Poverty: Open to His Presence

To be poor is to have acquired complete freedom to give of oneself and receive. It is the first condition of a love in which we stake our very selves. Jesus showed us this in his own life, that is pure receptivity to his Father. He reveals this in Mary, from the Annunciation to Calvary. Total poverty is not a cruel stripping according to rigid requirements but a deeper, more demanding opening of oneself: total availability, a boundless flexibility that joyfully cries "Yes!" to everything the Lord asks of us.

The face of poverty is the face of love. Of Infinite Love. Within God lies the living and luminous source of a poverty that is joy and gift of self. With our Mother St. Clare we have focused our gaze on the mystery of the God-Man in whom everything is total poverty because everything is love. Jesus shares with us continually his deepest joy: the Father loves the Son and gives him both everything he has, and, above all, everything he is. The Father keeps nothing for himself. He makes no reservation, and holds nothing back. The Son is his perfect image because the Father has withheld nothing and given everything to the Son. Jesus possesses nothing which comes from himself. All that he has is gift, everything flows from the Father's hands. In the Son there is the infinite poverty of receiving and the equally infinite joy of returning to the Father all that he is. It is within this torrent of giving, loving poverty that a Poor Clare lives, moves and finds her joy.