Rich Toward God | iPray with the Gospel

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“The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:13-21

Jesus is warning us against covetousness, the desire to possess and keep more and more things. For in the end we will all die, like the man in the parable, and we won’t be able to take our possessions with us. Those who are anxious about material things are never satisfied. They don’t find peace and, worse of all, they don’t find God. The story of the rich young man reminds us of it: he preferred his fields, cows, and sheep over God…

For Christians, poverty is a virtue. It allows us to fly high to God. But we can’t fly if we are loaded with things. Have you ever seen the majestic flight of an eagle that can soar high in the sky without beating its wings? That is not just because of its wingspan. It is mainly because of the lightness of its body. Jesus wants us to fly high and so He wants us free from materialism and greed.

These are a few ways in which St Josemaría used to practice the virtue of poverty: First, he never used anything as if it were ‘his’ possession; for instance, he never put his name in the books he used. He never said ‘my room’, but ‘the room I use’. Secondly, he never kept anything he didn’t need or use; for instance, he got rid of his watch because he was always accompanied by Bl Álvaro, who had one. Third, he never complained if he didn’t have something he needed; Bl Álvaro commented that in 40 years at his side he never heard a complaint. Last, when he could choose, he chose the worst for himself. Maybe we can try these tips ourselves…

Mary, my Mother, you can teach me about poverty. Help me to be detached from material things…

Rev. George Boronat
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).

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