What does the blessed poor in Orthodoxy mean
The service in the church is in the Old Slavonic language, which is not completely understood by our contemporaries. Also in church use there are many words and expressions that seem to be understandable, but not completely. Who are the blessed poor in spirit?
We remember the blissful films about the Tsarist era, but how can this relate to the modern era? Can no one fall into the kingdom of God if he does not become blissful? This question very much disturbed me as a churchly Christian, and I decided to learn more about the meaning of this expression.
It turns out that we are talking about Christian humility and overcoming pride. There is no need to become poor and needy, you just need to subdue pride.
In Christianity, humility is the opposite of pride — a terrible sin leading to death. It is because of pride that the once bright angel Lucifer was cast down from heaven and called fallen.
Fathers of the church teach that without humility one can forget about Christianity, for the spiritual life begins only with overcoming pride.
Humility is the highest virtue before God.
A humble person does not notice the mote in the eye of his neighbor, because he knows about his logs. A humble person does not reproach anyone but himself. A humble person does not judge or condemn his neighbor, since he fights against his sins and temptations.
He knows how weak human nature is, so he does it that way.
Jesus preached humility and non-judgment, because he understood the sinful nature of man from within. When the harlot was brought to Jesus, he said the following words:
Humility is the basis of Christian morality and religion, without which it is impossible to be a Christian. It is impossible because a person leads a wrong spiritual life and cannot receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Faith without works is dead — this is the instruction given by the apostles to their first disciples.
Therefore, faith without spiritual fruits leads to nothing.
Many misunderstand Christian humility and compare it with some desperate situation and pessimism. This is also a misinterpretation, since humility implies trusting in God’s mercy and grace.
A man realizes that he is in the hand of God, and that his life is completely subordinate to the will of God. Therefore, he humbles himself and trusts his Heavenly Father in everything.
He does not scream or grumble when trouble comes, but remains in prayers and thanksgiving.
Why do Christians meekly accept the blows of fate? Because they understand that God’s mercy has provided the best for them. Everyone knows about the proverb «There would be no happiness, but misfortune helped.»
This is very wisely noted by our ancestors, who left us the wisdom of life in the heritage. An observant person may notice that very often adverse events lead to an unexpectedly positive result.
Therefore, to grumble and reproach God for their troubles is unwise.
Commandments of bliss
The first commandment of bliss implies accepting your sinful nature as a given, and humility with it. But humility should not condone sin, just a person should be aware of his weak nature and not be proud of anything in front of others.
The fall of man began with pride, when the devil promised Adam and Eve to become «like gods.» Humility returns everything to normal and gives an awareness of its insignificance and complete helplessness before God.
Spiritual poverty has nothing to do with a material disadvantage, since it is a question of spiritual things. Spiritual poverty implies an appropriate system of thoughts, in which pride and exaltation are excluded.
Spiritual poverty is a recognition of the impossibility of becoming righteous by our own efforts. If man were able to correct his sinful nature on his own, the sacrifice of Christ would lose all meaning. A Christian must acknowledge his spiritual imperfection and accept Christ’s sacrifice as a gift.
Only by joining with Christ by faith can we become holy and righteous. A person cannot reach such spiritual heights on his own.
What does a beggar in the world dream of? All his thoughts are directed to someone give him a piece of bread to maintain his spirit.
Spiritual poverty is an extreme need for God’s help to find grace and salvation. The man says to himself: “I pass, I can’t, I’m not able, I need help.”
This is the correct spiritual state that leads to salvation.
A beggar in the world understands that he cannot earn a living, and hopes for the grace of the giver. The poor in spirit also understand that they are not worthy of grace, so they only hope for the mercy of God. The poor in spirit do not seek to earn a reward from God, but with humility awaiting mercy.
They give charity not because the beggar earned it, but simply because of the kindness of the heart. At the same time, the beggar understands that he will not be able to thank the giver in any way.
It is this kind of poverty that becomes the condition for receiving God’s grace and salvation. From the person required only thanks for the generous gift and nothing more. The beggar understands that nobody needs him.
So the Christian understands that he is not needed by Christ, but Christ is necessary for him. If a person realizes this to the end, he will be able to find salvation.
Spiritual poverty completely repels pride, therefore it is a condition for receiving God’s grace and the gratuitous gift of salvation.
Humility and Inferiority Complex
Opponents of Christianity are sometimes called humility as a manifestation of an inferiority complex. Is it so? The inferiority complex and Christian humility have different spiritual roots.
An inferiority complex develops when a person is ashamed of other people for their awkwardness or inability to do something right. For example, full girls do not fit the world standard of beauty, therefore they complex.
Christian humility comes from the fact that a person realizes the sinfulness of his nature and the impossibility of correcting it by his own efforts. No matter how he tries to live according to the gospel, some sin will be revealed or unworthy thoughts come to mind.
Then the Christian begins to pray hard and repent, which brings him closer to the Lord.
An example of true humility was Jesus Christ, who humbled his soul to the Cross.
Only one who has realized the need for the help of Jesus Christ in his salvation can become a Christian. While a person relies on his own strength, he is full of pride and vanity.
Only when he humbles his pride and is pledged in Christ will he receive eternal soul salvation and grace. Therefore, it is said in the first commandment of bliss that only the poor in spirit (humble) are worthy of the Kingdom of God. A beggar is a needy, dependent, dependent.
God wants us to realize our spiritual poverty — the need for Christ, dependence on him, and complete lack of independence in our vain efforts.
Sincere repentance of sins brings a person closer to God, and a sense of his own infallibility — postpones. God repentant sinner is nicer than self-righteous man.
Therefore, church fathers always call for repentance, for it leads to grace. “God, have mercy on me a sinner” — these are the most important words of a Christian.
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