Rich in spirit, rich in fact:
This is the rich person who is very much attached to their wealth, and places the preservation of their wealth as their top priority. And as so many of you picked up on in the Peter Schiff interview below, this is Mr. Schiffs failing. If you scroll down and fast-forward the video to the 15:43 mark, here is the exchange that utterly exemplifies this condition:
Schiff: Let me ask you, your call for a strike, what exactly does that entail? If people wanted to follow what youre saying, how would we have a strike? What would people do?
Ann: Close all of your securities accounts, bring all of your money home and stop trading all markets: futures, stocks, everything. Man up, act like youve got a pair and shut it down.
Schiff: Well, that would put me out of business. I mean, if all of my customers would close down their . . . .
And there you have it. Peter Schiff, like almost everyone else in our culture, cant fully acknowledge the objective reality of what is happening, and thus can not respond in a fully virtuous way because he is, first and foremost, attached to his wealth and simply can not bring himself to push his wealth all-in in service to justice and truth. If we take him at his word in the video clip above, he will not tell his clients that they are at risk, recommend that they liquidate, or shut down his firm because he is attached to and has defined himself by his firm and the wealth that it generates for him.
Now please understand the distinction here: Mr. Schiffs firm and the wealth it has amassed Mr. Schiff is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself no more so than my firm and the wealth that it generated for me over the years was bad. Not only are these things not necessarily bad, they actually have the potential to be good! What IS bad is the inordinate ATTACHMENT and unwillingness to LAY DOWN that good thing in service to a GREATER GOOD, which in this case is justice and truth. I was willing to lay my good thing down because I understood the First Beatitude and the promise of Christ that in laying down my good thing I might later inherit a far better thing, namely a wee little corner of the Kingdom of Heaven. As a trained arbitrageur, I recognize a good swap when I see it. Wink.
This is what Christ meant when He said, And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And when they had heard this, the disciples wondered very much, saying: Who then can be saved? And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19: 24-27
Our Lord isnt saying that the rich are intrinsically evil purely because they are rich. That is what the Marxists want you to believe. He is saying that it is EXTREMELY difficult for wealthy people to maintain DETACHMENT from their wealth, and the richer people become, the more attached they tend to be to their wealth. But He goes on to say that there is hope! All things are possible through Him! Lets all pray that Peter Schiff, and all wealthy people of good will, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are able to detach themselves from their wealth and shove that camel through that needle, because IT CAN BE DONE.
Poor in spirit, rich in fact:
Very simply, this is a person who is at any level of financial comfort above poor who is willing to push their wealth all-in if that is what is required to follow Christ fully. (The truly blessed then learn that The Van Down By The River not only isn’t so bad, it can be the best thing ever. But that requires a huge leap of faith. Trust me, I know.)
And that, ladies and gents, is how Peter Schiff, with an assist by the Holy Spirit, taught you all about the First Beatitude. The Lord truly does move and work in mysterious ways.
(I think maybe Mr. Schiff is the guy in the lower-left with his head down in his hand. “Oh, what He’s saying is HAAAAARD.”)