About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“The scholar who lives only for his subject is but the fragment of a man; he lives in a shadow-world, mistaking means for ends.”
— Msgr. Ronald Knox (1888-1957)

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Poverty of Heart and Mind
published 18 May 2012 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

This Holy Thursday I had a privilege of meeting Brother Ben, of the Missionaries of Charity of Los Angeles at a Tridentine Mass celebrated a few hours before the Novus Ordo Mass. I was telling Brother Ben about my way of trying to get people to live more simply with the “parable” that if you saw in front of Wal-Mart a starving woman with a babe at her breast crying for lack of milk, wouldn’t you buy one T-shirt instead of four and give the rest to the Missionaries of Charity who actually feed the poorest of the poor and who we trust, unlike some charities with high over-head for administration.

He replied with these words: “Everybody is desperately poor but the rich can afford to hide it and, if they are unlucky, even from themselves.” (He added that we are all desperately poor in the sense of spiritual, emotional, intellectual poverty.)

Later, reading Letters of Spiritual Direction of C.S. Lewis edited by Paul Ford, I was impressed by Lewis’ humble self-revelations in his letters to admirers who might have thought he had “already arrived.” Even though on some points C.S. Lewis, the Anglican, differed from Roman Catholic teachings, the book if full of helpful insights.

So, we might ask ourselves today, how is the poverty, spiritual, emotional, or intellectual, that I am experiencing at this time in my life, actually a door to seeking enrichment?

When I asked this myself, I got a surprising answer. Living simply with a pension, social security, and small fees for part-time teaching I feel very rich. And I feel spiritually rich because of daily Mass and wonderful religious friends, but emotionally I am poor. Twins, like myself, like to be very, very close to others, and sometimes people openly reject me as coming on too intensely. (Catherine of Siena was a twin whose sibling died shortly after birth. Jesus became her twin, in a way, talking to her all day and night.) Yet, it is this very emotional neediness that plunges me into relationships that are deeper than many others have who are more self-protective.

So, I end with this prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for my type of poverty that opens me to the gift of intimate love from you and from so many dear, wonderful family members and friends.

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda Chervin by visiting RondaView. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website, rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.

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