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“But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” —Luke 19:8

Magnificence enables us to do great things for God, giving generously of our riches, talents, and time. We know from the words of Christ that true happiness is found in recognizing God as the source of our gifts and by storing up treasures in heaven. Zacchaeus opened his heart to Jesus— he no longer needed riches to ensure his happiness. He freely gave away half of his possessions to the poor. The magnificent person returns to God the gifts He has given by pouring them out in service.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” —Matthew 5:3

This beatitude corresponds with the virtue of magnificence. To be “poor in spirit” does not necessarily mean being poor in material things; it is an inner attitude of trust in God’s loving care, trusting in Him to provide for all His children and us. Poverty of spirit leads us to always recognize our dependence on God’s grace and mercy—but especially in times of physical and spiritual suffering, for in our weakness, we are made strong and learn to do great things for God.