“Whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:10
Jesus began his preaching by giving us the eight Beatitudes. The very first one is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? It simply means “Blessed are those who know their need for God.” They realize they are weak and finite, and they know that God’s love is the infinite source of strength for them each day. If you feel “poor in spirit,” your human soul probably feels empty; maybe that’s good. Maybe now there is room for a deeper relationship with God.
St. Francis of Assisi repeatedly prayed, “Who are you, God, and who am I?” If we make room for this prayer in our poverty of spirit, we make room for the great truth of life: God is love, and we are his beloved. Jesus clearly tells us that God loves us not in spite of our weakness, but because of our weakness. Being “poor in spirit,” we become blessed because our spiritual poverty opens us up to true riches, God’s riches. When you feel poor in spirit, thank God, for you are open at that moment to his mercy, grace, and joy. Yes, the kingdom of heaven is yours!
Lord, help me to realize that my weaknesses are open doors for you. Amen.
—from the book Three Minutes with God: Reflections and Prayers to Encourage, Inspire, and Motivate
by Monsignor Frank Bognanno