What does poverty of spirit mean? It is my awareness that I cannot save myself, that I am basically defenseless, that neither money nor power will spare me from suffering and death. . .Poverty of spirit is my awareness that I need God’s help and mercy more than I need anything else. Poverty of spirit is getting free of the rule of fear, fear being the great force that restrains us from acts of love. Being poor in spirit means letting go of the myth that the more I possess, the happier I’ll be. It is an outlook summed up in a French proverb: When you die you carry in your clutched hand only what you gave away. Poverty of spirit is letting go of self and of all that keeps you locked in yourself.