The rich young man, we read, “went away sad.” He had good reason to be. He had been loved by Christ, sought out by Him. He had received from Christ a silent declaration of love, in a single glance: “looking at him, Jesus loved him” (Mk10:21). His wealth prevented him from receiving it. (Poverty p.52)
The choice is still open. The living, risen Christ is still walking by and calling people. It is up to us to choose between the two destinies: that of the rich young man or that of the apostles. (Poverty, p.53)
“You cannot serve God and wealth.”
In the account of Jesus’ birth, we see two starkly contrasting worlds: one symbolized by the inn, the other by the stable where He is born. The first world is all light, comfort, and activity; people are eating, drinking, enjoying themselves. Rich people dressed in lavish clothes, with heavy purses on their belts, dismount from their horses and come and go at will. In the Second World, on the other hand, all is poverty, darkness, cold, and discomfort. A young woman, silently accompanied by her husband, is about to give birth to her first child. They are forced to share bed and board with the animals. (p.59)
Christmas is a mystery. His presence alone reveals two different worlds. And we are called to take a stand, to decide which of the two worlds we wish to belong to. (p.60)
The Gospel never condemns earthly goods and riches in themselves. One of Jesus’s friends is Joseph of Arimathea, “a rich man” (Mt 27: 57). What Christ condemns is attachment to money and goods, trust in them as if “one’s life depended on them” (Lk 12: 15). Such wealth is variously called “deceptive” (Mt 13: 22), “foolishness” (Lk12: 20), an obstacle that brings the threat of “woe” (Lk6: 24). (p.62)
An English businessman wrote: “Money is a tainted thing, and the only way in which I will not be tainted by it is to use it honestly and generously. I must see it as a means to do good for others and not as the foundation of my own happiness and security. I am only a steward called by God to use the talents and wealth that he has loaned me to build his Kingdom here on earth. I shall be judged for my stewardship and not for my wealth. I cannot use money to pay for a better lawyer, nor to bribe the judge. I can only use it to lay up treasure for myself in heaven by every little act of love and unselfishness towards the least of Jesus’ brothers and sisters whom he sent to me for help.” (p.70)
We must live the virtue of poverty and let it challenge and judge us.
Spiritual Poverty of “First World”
“You say: ‘I am rich, I have prospered and I need nothing” (Rv 3:17) Today, behind that “you” lies an entire civilization glorying in its breathtaking technological achievements. It too is tempted to think of itself as rich, in need of nothing, not even God. This is why the risen Lord’s reply is for our world to: “you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked” (Rv 3:17). This is exactly the spiritual poverty of our so-called “First World”! (Poverty, p.85)
· 5/31/2010 Memorial Day
Prophecy for USA/ Missionaries of the Cross
You, My nation of the USA, have forsaken Me, your God. You have made materialism your god. You have made yourselves your own God. You have slaughtered My innocent little ones and their precious blood cries out to Me. You have turned your face from Me. Now I will turn My face from you during the time of the great chastisement. My daughter, raise up My army of holy ones. You must speak My words of warning, for I, your Lord and your God, loves you. You must tell them to open their eyes to Love Crucified, to unite themselves to Love Crucified, for it is only in this way that the power of My Cross will triumph over the evil that prevails…
Pope Francis, On the path of poverty, Thursday, October 18, 2018
The passage from the Gospel of Luke (10, 1-9), points out that, “when the Lord sends his seventy-two disciples, he sends them “in poverty”, he gives them advice on poverty». It is "the poverty of the disciple: the path of the disciple, the Lord wants him to be poor." If a disciple is attached to money, to wealth, he "is not a true disciple"
"There is another form of poverty" that we can recognize in Jesus' own words: "Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves." (v3) It is "the poverty of persecutions, the disciples of the Lord persecuted because of the Gospel: even today there are many slandered."
“Yesterday, in the Synod hall, a bishop of one of these countries where there is persecution, spoke of a Catholic boy kidnapped by a group of young people who hated the Church, fundamentalists; He was beaten and then thrown into a cistern and then they threw mud and at the end, when the mud had reached his neck, they asked him for the last time: "Do you renounce Jesus Christ?" And he said: "No!" So they "threw a stone and killed him."
"But there are other persecutions," the Pope continued. Beginning with the "persecution of slander, rumors and Christians are silent, they tolerate this" poverty "". Yes, he added, "sometimes you have to defend yourself so as not to cause a scandal." There are "small persecutions in the neighborhood, in the parish: small, but they are proof of poverty." And “it is the second mode of poverty that the Lord asks of us: humbly receive persecution, tolerate persecution. This is poverty.
· 1/30/18 –Diary of a MOC, “Mission of the 12”
All who are chosen by God to fulfill His plan on earth are hated by some, rejected by others, ill-treated, persecuted, for I came upon the earth to set one against another, for the ways of God will never be accepted nor appreciated by those who live for the things of this world.
Verses 5-15 – Mission of the Twelve
Verses 16-25 – Coming Persecution:
–21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
–34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.
• Will you continue to love and be faithful to My mission when you are persecuted and misunderstood, many times by those closest to you? (Simple Path, p37, #9)
• 42. Grace Through the Hidden Life of Suffering —Diary of a MOC.p145
My little ones, do not be discouraged, for I am doing something new. You are My little servants of love despised and misunderstood by the world. Remain in Me and I in you so that the power of God will flow as living water to My Church. Do not be afraid or discouraged for being rejected and not accepted. Do you not see that this is the way of love, the way of the Cross? It is precisely on this path of rejection and humiliations that you will purchase for the world many graces.
When we choose to live our lives as Christ’s disciples in purity lived out daily by chaste lives, listening to pure music, watching TV shows and movies that are pure, dressing in modesty, speaking words always that bring peace and never gossiping, etc., we will be misunderstood, criticized… When we live simply and poor, we will annoy those around us choosing and desiring the excess and riches of the world. As Jesus has taught in the Gospel, those living in His Light agitate and anger those choosing to remain in the darkness of the world.
This persecution is also lived in community when you encounter envy in the hearts of brothers and sisters when your good intentions are judged and criticized.
• V.24 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household
• A victim soul must fix his eyes on Christ, must desire with all his being to become one with his Master. (1/30/18)
Verses 26-33 – Fear Not
Verses 34-39 – Take Up Your Cross
•V.37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
This is the poverty of surrendering all –– children, spouses, community, parents, apostolates…–– to follow Christ, to place all our hope in the God who loves us and sent us His only begotten Son.
—The Third Nail Brings Us to Perfect Unity—
The Nail of Persecution (Simple Path p. 215)
• 70. As They Persecuted Me… —Diary of a MOC.
As they persecuted Me, they will persecute you. As they hated Me, they will hate you. This last nail fuses your heart to My Sacred Heart: you love as one with Me all the enemies of God, and thus complete your crucifixion in Me, and the triumph of God’s love is manifested through you in the unity of My Body. Prepare yourself in silence and prayer to live the last stage of My Divine Path. (5/26/14)
• 71. All Will Be Called to Suffer Persecution —Diary of a MOC.
The time is at hand when all will be called to suffer persecution for My sake. This time of persecution will divide My followers into two camps: those with Me and those against Me. Few will remain with Me in the time of the great tribulation. You, My little ones, are being prepared for this time. Your lives lived in humility and purity of heart, united to Me, will be the light in this darkness. Your lives hidden and transformed in My crucified love will usher in the New Pentecost for the world. (2/25/14)
St. Paul writes to the Hebrews 10:32-36 regarding persecution:
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on the prisoners, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.
3/29/11 Missionaries of the Cross (expose the darkness)
You have learned to suffer with Me by allowing the Holy Spirit to use your own suffering to enter My suffering. Through the gold of precious repentance, your heart has been purified, thus allowing you to suffer the sick condition of your brothers and sisters’ hearts with Me. But there is still the deep suffering of My persecution that you must suffer with Me. I am preparing your hearts for this most difficult suffering. When you preach what I desire, you will be condemned and persecuted by many.
You have been chosen by the Father as My prophet of light. The light shines and pierces the darkness. As My prophet of light, you are called to expose the darkness in the hearts of My ministers. You are called to expose their impurity, their lack of holiness, for they seek places and titles of honor. How many seek poverty? How many seek exhaustion? How many seek Truth by spending hours daily with Me, Truth itself? How many seek to serve the poor?
My Missionaries of the Cross are My Apostles of Light during this time of great darkness. They will expose the darkness of sin in the hearts of My ministers and bring them to repentance at the foot of My Cross. They will lead them through the Cross to transformation in Me. Do not be afraid of rejection and persecution, for you each are called to be ONE with the Crucified...
My little one, much will have to take place on earth before the establishment of My Eucharistic Reign. You (plural) are My saints of the end times united as one with the holy saints in heaven. Because My saints on earth are united to My sacrifice of love in your abandonment to suffer with Me, your prayers are powerful before the throne of Abba. Know, My little one, that your prayers are continuously before the throne of our Father as pure incense. He delights in your prayers, and He hears the cry of the poor. The poor are not only the poor of body but also the poor of spirit – those who have died to themselves so that I can live in them and through them. Much affliction must take place on earth because of the rebelliousness of the human heart, but God, in His infinite mercy and goodness, will bless the prayers of His saints –past, present, and future -- and establish His Kingdom on earth. Be at peace with complete abandonment to the God who loves you and listens to the cry of the poor. Persevere in your own crucifixion for the glory of God and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Go in peace to be My Light in the world.