Love Poverty

In an address bishops, priests, and religious in Cuba on September 21, 2015, Pope Francis said, “Love poverty like you love your mother.” He went on to say, “Wealth impoverishes,” the pontiff told those gathered for the meeting in Havana’s Cathedral of The Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception. “It takes away the best that we have. It makes us poor. It places our faith in something else.” In contrast, the Pope said: “The spirit of poverty is a spirit of dispossession, of leaving everything to follow Jesus.” “The spirit of the world doesn’t want poverty, it tries to hide it, not out of modesty but because of contempt.” Pope Francis drew a clear line of distinction between a “reasonable” effort to avoid material poverty and failure to practice poverty of the heart, meaning avoiding an undue attachment to material goods. Francis urged the religious to resist a “throw-away” culture.

Later while speaking to a gathering of youth, Pops Francis said: “Sometimes we’re very closed. We put ourselves into our own little world and we say the way I want that or nothing at all. When a religion closes itself up in its ‘own little convent’ it loses the best of itself, which is to look to God,” said Francis. “And when I have my ideology, my way of thinking and you have yours, I close myself within that ‘little convent’ of ideology. Why do we always throw the stone against the person who thinks differently?” the pontiff asked. “Why do we only shake hands with those we have something in common with? [We should] encourage ourselves to speak about what we have in common and, afterwards, we can speak about the things about which we think differently,’ Francis said. “I said speak, I didn’t say fight!’ he joked.

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