- Paperback: 177 pages
- Publisher: Ignatius Press; 2nd ed. edition (2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0898709210
- ISBN-13: 978-0898709216
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Happy Are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom 2nd ed. Edition
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I read another review which found the first four chapters kind of boring. But whether it was his EWTN shows, or his books, Father always proceeded in a deliberate manner, defining terms, and it pays off in the end. Father doesn't give a one-size fits all answer to what Gospel poverty means for each state in life (He says some positions may require certain trappings), but in general he says we need necessities but don't need superfluities.
"A superfluity ... is a thing that is needed neither for itself as an end nor as a means to get to something that is so needed. Food is superfluous when because of quality and/or quantity it is not needed for health. ... Pursuing a superfluity is pursuing a dead end. ... This is the advice given to Titus: we must give up everything that does not lead to God (Tit 2:12)." (P.104)
I think the best things about this book are all the anecdotes Father includes about the saints and how they viewed Gospel poverty, and Father's personal thoughts. For instance:
"He (St. Robert Bellarmine) had a fixed principle that it was better to be deceived a hundred times (by beggars) than miss one genuine case." (P.71)
"What are we to fear? Death? 'Life to me means Christ, and death is gain.' Exile? 'The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord.' The confiscation of our goods? 'We brought nothing into this world and we shall surely take nothing from it.' I have only contempt for the world's threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth." - St. John Chrysostom who was exiled (P.60)
And some of Father Dubay's personal thoughts:
"Our destiny is literally out of this world. ... Before this destiny all worldly glitter is dull ... nothing, absolutely nothing on the face of the earth compares with the advanced possession of God in deep prayer. ... Our sole end in life is immersion in ... God." (PP. 41, 92)
This book is not about reorganizing your stuff or having more "quality time" with the family. This is radical Gospel Poverty - to assert that the Gospels tell us that ALL Christians in ALL vocations are called to poverty. But not the dirty, malnourished, slums kind of poverty. No - it's about using only what you need - NEED, not want or think you gotta have - and sharing everything else. This book came at the right time in my life - seriously re-evaluating the amount of STUFF accumulated in life and how none of it matters from the perspective of eternity.
This book gives a very challenging way of doing that. It provides steps and helpful questions along the way to determine if the reader is living a life of virtuous poverty. Father Dubay goes in to great detail about what poverty is and is not and does not give an easy way to wiggle out of an obligation that every Christian is called to. Great read. Prayerfully consider this call to live out this beatitude.