Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 2 January

ChristmasSecond Lesson of the Infant Jesus. Poverty.

Our Infant Saviour in His crib puts before us the spirit of poverty as one of the chief foundations of the Christian life. In truth, attachment to the material things of this world fills the heart with fear and disquietude, rendering it indisposed for the things of God. It weakens our faith in the invisible realities, lessens our hope of future reward, cools the ardor of our love of God, weakens our charity towards our neighbor and divides the most united families. And so, Jesus will proclaim later on, in the first of the Beatitudes, that it is necessary to be detached from earthly goods, at least in heart, if one would possess His kingdom. But let us, His willing disciples, without waiting for this warning, say to Him, as we kneel by His manger: “O Jesus, poor little One, Thou art eloquent in Thy silence and I understand Thee! O my King, crowned with poverty, I bless Thee! O my God, hidden beneath the swaddling bands, I adore Thee! Henceforth Thy poverty shall be my law, my honor, my strength and my consolation.” These were the sentiments of Blessed Pons de Saint Gilles, O.P., who, though he was Superior, chose always the most worn habit, the coarsest food and the most inconvenient cell: yet the princes of the earth were all the more eager to bestow on him abundant alms, especially for the maintenance of the young men whom he was preparing to enter the Order (1263).

Reflection

When a man in the midst of riches has not set his heart on them, he works wonders. – Saint Thomas Aquinas

Practice

Give some winter clothing to the poor, or an alms at the cost of some privation to yourself.