Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life, law and other miscellany - Part Two

OK, so where was I? Oh yeah. Poverty -- or "Lady Poverty" as Il Poverello (St. Francis) used to call it (her). I'm tempted to say "Get real. Poverty's not a virtue -- just look at what it does to the poor." And there is some merit to the observation. After all my poorest clients are usually not tops on anyone's "wanna be" list -- they're dirty; they're often stupid or uneducated; they live lives of unbroken misery and embarrassment. Quite often they have serial "marriages" and produce children out of wedlock, introducing new generations into the arms of Lady Poverty. They are in a very real sense, repulsive. So what's so great about Poverty? Well, sed contra, it may be objected that poverty's opposite - "plenty" as they used to say, or wealth - can separate us from God. This may be seen from personal experience in that it is often the case that when our lives are full of material wealth that we stray from God's plan. For example, I find that I am more quick to neglect my prayer life when things are "rolling" and I'm more apt to certain types of corporal sin than otherwise. When the living is easy, it seems that we no longer rely on God quite so much. Having seemingly less need for Him, we are apt to rely on our own abilities to provide for ourselves.  But should we?Maybe having too much is too much. Jesus tells us to pray constantly for our needs. Elsewhere, he tells us that we needn't worry about such silly stuff as clothing or food, since God provides for lilies of the field and the birds and beasts all sufficiencies.  

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