Poverty and Generosity
A talk delivered by Rev. Brian Smith on Sunday September 18th. 2016.
Readings: Mark 12.41-44; I Kings 17.8-15; Arcana Caelestia #9198.7, True Christian Religion #319
Poverty is not a virtue on a natural level but it is one of the key virtues spiritually. Our awareness and acknowledgement of our own spiritual poverty is humility; the humility which opens us to the Lord. Several of the commandments deal with this quality of spiritual poverty.
- Have No Other Gods, reminds us not to place our interest or confidence in material wealth or accumulated religious knowledge. (see Matt. 6.24, HH 359)
- Thou Shalt Not Steal, reminds us not to take credit for the goods in our life away from the Lord (as spiritual thieves do) (see HH 190, TCR 319)
- Thou Shalt Not Covet, reminds us to shun avarice and acquisitiveness. This is wanting to take the things which rightfully belong to the Lord. In fact, “nothing does more to isolate a person from spiritual things than avarice” (AC 1327.4) See also AC 8480, 6210)