally, it teaches charity, because God shall provide all earthly need even to the damnable up to the time of death, which is one thing that makes Him lovable, and love of neighbor flows from this.

There is much more to say on the subject.

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