Saturday, May 30, 2015

Are We a Church of the Poor?

Pope Francis continues to be a topic of interest in even  his smallest actions and words. A fashion specialists after making a study of the pope's style calls it 'minimalism'. This keyword includes simplicity and  plainness. A Salesian,  priest columnist, who writes in the View from the Ark, examines the life of the pope and leaves us with his reflections.

Pope Francis in  his visit to Korea was using a 50 dollar watch. He was wearing shoes made by a small shoemaker in Buenos Aires, the ring and the neck piece were made with silver. In his very person he was showing us a distancing from materialism with which we are surrounded. In Korea, especially, we have the economic progress firmly compressed,  which makes the virtue of poverty difficult to practice

Jesus lived poverty but it was not a miserable life. It was a life freely chosen, which was his glory and  blessing. Poverty gave him freedom. When a person feels the miserableness of poverty than we have real poverty. Christians today need to examine this  theme in detail, we need to make known that poverty is not  something bad. We need to show that we can be happy without money, contrary to the spirit of the times. Money when it becomes the answer to everything we are on the verge of falling into big hole. We are driving our older people to the edge of a cliff, making for a bleak future.

Pope Francis in seeing the poor leaving the church is angry. The Church needs to lessen the gap between the poor and rich. A beautiful bridge needs to be built between them.Religious living the life of poverty is a good, but they need to share this with the poor.

Pope Francis is beginning to give us a  spirituality of poverty  following on that of St. Francis. The priest columnist  remembers the visit to Korea of the pope and all his travels. He showed us what humility and poverty meant with his whole body. Everyone of his actions in meeting with the poor were intimate and  natural. His visit has made for a new spiritual awakening for the Church.

We need to take his lead and work to bring about a change in our life as followers of Jesus. We don't  want to change the direction he has given us--a small, poor church, with poor and humble pastors getting close to the poor.

The pope's words continue to resound in the ears of the columnist.  We want to change the bureaucracy of the clergy at the center, and careerism within the church. We need to become a church of the old, the poor and the young. And concludes with the question: Are we making it easy for the poor to enter our communities without any feelings of discrimination and alienation?