Minute Meditations

Poverty of Spirit

woman looking into a valley

I’ve been climbing this mountain as many days as I can this Lent, finding a place among the rocks, looking down on the valley. This is a quiet place, a place where Creation speaks in its fullness. “We all live by robbing nature, but our standard of living demands that the robbery shall continue.” These words from the farmer and writer Wendell Berry ring in me like the words of John the Baptist: repent, for the kingdom of God has come near. 

I’m as much a participant in this theft as anyone else. I drive too much, buy too much, use too much. I’m addicted to convenience and choice, I’m in the thrall of that old vice luxury. And yet, like so many others I want peace, I want wholeness, I want the creation to be full and alive. But I/we need to begin again.

The time I have on the rocky edge runs thin. I’ll have to descend soon enough, but for a moment I feel the grandeur of creation and my smallness in it. For a moment I have no worries, only the sense of God’s abiding grace in the world. It is that sense to which all penance points—a clearing away, an opening to the light all around. It is the way of humility, the poverty of spirit, which lets us see it.

—from St. Anthony Messenger‘s “Learning to Live Poorer: A Meditation for Lent
by Ragan Sutterfield

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