Poverty is one of those overlooked virtues these days...especially with all the emphasis on the economy, the employment rate and various budget crunches. It seems that the "health and wealth" gospel has crept into the consciousness of many faithful people of God. Wealth is viewed as a blessing, and, consequently, poverty becomes a curse. It is simply the opposite in reality. Poverty, when embraced in the spirit of humility and trust, is a great treasure. Wealth, on the other hand, often becomes a burden and a constant threat to the humility that is necessary for spiritual receptivity.
It is a great gift to realize that God provides in all situations. Poverty in spirit helps us to receive this grace, and it makes us attentive to those who need the love of Christ. Poverty empties us of ourselves so that Christ can fill us up, and if Christ is within us, we cannot help but seek out those who need Him the most. This is the reason that poverty is listed among what are called the evangelical counsels...chastity, obedience and poverty. They are Christ's net to gather His fish, and we are the blessed participants in the harvest.