what poverty means

“God sees all the many kinds of suffering in the world. The world tends to define poverty and riches simply in terms of economics. But poverty has many faces–weakness, dependence, or humiliation. Essentially, poverty is a lack of means to accomplish what one desires, be it lack of money, relationships, influence, power, intellectual ability, physical strength, freedom, or dignity. Scriptures promise that God will take care of such people, because they know they have to rely on God.”

-Richard Rohr

note: from:

Adapted from Gospel Call for Compassionate Action (Bias from the Bottom)in CAC Foundation Set (CD, MP3 download);
and Job and the Mystery of Suffering
(published by Crossroad Publishing Company), p. 126

Dear Maginar,

“Poverty is closely linked with silence, the language of the solitary. Poverty may be thought of as a freedom from possessions that includes the freedom from the desire to possess things. This is generally what we have in mind when we speak of poverty: having nothing. But at a deeper level there is an ontological poverty which means being nothing.The poverty that seeks to be free of any attachment to possessions, material or spiritual, is essential to a true solitary. …ontological poverty is the most fundamental of our being, whether we understand it or not…We are totally dependent on God, whether we understand it or not. But what a difference it makes when we do understand!”-William H. Shannon, Thomas Merton’s Paradise Journey

I meditate on poverty continuously on and off for a long time. Still going. I try to practice detachment. It’s very difficult. I try to understand. “But what a difference it makes when we do understand!”

Look at the birds.



note: Maginar is my imaginary friend.