There is probably no more misunderstood passage in the Sermon on the Mount than “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). We all have known or know those who are “poor spirited” and blessed usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, when really considering this passage for the first time it is difficult not to think of those times when we have felt poor spirited; somewhat perplexing to the notion that if this is “blessed”, what is heaven really like? The “poor in spirit” Jesus refers too has nothing to do with being poor spirited. Being poor in spirit means we have let go of our preconceptions and self will. There is a prayer known as the set-aside or lay-aside prayer that speaks to this state of consciousness. There are a number of variations, this is one of the simplest forms: Dear God, please help me to set aside everything I think I know about you and this world, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. Please help me to see your Truth, Amen. Surrendering to win, setting aside our preconceived ideas and sacred cows. If we can achieve this raised state of consciousness, remaining open minded and willing to learn, to change and honestly address our defects as well as our assets of character in their proper light, we would truly be “poor in spirit” and the kingdom of heaven ours.
September 7, 2013