Friday, May 13, 2011

Retreat Report: Poor in Spirit

Coming down the home stretch in the retreat I am offering our senior sisters. Today's theme was "The Penitent Heart is Poor in Spirit." My notes are rather sketchy, but they do include this very salient quote from Bonhoeffer:

Anxiety for food and clothing is clearly not the same thing as anxiety for the kingdom of God, however much we should like to persuade ourselves that when we're working for families and concerning ourselves with bread and houses we are thereby building the kingdom, as though the kingdom could be realized only through our worldly cares. The kingdom of God and his righteousness are sharply distinguished from the gifts of the world.... Before we start taking thought for life, our food and clothing, our work and families, we must seek the righteousness of Christ.... Again we have here either a crushing burden, which holds out no hope for the poor and wretched, or else it is the quintessence of the Gospel, which brings the promise of freedom and perfect joy. Jesus does not tell us what we ought to do but cannot; he tells us what god has given us and promises still to give. If Christ has been given us, if we are all called to his discipleship, we're given all things, literally all things. He will see to it that they are added on to us” (D.B. commenting on Mt 7).

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