Friday, August 24, 2012

rich in order to be poor

The first Christian Beatitude reads, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The word "poor" is generally interpreted as meaning "humble" and is centered in the notion that the humble are aware of where the gifts of this life arise ... namely, for Christians, from God.

Sometimes I wonder if a spiritual endeavor that engenders humility is not preceded by a considerable wealth, whether literal or in the heart ... and maybe spiritual questing should be premised like this: You gotta be rich in order to be poor.

Rich folks can afford religion. Poor folks can't: The cares of the world already lie heavy upon them and they haven't got the wherewithal or time to be humble. Who would try to be humble when they already were?

Jean Shepherd, a tart-tongued and witty radio raconteur in the 1950's and '60's, once wrote a book entitled "In God We Trust: All Others, Pay Cash."

Maybe that explains why so many religious institutions are so well-funded... all those 'others' paying cash.

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