Creighton University's Online Ministries
Often in the Midst of Great Poverty
|In the Midst of Great Poverty.
Praying with the Nativity scriptures can help us with a profound support for our everyday lives. The gospels paint us beautiful portraits of how Our God comes to us in the midst of great poverty. The age of Elizabeth, Gabriel's annuniciation to Mary, no room in the inn, enemies out to get the newborn, all surround the central mystery - our God is faithful. Our God's fidelity is not only not limited by great poverty, it is most apt in places of great poverty. The way the nativity happened then can tell us a great deal about the "style" of our God. And, it can open our eyes and our expectation to the places of great poverty in our lives now. Whenever I ask, "How can this be a place of promise?" or "How can I expect God to be present in this mess?" I am being invited to experience the mystery of the Incarnation in my life. Eventually, I begin to look for and to really anticipate special intimacy with Jesus in the difficult, challenging, painful, empty, power-less situations of my life. If I desire to find intimacy with God in all things, I'll pay special attention to the povery places of my life.
born of Patience.
Actually, patience is something that is learned. Like all virtue, it comes from practice - from developing a habit. We develop the ability to be patient, through small experiences of suffering small things. This "acceptance" - this living in trust with what is really before us - is practiced when we smile on a cloudy day, as we take a calming deep breath when something doesn't go as we expected, whenever we endure with serenity even a small loss. To be untroubled, unruffled by minor disappointments gives us the strength to develop greater patience - to suffer greater poverties.
Patience That Becomes Fidelity.
To grow in patience is to grow in fidelity. Being faithful implies a whole host of things. It doesn't mean we are perfect. Fidelity begins with patience and it leads to living our faith with trust in God. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has these synonyms for "faithful":
Desiring Patient Fidelity...
One of the biggest mistakes we make is to
think that being faithful is a thing in our heads that we just decide
to do, or a matter of "will power" that could be contained in a New
Year's resolution. In reality, patient fidelity is a gift from
God. For sure, it will involve choice and an emotional commitment
on our part. It will lead to death to myself more and more.
But it is fundamentally a grace from God. Appreciating its power
during this holy season - perhaps coming into great touch with my
poverty and the areas that call to me for patience and fidelity -
allows me to turn to God to ask for the gift. To desire is to
know what I need and to long for it.