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General Audience - Vatican Media

Pope at General Audience: Being Poor in Spirit Means Recognizing Fragility, Asking Forgiveness & Welcome Grace

Francis Says Those Poor in Spirit Sense Their Dependency on God at Innermost Level, Whereas Proud of Heart Regard Themselves as Self-Sufficient

Being poor in spirit, means recognizing our fragility and mistakes, and asking for forgiveness, to become an occasion for grace….

Today, Pope Francis made this observation to faithful gathered at the General Audience, which took place this morning, Feb. 5, 2020, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

Francis continued his new series of catechesis on the Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel, following his last series on the Acts of the Apostles, considering the first of the eight proclamations: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3).

The Jesuit Pope pointed out that Matthew’s account, unlike Luke’s, speaks of the “poor in spirit.”

“To be poor in spirit,” the Holy Father stressed, “is to be aware of our frailty, to accept our mistakes and be able to ask forgiveness. This then becomes an occasion of grace leading us to God’s kingdom.”

Different than worldly power, God’s strength, Francis highlighted, is seen in loving mercy.

“Christ himself shows this by preferring the good of others, even to the point of shedding his blood for us. We will be blessed if we both accept the poverty of our being, and strive to imitate the poverty of Jesus in loving service of our neighbour.”

Below is the Vatican-provided text of the Pope’s summary.

***

Speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel, we consider the first of the eight proclamations: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). Matthew’s account, unlike Luke’s, speaks of the “poor in spirit”. Here “spirit”, recalling the breath of life that God gave to Adam, refers to the most intimate part of our being. The poor in spirit sense their poverty and dependency on God at this innermost level, whereas the proud of heart regard themselves as self-sufficient, hating whatever reminds them of the fragility of the human condition. To be poor in spirit is to be aware of our frailty, to accept our mistakes and be able to ask forgiveness. This then becomes an occasion of grace leading us to God’s kingdom. In contrast to worldly power, God’s strength is seen in loving mercy. Christ himself shows this by preferring the good of others, even to the point of shedding his blood for us. We will be blessed if we both accept the poverty of our being, and strive to imitate the poverty of Jesus in loving service of our neighbour.

Speaker:

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Australia, Vietnam and the United States of America. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!

[Vatican-provided English text]

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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