The Cure for Poverty

The Cure for Poverty

William Barclay pointed out, “We will never change men from the outside. New houses, new conditions, better material things only change the surface. It is the task of Christianity to make, not new things, but new men.” Many programs have tried using material things, productivity, accomplishment, and education to make someone realize their dignity, meaning, happiness, or fulfillment. Unfortunately, all of these approaches have failed to achieve even one of these ends.

The only approach remaining is Love. “God,” wrote Lacordaire, “has willed that no good should be done to man except by loving him, and that insensibility should be forever incapable either of giving him light, or inspiring him to virtue.”

When it is not clear how to apply love to a problem, it is useful to reflect on the words of Mother Teresa: “Jesus is the unwanted to be wanted. Jesus is the beggar to give him a smile. Jesus is the drunkard to listen to Him. Jesus is the drug addict to befriend Him. Jesus is the prostitute to remove from danger and befriend Her. Jesus is the prisoner to be visited. Jesus is the old to be served. To me: Jesus is my God.”

April 2005