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Pope’s Angels: Being “poor in spirit” requires us to overcome the culture of wear and tear

Pope’s Angels: Being “poor in spirit” requires us to overcome the culture of wear and tear

In Sunday’s Angelus prayer, Pope Francis meditated on the first beatification, saying that “the poor in spirit” requires us to welcome everything as a gift from God and fight society’s outcast mentality.

Charlotta Smedes – Vatican City

Pope Francis prayed to the angel on Sunday and spoke of the first and essential beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, they belong to the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5, 1-12).

He noted that the “poor in spirit” are those who realize that they cannot rely on themselves or that they are not self-sufficient.

“They live as ‘beggars before God’. They feel their need for Him and see the good that comes from Him as a gift and a blessing.”

See each one as a gift from God

Pope Francis noted that the poor in spirit also “value what they receive” and thus know that “no gift should be wasted”.

He also meditated on these teachings of Jesus, as they are inconsistent with our consumerist society which fails to value people and things.

As an example, the Pope said: “After multiplying the loaves and fish, Jesus asked that the leftovers be collected so that nothing was lost.”

So he gave Christians three challenges to fight the culture of exclusion that dominates the world, especially in wealthy societies.

The gift that we are

Pope Francis first challenged us “not to waste the gift that we are”.

He said that every person is intrinsically good, no matter what gifts we receive, because “every man or woman is rich not only in talents but especially in dignity.”

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“Jesus reminds us that we are blessed, not for what we have, but for what we are. So true poverty is when one leaves and wastes oneself.”

gifts that we have

He then challenged the pope “not to waste the gifts we have”.

He lamented that more than a third of the world’s food production was wasted, even though many people were dying of hunger.

“Goods should be taken care of and shared in such a way that no one is lacking in necessities,” he said. “Instead of wasting what we have, let us spread an environment of justice and charity!”

people as gifts

Pope Francis presented the third challenge: “Don’t waste people.”

He said that the waste culture uses people as long as they are useful, and then the person is just a nuisance to society.

Those most affected by this selfish mentality are “the unborn, the elderly, the needy, and the underprivileged”.

“People should never be thrown away, ever! Every person is a sacred and unique gift, regardless of age or status. Let us always respect and enhance life!”

Examination of conscience

The Pope concluded his Reflection on Angels with a series of questions we can ask ourselves to assess how we live the vocation to be “poor in spirit”:

Do I make room for God? Do I believe that He is my best, my almsgiving, my great fortune? Do I believe that He loves me, or do I fall into despair and forget that I am a gift? Am I willing to share things with others? Finally, do I regard the weaker as precious gifts that God asks me to take care of? Do I think of them as poor, who have been deprived of what is necessary?”

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