Portals to God

Our concern for the poor is both political and mystical, and bringing the two strands of human experience together is our great challenge in the face the tsunami of soulless capitalism and class warfare that is washing over so much of society.

We can look the other way, but no one can say they are not aware of the depths of poverty that is experienced by billions of people around the globe. In clear opposition to Catholic Social Teaching, we have made a god out of the market, which has now collapsed and is in ruin. Sadly, the cost of recovery is falling on the backs of the poorest, the very people who saw no gain during the giddy, greedy days of boom. The stupidity of bankers and Wall Street executives is pushing the poor, the unemployed, the elderly and the disabled into a hole from which they will never escape…there will be no bailouts for them.

Destitution grinds people down. Sadly, we tend to think of the homeless as social nuisances. Jesus had a different point of view and suggested that the poor are portals to God. According to Christ, the poor are a profound, redeeming revelation of God’s presence and grace. But our culture tends to separate us from the poor who live out of sight in hidden pockets of despair and want. We are blinded to the needs of the poor by our own desire for property, comfort and acquiring more material goods for ourselves. At its root, there is only one reason for the existence of poverty: selfishness, which is a manifestation of a lack of authentic love.

Peter Maurin, co-founder with Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker, said: “On the Cross of Calvary Christ gave His life to redeem the world. The life of Christ was a life of sacrifice. We cannot imitate the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary by trying to get all we can. We can only imitate the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary by trying to give all we can. What we give to the poor for Christ’s sake is what we carry with us when we die.”


1 Response to “Portals to God”

  1. 1 aliceny May 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Excellent reminder, Gerry. And we DO SO need reminders. We see but we do not see. Our hearts are hardened by fear of the unknown (perhaps we, too, will be like ‘them’ someday when this present ‘bubble’ bursts — and IT WILL!

    Our entire sensory system is numbed by: allowing the ‘world,’ with all its lures of wealth and all of its promised advantages and ‘protection;’ the celebrity of being popular and famous among our peers; and instant sexual gratification. (I put this one last because it is the most fleeting lure.)

    All of these, and more, contribute to our obstinate, knowing refusal, to remove the scales from our eyes and to open our hearts to the plight of our brothers and sisters who are suffering and in such obvious pain.

    Thanks for ‘telling it like it is,’ Gerry and you always try to do.

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