Spiritual Poverty

But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, the dear and venerated Benedict XVI, called the ‘dictatorship of relativism‘…”

These recent words of Pope Francis reminded me of similarly powerful words likely repeated often by Blessed Mother Teresa:

“The spiritual poverty of the Western World is much greater than the physical poverty of our people….You, in the West, have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness. They feel unloved and unwanted. These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is.  What they are missing, really, is a living relationship with God.”

As Catholic educators in America, we are called to serve those suffering from and those in danger of succumbing to the spiritual impoverishment that continually threatens them.   I have too often seen the light of hope, intelligence and affection extinguished in children as they grow.  I want to to share with them the spiritual food that Our Lord offers through His Mystical Body, but they have become too sick to receive it.   In Catholic schools, we have the great opportunity to nourish these children, and often through them and through the school community, their families, fostering their spiritual, intellectual and moral development.

In these days of rejoicing in our new Pope, let us recommit ourselves with joy to the great spiritual work of mercy — “Instruct the ignorant.” 

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About Andrew Seeley

With over 30 years of immersion in a Great Books based, fully integrated curriculum at Thomas Aquinas College in California, I enjoy sharing the fruits of the discussions I have with students, colleagues and friends about authors and ideas. As the Director of Advanced Formation for the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education and a founding member of the Justin Martyr Fellows, I work to share my good fortune with Catholic educators and students around the country. As a lover of God, Church, family, America, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, I like to write about them in particular ways.
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2 Responses to Spiritual Poverty

  1. Pingback: The Renewal of Catholic Schools: Spritual Flourishing the Catholic Educator

  2. Great connection Andrew. An important point to remember for Catholic schools. See my further comment on your connection at http://thecatholiceducator.org/uncategorized/renewal-of-catholic-schools-spiritual-flourishing/

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