“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Our Lord is not speaking of those who suffer material poverty, but of those who are humble in heart and soul. And it isn’t enough that we are humble – St. John Chrysostom points out that some people are humble, but it is only because their outward condition forces them to be humble. That isn’t enough. No, we must humble ourselves. It must be our own choice to be humble. So how can we choose humility? First of all, we have to accept whatever humiliations come our way. We cannot be humble without humiliations. Secondly, we need to begin to think of ourselves as one of God’s “little ones” – “unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” It is good to see ourselves as little children in the arms of our Heavenly Father, to see and recognize our entire dependence upon Divine Grace for everything. Third, it is important that we remember that humility does not mean that we put ourselves down. A wise man once said that humility does not mean that you think less of yourself, but that you think of yourself less.
May we all strive for that poverty of spirit which is true humility, in doing so, we will be imitating our Blessed Lord, who humbled himself to become a man to save us, and his Blessed Mother, the most humble of all women.