Lady Poverty was an idea of our father Francis (Assisi not Buenos Aires). You accept the worst thing that can come your way as if it is the friendly, playful intervention of your ideal love. Lady Poverty in action is called Perfect Joy: you come home, no one recognises you, they sweep you off the doorstep, you knock again and ask for food - they beat you up and throw you out in the snow a long way from anywhere…. Now this is what the Americans call The Crunch. Do you sit in the snow hurling blasphemies at your reluctant hosts and howling at what has been done to you? No. You get up dust each other down, laugh till you cry and trudge along to the next door, acknowledging that you deserve it, generally, and limp on without a dint in your common sense and self-respect. Lady Poverty is a parable of Redemption - you cannot save yourself. It is God who saves.
If you know, by experience, that you can do this please come and join us! Expertise in this area requires constant practice and we do get it.
So - this is the real thing - a big bill comes in for the current stage of rebuilding at Notts. We offer them a cheque - they say they are having an audit - can we pay online? All our funds to adjust Marian House are a friendly loan. Can you feel Lady Poverty peering over our shoulder? The funds set out from Jerusalem to Jericho on the net - and they disappear under the radar. If it had been a smaller sum, I suppose we might have howled - but it was so large an amount, that the only thing to do was to pick ourselves up in the snow, dust ourselves down and trust in the Lord.
A gentle, retired businessman appeared at the door. He had cooked us cauliflower cheese for dinner and baked two loaves of bread for us. The Portress, had to ask him who he was. He gave her an envelope. “To pay your bill,” he murmured. “We’ll pay you back!” the Portress said, “No hurry,” he replied.