Please excuse my little 10 day hiatus. A combination of my annual Winter cold and a bit of a reality check with my schedule. This pace with these teachings from Fr. Dubay’s book has led me to see that reflecting on the simple life and spiritual freedom will not only be a part of our preparation for Lent, but we will continue this discussion through Lent as well. I pray you, Mary’s Anawim, are enjoying this series of epiphanies as much as I am.
Recall that we were in the midst of unfolding Fr. Dubay’s five root (or primary) criteria for openness to Gospel truth. This fourth root criterion simply asks us to live in the honest world of what actually is, rather than the contrived world of rationalizations (spinning truth) which is so widespread in an age dominated by the dictatorship of relativism. Fr. Dubay relates Christ’s very straightforward, no-nonsense criterion: “From their fruits you will know them” (Mt. 7:20).
“This criterion is itself revealed. The authenticity or inauthenticity of a given concept of poverty can be seen from the consequences that follow in those who live according to it. For example, if one says that Gospel poverty does not imply a sparing-sharing use of material goods but rather refers to our being available to others, the usual consequences show clearly enough that the concept is merely a rationalization, a cover for living a comfortable life … their definition leads to a diminution of credibility in apostolate. And it does not bring about the inner detachment which is a condition of being a disciple of Jesus (Lk 14:33). It fires no one to undertake heroic enterprises for the kingdom. It implies little or no leadership in sharing with the destitute of the world. From its fruits we know it to be empty of real significance as an evangelical counsel” (p. 33, HAYP).