Single Catholics, What Does It Mean To Be Poor In Spirit?


“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:3).”

To be a realist is to know who you are.  Who you are is quite wonderful, though you may have a few limitations and imperfections.

When you reach out to others you become yourself. Reaching out to God you come to know who you are and how dependent you are on God. This is what it means to be poor in spirit: knowing that, “If not for God, I couldn’t do much.”

Getting to know other people, we become rich because we discover our gifts and all that we have to offer. We need others to help us realize these gifts and to use these treasures, instead of hoarding them!

Think about examples from your own life.  Maybe, imagine a company CEO, the president of the United States or even a school principal. They could not possibly do their jobs by themselves and must have all sorts of advisors to be able to function in their jobs.

So, what does this mean for single Catholics who feel called to be coupled?

Being real about who you are and your utter dependence on God frees you to let go and to summon the nerve to find the people that God has already placed in your midst, but you have been unable to see. You also will discover the courage to reveal to others the wonderful person you are who is made in God’s image and likeness, and that you can’t do it alone.

Our days can be quite stressful and cluttered. It’s good to simply take time in solitude to offer a simple prayer to ask God for help:

Lord, show me this day what I need to follow you. Give me what I need to follow you and to be myself.

It may take some time for you to hear an answer, but if you wait long enough and are patient it will come.

Religion is about discovering guidance and presence. One of the marvelous gifts of the Catholic-Christian religion is the myriad paths and rituals that help you encounter this foundation, and it all begins with hearing, “I am gifted. I am not perfect.” You are poor in spirit and then become rich.

Lord, open my arms to God and others. In community I find my strength and in God I find my needs. To be poor in spirit means to trust Jesus.

Have you had the experience of sitting down to watch TV and flipping through 50 channels and not finding something to watch? You’re looking for something to distract you or fill your mind. Could you imagine instead reaching for your Bible and reading chapters 14 and 15 in the Gospel of John? Here you will find beautiful descriptions of God’s promise to us.

I will be with you always.

I love you so much I can’t imagine being without you.

If we have those promises we don’t have to be afraid. We don’t have to worry that we’ll be alone or that we won’t find someone to share life with.  Our hands are stretched out and we don’t worry.

God did not promise difficult things wouldn’t happen, but did promise that we’d get through it – the looking, loneliness, break-ups, separations and divorce. The poor in spirit can let go because they know they are in the embrace of God. Being poor in spirit will help us to find who we are meant to be, to know that we are loved and to be able to give that person away.

God supplies to us what we need and the people we need. In return, we have to be real, let go and listen.



  1. Helen-407474 February 10, 2011 Reply

    Good reminder…and beautifully written article.

  2. Maria-382240 February 3, 2011 Reply

    Great article.. thanks.

  3. Larry-670461 February 3, 2011 Reply

    Good article/blog entry. I agree. We need to do a better job of listening.

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