Poverty

Holy Poverty is a fruit of love. The more we love the more we share what is ours. We are then free from material attachments so that the Holy Spirit can do with us as He wills.

It is not enough to give God a portion and then do as we please with "our part". All that is ours BELONGS to God to be administered according to the needs of our families and the needs of others.

Jesus is king of the anawim, of those whose hearts are free of the lust for power and material riches, free of the will and the search for dominion over others. Jesus is the king of all those who possess that interior freedom that enables them to overcome the greed and egoism of the world, and who know that God is their only wealth. -Benedict XVI >> 

"Lord Jesus, our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society’s incessant, tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness." —Benedict XVI, Fourth Station of the Cross, Good Friday 2006. 

Evangelical poverty is focused in desiring to be totally one with Christ, thus not attached or distracted by the things of this world.

Second Vatican Council's pastoral constitution "Gaudium et spes"

...The greater part of the world still experiences such poverty that in the voices of the poor Christ himself can be heard, crying out for charity from his followers. There are nations, many of them with a Christian majority, which enjoy an abundance of goods, while others are deprived of the necessities of life, and suffer from hunger, disease and all kinds of afflictions. This scandal must be removed from among men, for the glory of Christ’s Church and its testimony to the world are the spirit of poverty and the spirit of love.

From our Path,  "When the woundedness in the hearts of others becomes more important than our wounds, we begin to live for others because we begin to live more and more for the Other." This is completely related to becoming poor, for when the other has become more important than me, how can I not become poor?  This poverty is freedom to let go of all things, even good desires, in order to desire only what the Lord desires. This can only take place through Gods grace, for us this is impossible.

Stewards of the Lord's goods -Catechism 952

"They had everything in common." "Everything the true Christian has is to be regarded as a good possessed in common with everyone else. All Christians should be ready and eager to come to the help of the needy . . . and of their neighbors in want." A Christian is a steward of the Lord's goods.

The Catechism #2545 states that all Christians are called to:

Direct their affections rightly, lest they be hindered in their pursuit of perfect charity by the use of worldly things and by an adherence to riches which is contrary to the spirit of evangelical poverty

Holy poverty does not mean to live in destitution but it is serious effort to break free from the web materialism. 

Jesus shall rule over every aspect of our life
Of all the miracles performed by our Lord, Saint Peter seems to show his greatest amazement at the miraculous catch of fish. It was then that he realized that every aspect of his personal life, even his area of greatest expertise (fishing) must be totally submitted to the Lord.  -Fr. Jordi Rivero

God's gifts must bear fruit
Jesus tells the story of three servants to whom their master entrusted his property, before setting out on a long journey.(cf. Mt 25: 14-30)

"With this parable Jesus wanted to teach his disciples to make good use of their gifts: God calls every person and offers talents to all, at the same time entrusting each one with a mission to carry out. It would be foolish to presume that these gifts are an entitlement, just as failing to use them would mean failing to achieve one's purpose in life. In commenting on this Gospel passage St. Gregory the Great noted that the Lord does not let anyone lack the gift of his charity, of his love. He wrote: "brothers, it is necessary that you pay the utmost attention to preserving love in everything you must do" (Homilies on the Gospel, 9, 6). After explaining that true charity consists in loving enemies as well as friends, he added: "if someone lacks this virtue (love), he loses every good he possesses, he is deprived of the talent he received and is cast out into the darkness" (ibid.). Benedict XVI, Nov 14, 2011 

You can take to heaven only what you have given
Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received - only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage." -St. Francis of Assisi

A heart one with Christ is consumed with love

Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades." (JPII, Evangelii Gaudium 2)

Caring for the poor according to the Fathers and Doctors of the Church:

"There is your brother, naked and crying! And you stand confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering." -St. Ambrose

The poor are a greater temple than the sanctuary
Lift up and stretch out, your hands, not to heaven, but to the poor; for if you stretch forth your hands to the poor, you have reached the summit of heaven; but if you lift up your hands in prayer without sharing with the poor, it is worth nothing. -St. John Chrysostom

"Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead". -St. John Chrysostom

"Do you want to honour Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honour him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body, and made it so by his words, also said: You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me. What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication.   

Let us learn, therefore, to be men of wisdom and to honour Christ as he desires. For a person being honoured finds greatest pleasure in the honour he desires, not in the honour we think best. Peter thought he was honouring Christ when he refused to let him wash his feet; but what Peter wanted was not truly an honour, quite the opposite! Give him the honour prescribed in his law by giving your riches to the poor. For God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts.   Now, in saying this I am not forbidding you to make such gifts; I am only demanding that along with such gifts and before them you give alms. He accepts the former, but he is much more pleased with the latter. In the former, only the giver profits; in the latter, the recipient does too. A gift to the church may be taken as a form of ostentation, but an alms is pure kindness."  St. John Chrysostom

Give now, without delay
What keeps you from giving now? Isn't the poor man there? Aren't your own warehouses full? Isn't the reward promised? The command is clear: the hungry man is dying now, the naked man is freezing now, the man in debt is beaten now - and you want to wait until tomorrow? "I'm not doing any harm," you say. "I just want to keep what I own, that's all." You own? ... You are like someone who sits down in a theater and keeps everyone else away, saying that what is there for everyone's use is his own ... If everyone took only what he needed and gave the rest to those in need, there would be no such thing as rich or poor. After all, didn't you come into life naked; and won't you return naked to the earth? -Saint Basil

The bread you do not use is the bread of the hungry. The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of the person who is naked. The shoes you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot. The money you keep locked away is the money of the poor. The acts of charity you do not perform are the injustices you commit. -Saint Basil

What you give becomes yours
The earth bears crops for your benefit, not for its own, but when you give to the poor, you are bearing fruit which you will gather in for yourself, since the reward for good deeds goes to those who perform them. Give to a hungry man, and what you give becomes yours, and indeed it returns to you with interest. As the sower profits from the seed which falls to the ground, so will you profit greatly in the world to come from the bread that you place before a hungry man ... You are going to leave your money behind you here whether you wish to or not. On the other hand you will take with you to the Lord the honor that you have won through good works ... -Saint Basil

The New Testament is more demanding
Some think that the Old Testament is stricter than the New, but they judge wrongly; they are fooling themselves. The old law did not punish the desire to hold onto wealth; it punished theft. But now the rich man is not condemned for taking the property of others; rather, he is condemned for not giving his own property away. -St. Gregory the Great.

Recommended book: Happy are the Poor, by Thomas Dubay