Since I believe that all of the Beatitudes invite All of us to participate, then this particular beatitude speaks to where we are spiritually on the one hand and consoling on the other. I suppose folks would think of the recent disaster in Haiti and it’s devastating affect on it’s heroic people as an example of “poor in spirit.” I’m tend to believe the beatitude is more universal and it’s focus is on pride, personal pride which can have as its outcome, disconnection from each other. The Beatitude becomes a measuring stick on how we are doing.
Earlier I talked about the “belly button” connection, using the image of the navel we all have (unless you have come from “the bottom of a long black tube” ) that dramatically demonstrates that we are equal. So too with this Beatitude. I believe what is asked of us is to remember that we are human beings together on this planet trying to live an authentically as we were created to be.
Poor in Spirit does not being “done and out” nor does it mean someone has more of a spirit than I do. I think it means watching out for each other, dialoging with each other and trying the best we can do do, if we have power, to make this life better. To those who have develop talents, the beatitude urges us to use those talents again, to make this world better or in case of individuals, to make their corner of the world better place.
What does this entail, well, through the daily Ignatian Examen, we can see those areas that need a boost, where we are having trouble seeing God in all things, especially our brothers and sisters. It’s easy to have our hearts tugged by scenes from those in need and to reach into our wallets and make a donation. When it becomes hard is trying to see equality in people with whom we disagree with those who have hurt us.
As I have mentioned before the pay off for holding on to resentments, however justified, leads to dis-ease an off-center life. We have all heard that life is short, well the fact of the matter is…it is. The poor in spirit is a positive Beatitude, it is what connects us, it is what calls us to put on the lens of Christ and see God.