We are only rich when we have God and always poor when we don’t

February 24, 2022 • 2 min

#Exhortation #Morals #Poverty

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 33
By Venerable Louis of Granada

If, then, thou art blind, poor, and in need, why dost thou not seek the Father who created thee, the Artist who designed thee, that He may satisfy thy wants and supply all that is lacking to thy perfection? Penetrated with this truth, David cried out: “Thy hands have made me and formed me: give me understanding, and I will learn Thy commandments.” [Px. cxviii. 73.]

Thy hands have made me, the prophet would say, but the work is incomplete. The eyes of my soul are still imperfect; they see not what they ought to know. To whom shall I go in my necessities, if not to Him from whom I have received all that I possess? Enlighten, then, my eyes, that they may know Thee, O Lord! and that the work Thou hast begun in me may be perfected.

Therefore, God only can perfect the understanding, the will, and all the faculties of the soul. It is He alone who satisfies His creature and never fails him. With Him the creature is content in poverty, rich in destitution, happy in solitude, and though despoiled of all possessions, yet master of all things.

Hence the wise man so justly says: “One is as it were rich when he hath nothing, and another is as it were poor when he hath great riches.” [Prov. xiii. 7.] Rich indeed is the poor man who, like St. Francis of Assisi, has God for his inheritance, though owning naught else; but poor would he be who knew not God, though he possessed the entire universe.

What do their wealth and power avail the rich and great of this world when they are a prey to anxieties which they cannot calm, a victim to appetites which they cannot satisfy? For what comfort can costly raiment, luxurious viands, and overflowing coffers bring to a troubled mind? The rich man tosses restlessly on his soft couch, and his treasure is powerless to stifle the remorse which banishes sleep.

Independently, therefore, of God’s benefits to us, we are, from the necessities of our nature, obliged to serve Him, if we would attain our happiness and perfection.

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