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Catechism of the Catholic Church

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. 335 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. 336 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." 337

2546 "Blessed are the poor in spirit." 338 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: 339

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." 340

2547 The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods. 341 "Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." 342 Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow. 343 Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God.

Notes:

335 Lk 14:33; cf. Mk 8:35.

336 Cf. Lk 21:4.

337 LG 42 § 3.

338 Mt 5:3.

339 Cf. Lk 6:20.

340 St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus 1: PG 44, 1200D; cf. 2 Cor 8:9.

341 Lk 6:24.

342 St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte 1, 1, 3: PL 34, 1232.

343 Cf. Mt 6:25-34.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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