“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Jesus (Matthew 5:3)
Manifesto of the Poor in Spirit:
A Prayerful Statement of Mature Christian Life Principles
Lord God, we acknowledge that before You we are poor, and radically dependent upon You day by day; that we cannot even take our next breath unless You give it to us as a gift. Thus we constantly lift thankful hearts up to You who are our Father and Provider.
You have provided for us all that we are and all that we have. We thank you for Your many Gifts to us: Life; a certain health and strength and other talents and abilities; material means both to sustain our material lives and to otherwise love and serve You in the material world; friends and family; we even thank you for sufferings, trials and tests which we know in faith are gifts that You promise are all working together for our good in Your loving sovereign plan for us (Romans 8:28); especially we thank you for Your ultimate Gift of Yourself, Your Holy Presence of Love ministered to us in so many ways (through Your indwelling Holy Spirit; Holy Communion with You in Your Holy Eucharist; gathered in Your name; in “the least”– Mt. 25:40, and so on).
We thank You, O Lord our Provider, that You have made us Your “co-workers” (1 Corinthians 3:9), and that as co-workers we help You build Your Family and Kingdom successfully, and You help us live our lives on Earth successfully, according to Your promise “seek first the Kingdom of God … and all these [material] things will be provided for you” (Matthew 6:33). We recognize that as “co-workers” You often provide materially for us Your Family through our use of the health, strength, talents and abilities You have given us. We thank You for Your gift of human wisdom to help guide us in our use of the abilities and material means You have given us, supplemented by Your Divine Wisdom and direction and guidance available to us through prayer, since You know and see all that human wisdom cannot. Since “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1), we seek Your guidance and in our use of Your gifts we trust in You and depend upon You to “establish the work of our hands for us” (Psalm 90:17), because “without You we can do nothing” (John 15:5). Thus:
Lord God of Love, we abandon ourselves to Your Divine Providence, whether You grant success to the work of our hands or otherwise provide for our life, health and means day by day, week by week, month by month, or year by year. We accept whatever You provide and whatever You withhold. We understand Father, that Your Son Jesus taught us to pray for Daily Bread, and that Daily Bread is delivered daily. Thus we recognize that the underlying reality is that You always provide or withhold breath, health and means day by day, even if it looks like things will be provided for (or held back) a week, a month, or a year in advance, since that situation, however stable it looks, can change utterly and without warning within a day.
Thus we choose to rest and rejoice every day in You whose Loving Presence is truly constant, and not in circumstances which despite appearances are never truly constant.
We thank You Holy Trinity of Love that whatever life, health, time and means You provide at any given time (or day) is enough for Your Purposes for us at any given time (or day) even if not always enough for all our own desires. We thank you that whatever You provide is even enough to compensate for our weaknesses and mistakes, as long as we are daily being still before You and genuinely seeking Your will, Your direction and guidance as to how to manage what You have given us for love of You, and we rest in the ampleness of Your daily provision for whatever it is You mean us to do today, we who are Your instruments in this world and through the Mystery of our Baptism are even the Body of Jesus Christ Himself on Earth, reaching out with love to the world.
We offer You this prayer stating the principles by which we “poor in Spirit” order our lives lived for love of You in Your Name, the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One God who is Love, AMEN.
© 2012, 2014 Peter William John Baptiste SFO