Lent with St. Franciso: Blessed are the poor in spirit

During this Lenten series, we will focus on the Beatitudes, especially those that were demonstrated in the life and virtue of St. Francisco. You can listen to the reflection in our video blog or read it below.

Beatitudes are an expression of extreme blessedness.  In the first beatitude, Jesus proclaimed, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3).

To be “poor in spirit” means that one is fully aware of the sinful nature of their human condition and that all they possess, including their achievements, come from God.

Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches…Apart from me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).

It does not matter if you live in poverty or wealth, if you are poor in spirit, you are dependent on God for everything and aware that it is His Spirit that sustains and renews you.

St. Francisco was blessed with this beatitude.

Despite his material poverty, he remained humble before God seeking only His will.  He avoided fame or glory for himself, even when he saw the Blessed Mother, making him one of the most sought-after persons in Fatima.

This allowed him to accept so graciously that he could not hear Our Lady during the apparitions. He was happy instead to be able to gaze upon her beauty and get lost in the light that emanated from her.

He surrendered to what Mary asked of him – “to say many rosaries” and to accept suffering – which led him to surrender more deeply to the “hidden Jesus” in the tabernacle, where he became a contemplative soul. 

Francisco did not seek to be anything great on earth, yet he achieved such great spiritual heights.  

He attained this by being “poor in spirit” and the kingdom of heaven is now his.

The Beatitudes are the words of Christ that cut to the very core of the Christian life. But have they become so familiar that we breeze past them, without taking them to heart? The Beatitudes can — and will — transform our lives in a powerful way, if we take the time to connect with them daily. Purchase “The Beatitudes” by Kathleen Basi in our gift shop. $4.95.

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Her Answer

by Reverend Harold Colgan This article from our co-founder, Msgr. Harold Colgan (d. 1972), is reprinted from the first issue of Soul Magazine, Jan-Feb 1950,

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