PART III: LIFE IN CHRIST
Section Two: The Ten Commandments
Chapter 2: “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”
Article 10, The Tenth Commandment
II. The Desires of the Spirit (cont’d)
§ 2543 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22). Henceforth, Christ’s faithful “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”; they are led by the Spirit and follow the desires of the Spirit (Galatians 5:24; cf. Rom 8:14, 27).
III. Poverty of Heart
§ 2544 Jesus enjoins His disciples to prefer Him to everything and everyone, and bids them “renounce all that [they have]” for His sake and that of the Gospel (Luke 14:33; cf. Mark 8:35). Shortly before His Passion, He gave them the example of the poor widow of Jerusalem who, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on (cf. Lk 21:4). The precept of detachment from riches is obligatory for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.
§ 2545 All Christ’s faithful are to “direct their affections rightly, lest they be hindered in their pursuit of perfect charity by the use of worldly things and by an adherence to riches which is contrary to the spirit of evangelical poverty” (LG 42 § 3).
§ 2546 “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3a). The Beatitudes reveal an order of happiness and grace, of beauty and peace. Jesus celebrates the joy of the poor, to whom the Kingdom already belongs (cf. Lk 6:20):
- The Word speaks of voluntary humility as “poverty in spirit”; the Apostle gives an example of God’s poverty when he says: “For your sakes he became poor” (DB 1: PG 44, 1200D; cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9).
§ 2547 The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods (Lk 6:24). “Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven” (SDM 1, 1, 3: PL 34, 1232). Abandonment to the providence of the Father in Heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow (cf. Mt 6:25-34). Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God.
Tomorrow – “I Want to See God” & In Brief
(Part III, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 10 – to be continued)
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]
- “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
- “DB” – St. Gregory of Nyssa, “De Beatitudinibus [About Happiness]”
- “PG” – “Patrologia Graeca [Greek Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Greek language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 1857‑1866 A.D.)
- “PL” – “Patrologia Latina [Latin Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Latin language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 1841‑1855 A.D.)
- “SDM” – St. Augustine, “De Sermone Domini in Monte [The Lord’s Sermon on the Mount]”