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Happy Are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom Paperback – 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 177 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; New edition edition (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898709210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898709216
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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73 of 74 people found the following review helpful By M. David on April 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
With its message right out of the bible itself, Happy Are You Poor addresses the most ignored of all of Christ's teachings: evangelical gospel poverty. Throughout its pages, Dubay carefully illustrates how the American ideals of wealth and success have had many consequences for contemporary Christians: a willingness to ignore the many unambiguous biblical texts denouncing wealth, the loss of joy as mammon replaces God, and how affluent Christians remain a mockery to pagans, who know the real thing when they see it.
Dubay begins by laying out clear definitions and premises, and then moves on to practical examples and lifestyle changes. However, he never strays far from his central theme of how salvation and wealth don't mix. An example: "The main problem in developing a deep prayer life is by far the failure to live the radicality of the Gospel, hour by hour and day by day."
For those interested in a ringing biblical response to the modern American gospel of health-and-wealth, Dubay does it best. But more importantly, he inspires one to find joy in Christ rather than in the world by showing how God has indeed done as promised and `sent the rich away empty'.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By just bein' Frank on June 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
What does Christ really expect of us when He instructs those who would be His disciples to give up their worldly possessions (e.g., Mt 19:21-24)? If you're like me, you've always gotten a little nervous around passages like these and maybe you try not to think about them.

But everyone concerned about living an authentically Christian life should read Fr. Dubay's "Happy Are You Poor". It's a personally challenging exploration of the meaning of the virtue of poverty ("Blessed are the poor"). That is to say, it will challenge you to deepen your commitment to Christ and His Kingdom.

Fr. Dubay tells us flat out that he thinks we ought to hear the true message of Gospel poverty that too many are afraid to proclaim (or practice): Christians must lead radically simple, frugal, and charitable lives. Demonstrated through Scripture and most prominantly through the lives of the saints, Fr. Dubay's book is a formidable challenge to our current lifestyles.

The first four chapters of "Happy Are You Poor", which comprises "part one", are almost entirely preliminary (and mostly boring). In them, Fr. Dubay (rightly) pleads with readers to approach his book prayerfully and with an openness to correction and admonishment. He spends a long time lamenting the fact that the virtue of poverty has been watered down by many good natured folks trying to make sense of their religious vows. They reduce saintly poverty (to which we are all called) to a vague sense of "detachment" from material goods or to an "availability to others" with one's time and self. The book is largely geared toward that audience -- those who have previously misinterpreted Gospel poverty.
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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Muir on January 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Just over a week ago, Fr. Dubay was in my hometown, giving a retreat at one of the local Catholic Churches. The topic was the same as that of this book: Gospel poverty. Due to my erradic work schedule, I was unable to attend the retreat. However, most of the people I know who attended, read this book long before the retreat, and all of them, unequivocally, have recommended the book. I began the book last Friday, and finished it last night. In short: I couldn't put it down.

I am not saying that I enjoyed this book, with it's "hard-as-nails" challenging, yet ever so true, message. If I were to say that I am not attached to my music and movies, to my clothing outfits, to my hairstyles, and what not, I would be guilty of one of the seven deadly sins: lying. Although, I, like most people, I'm sure, would claim to own my things, rather than my things owning me. However, upon reading this book, a reality known as conviction knocked on my door, and has contributed to the ongoing process of crumbling away the demonic sin from my life: pride.

I will say it again, as I said to my roommate last night: This book was a marvelous read (as it was marvelously written), and rang ever so true in my ears. Yet, it was anything but an easy read. I emphatically did NOT enjoy being convicted, quite simply because I, like most Americans, do NOT want to be told that I, in any sense whatsoever, am wrong. As the shoddy philosophy of our day goes: "It's not right to say that some things are not right." I denounce that philosophy, yet I live by it every day. This book helped reveal that to me.

I think a lot of Protestants would be wise to read this book, as many of the Churches have been poisoned by the health and wealth heresy.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
Reading this book made me sigh with relief. Fr. Dubay makes the connection between gospel poverty and true happiness, that is being in love with God. I look forward to the challenge of doing without unnecessary things and even at times sharing those things that I may need myself. Fr. Dubay doesn't water down Christ's message and not everyone is willing to accept that. This book will challenge you, but what it contains is true and beautiful and will lead you to a happier life.
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