Poverty of Spirit

by Johannes Baptist Metz

Paperback, 1998



Call number



Paulist Press (1998), Edition: Revised, 56 pages


An inclusive language version of the modern spiritual classic, an exquisitely beautiful meditation on the incarnation, on what it means to be fully human, and on finding the face of God hidden in our neighbors.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Othemts
his is a short, but profound book reflecting on the humanity of Christ incarnated and our own human condition. It's one of those books that I really ought to reread and meditate upon to do it justice. Nevertheless I can say that it is a work that is deeply challenging and examines the many forms of
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poverty that exist in humanity and must be embraced to follow the way of Christ.
Favorite Passages:
"The only image of God is the face of our brother, who is also the brother of God's Son, of God's own likeness (2 Cor. 4, 4; Col. 1, 15). Our human brother now becomes a "sacrament" of God's hidden presence among us, a mediator between God and man. Every authentic religious act is directed toward the concretness of God in our human brother and his world. There it finds it living fulfillment and its transcendent point of contact. Could man be taken more seriously than that? Is anything more anthropocentric than God's creative love?" - p. 35

"Every genuine human encounter must be inspired by poverty of spirit. We must forget ourselves in order to let the other person approach us. We must be able to open up to him, to let his distinctive personality unfold -- even though it often frightens or repels us. We often keep the other person down, and only see what we want to see; thus we never really encounter the mysterious secret of his being, only ourselves. Failing to risk the poverty of encounter, we indulge in a new form of self-assertion and pay a price for it: loneliness. Because we did not risk the poverty of openess (cf. Mt. 10, 39), our lives are not graced with the warm fullness of human existence. We are left with only a shadow of our real self." - p. 45
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Original language


Physical description

56 p.; 5 inches


0809137992 / 9780809137992
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