“Poverty is what can make us grateful for everything we have. One new blouse does not get lost among all the other hangers in the cupboard. One new book becomes a treasure, not just one more kind of recreation. No new toys, no new clothes, no new furniture makes us treasure what little of each of them we do have. One mother I know found the pair of new shoes she had just brought her daughter that week in a bin in front of the house awaiting the city trash collectors. ‘What are these doing here?’ she asked her daughter. ‘I just got them for you two days ago.’ ‘I don’t like them,’ the teen said back. ‘None of the other kids wear anything like this.’ Only poverty, perhaps, can give us a sense of what it is to be grateful for what you have and even more grateful for what you get for nothing . . .
In poverty, God is not a question. The God who hears the cry of the poor is all the poor can really be sure of because it can only be the goodness of God that supplies their daily needs . . .
The alleluia that arises out of poverty is not about having nothing; the alleluia is in gratitude for the kind of poverty that wants for nothing that does not add to a sense of the presence of God and the liberating grace of enoughness. May we all be so lucky as to have that much. For that we must all shape our hearts in different, more life-giving ways. For that, we must all learn to cultivate in ourselves the poverty we do not know and grieve the riches that protect us from finding it.”