We should start realizing what true poverty is.
First and foremost, it is a realization of who we are. We are created by God; we are creatures of God who are totally dependent on him. We are the "anawim," the poor people of the Lord, the little people who know that they are totally dependent, who "lean" on God, knowing that without God they can do nothing.
This is the first step to prayer — to know who we are: saved sinners, entirely dependent on God. We are dependent. To the proud, this is anathema. We look at ourselves and we say, "I depend on no one," and suddenly, in the very saying, we realize that we do. This is the beginning of prayer: that we become beggars before God, knowing that even the steps we take are given to us by God.
To begin to pray, then, is to first cleanse our souls of arrogance and pride. In grave humility and as beggars, we come to him who alone can make us princes and kings and queens, not of earthly kingdoms, but of the Kingdom of God. When we are thus poor and realize our total poverty, then we can go to Bethlehem and meet the Child who became poor for us.
Servant of God Catherine Doherty, CM. "How to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven." excerpt from Donkey Bells, Advent and Christmas (Madonna House Publications, 2000).
Reprinted with permission of Madonna House Publications.
Catherine Doherty (1896-1985) used her heritage as a Russian Christian as a matrix for responding to the needs of Christian life and work in the modern world. Her own personal pilgrimage led her to be "poor with the poor Christ" in the slums of Toronto and in Harlem; and later to the establishing of the world-wide Madonna House Apostolate. A dedicated wife and mother, Catherine was also a prolific writer of hundreds of articles, a best-selling author of dozens of books, a renowned national speaker, and a pioneer of social justice. Catherine Doherty's cause for canonization as a saint is now under consideration by the Catholic Church. Among her books are: Grace in Every Season, Soul of My Soul Coming to the Heart of Prayer, Dear Father, Living The Gospel Without Compromise, An Experience of God Identification with Christ — a Road to the Mystical Life, and Catherine de Hueck Doherty: Essential Writing.Copyright © 2000 Madonna House Publications
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