May 11th - Ignatius of Laconi
Poverty can teach us a thing or two.
Ignatius was born into poverty and entered the Capuchin order (an offshoot of the Franciscans) but he never seems to have let the poverty define him. What defined him was a manner that grew from his poverty: things like meekness, empathy, comfort, peace, and joy. He was well known in the community for such gifts. Those who gave to him felt they got so much in return. So many of their ills, physical and spiritual, where softened by his simple love.
The story is told that when he would go out to beg for the community (they are a mendicant order) people noticed that he would skip the house of a rich but ruthless money-lender. The man felt slighted because Ignatius passed his house but went and asked the poor for help instead. The man complained to Ignatius' superior who, hopefully, knew nothing about the man's reputation and sent Ignatius to the man to beg. The saint returned with a large sack of food, but when the sack was emptied, blood dripped out. "This is the blood of the poor," Ignatius explained. "That is why I never ask for anything at that house."
Let us think about the source of our charity. True poverty, the need for nothing that is not supplied, is the emulation of Jesus, and we derive so many riches from it, riches we share with others.
Jesus said to his disciples: “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What does this mean that he is saying to us, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks? We do not know what he means.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing with one another what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”
-- John 16:16-20
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