Saturday, October 6, 2007

Involuntary Poverty

The poor are blessed not just if they choose to be poor but if they accept an involuntary poverty. The poverty of a monk, wrote St Francis of Sales, has a very great excellency but the poverty sent by fate is more excellent still, first because she came to you not by choice, but by the will of God, who has made you poor, without any concurrence of your own will, and second because it is true poverty. That poverty which is praised, caressed, esteemed, succoured, and assisted, is near akin to riches—at least, it is not altogether poverty; but that which is despised, rejected, reproached, and abandoned, is poverty indeed.
— Piers Paul Read, Hell and Other Destinations, 2006, 120–121