For-with-of the Poor
CS is prayer f o r the 'poor' rich, so that they open their hearts and hands more and more for the poor. There is a special urgency to pray for the antisocial rich.
CS is prayer w i t h the poor, since love itself will urge us to share their life, respectively their living conditions. There have been rich people who have chosen this path in the past, some of them are well known. They left their castles and served the poor with their own hands. Saint Elizabeth said to her Hungarian maid servants while they were nursing the sick, "How glad we are that we can wash and feed Christ."
CS is prayer o f the 'rich' poor. But this is rather the aim than the reality of our life. There it is not any longer about social poverty but at stake is our attitude of detachment, our ability to surrender ourselves to God, to love wholeheartedly him, our neighbour and ourselves. The Beatitudes name it: Those who are poor before God. Let us hold alive in our hearts the longing for this Blessed Poverty, and let us pray that the Wonder of the Beatitudes (Mt 5,1-12a) will convert us.
The greatest part of humankind is living in poverty, which is caused for the most part by the rich and mighty who defend their stolen possessions even by force of arms. This injustice must not be tolerated. According to the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament especially the poor are loved by God. God sides with them against the rich, the mighty, the violent. If I want to be at God's side, my heart has to go out to the poor, orphans, strangers ...
As its name suggests, CON-Spiration for/with/of the poor aims at poverty. Poverty does not mean material need but to get rid of my attachment to possessions and to become free of greed.
Nobody wants to choose poverty in itself.
In the Christian creed the revelation of the mystery of God's love is crystallized in the dogma of his Trinity. His being 'three in one' is founded in the Father's totally giving himself away to his Son. The Son, too, gives himself up to the Father. The personified love of both is named Holy Spirit.
Since the Son of God has chosen the path of poverty (manger and cross), and - as the risen Lord - totally identifies himself with his humble brothers, I will ask him to move my heart this way: To identify more and more with the poor, and so become eventually united with God, who out of love to me became poor so that I become rich.
Hence poverty means to follow the example of Christ, means discipleship. For example to take up the Lord's advice, and to bind oneself by the vow of poverty to the poor Christ, as it happens in religious orders where nuns and monks, apart from their personal belongings, have no private possessions (cars, houses, bank accounts ...) - forming in this way a community of goods or, if you like, a commune. The founders of religions and those who have tried to restore the foundations of their religion had a special liking for poverty.
The modern way of life has to a large extent been shaped by the American way of life. It needs urgently and persistently a counterposition, because it causes great injustices and damages. Big business and globalization prophets want to lure people into this mentality: To become consumers, competitors, and careerists.
There is happiness and bliss in people who are really poor, poor in spirit and mind. God's blessing rests on them (Cf. Mt 5,3). They live in union and peace with themselves and with others - as is shown by their lives. To strive after that kind of poverty, pays off.
Whether we like it or not, in the course of our life we approach this aim. In the hour of our death we will leave everything behind. To be prepared for it means to give up a lot of things and persons that have troubled my heart.
By meditating on poverty you will certainly find enough reasons to side with it or, as Saint Francis said, to choose poverty as your bride.