Poverty as an accessible spiritual ideal

by Mr. Sheehy

The way of poverty is arresting in part because it’s a spiritual ideal we can realize in an instant. Poverty requires no resources, no talents, no achievements, no status, no family connections. Anyone can wed himself to Lady Poverty. Nothing stands in the way–except, of course, our unwillingness to travel the path of renunciation. And because Christ chose the path of poverty, to say that poverty is immediately accessible is to say that a deep conformity to Christ is immediately accessible.

– R.R. Reno for Christianity Today‘s December cover story. I like to joke with students that I’ve chosen teaching as a profession from a vow of poverty, but really I’m just full of beans. When we’re talking about poverty and wealth, I fall far to the wealthy side of the world’s spectrum. Rather than clamor for more, may I not forget the ones who are truly poor. Psalm 41 should echo in my mind: “Blessed is the one who considers the poor!