Christ Our Moral Teacher – 3
The Beatitudes – The Poor In Spirit
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3.
Is it an invocation or an exhortation on the feeble, or on the totally helpless? Far from it. When we use the expression poor-spirited we mean to imply poverty of nature, poverty of the lower soul—not one that falls short of energy or lacks the power of initiation, that is weak and ineffective, soft and without nerve. Poverty of spirit in Christ’s sense is not poverty in the lower soul but in that higher part of man which comes into immediate contact with the Divine, in the higher soul which comes face to face with God, in that spirit which says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” – Romans 8:16.
Poverty of spirit is not a feeling of self-disgust which comes over us when we compare our gifts and talents with those of others; it is born from no earthly inspiration, rather, it proceeds from coming face to face with God. A man may be poor in spirit while his soul is on fire with enthusiasm for the cause of God. It is born of a double sense, both of the Divine greatness and of the Divine nearness. It is displayed in acceptance of the Will of God in everything; it is shown not in self-depreciation, but in the strength that comes of trustfulness totally and wholly in the Lord. It is the attitude which, in the Presence of God, recognizes its entire dependence, empties itself, not to make itself feeble and weak, but that God may fill that emptiness. It is the virtue which sends a man to his knees bowed and humbled before the Divine Presence, even in the hour of his most thrilling triumph. Indeed, it gives force to all this, for it destroys that subtle element of self, which is like a secret poison. It is the spirit that recognizes the Father, not only in acceptance of the Cross, but also in energy of action. It is energetic in word and action in all that a person knows has to be done. It’s ideal is to “Always do those things that please Him,” – John 8:29. The reward is always the work and not the outward success.