"Remember the words of John Chrysostom, who teaches us that it is not the man who has nothing that is poor, but the man who wants to have that which he has not got. One can have nothing and not be poor: one can be rich from the point of view of everyone who looks at our lives, and feel oneself to be a wretched pauper. We are rich only, then, when we absorb everything given to us in life as God's gift and the richness of God's love.

"There is a story quoted by Martin Buber that tells how in the eighteenth century there lived a rabbi in Poland. He lived in extreme, desperate poverty, and every day he gave thanks to God for all his generous gifts. Once somebody asked, 'How can you thank God day after day, when you know, and know for sure, know in your flesh and in your soul, that he has not given you anything — how can you lie in prayer?' The rabbi looked at him smiling and said, 'You do not understand the crux of the matter! God looked at my soul and he saw that in order that I should grow to my full stature, I need poverty, hunger, cold, and abandonment; and in this way he enriched me infinitely.'

"This is a marvelous story, because we see in it a man who is able to believe God and love him, and to understand God's wisdom through love, which is incomprehensible to the mind of the flesh. We see how this man in his utter wretchedness was rich — in a certain sense, already in the Kingdom of God."