John D. Jones begins by relating the Orthodox Christian engagement with poverty to the central aim of participation in the life of the Holy Trinity- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He then addresses “stigmatization.”
Here is a definition of this word in it’s verb form, “stigmatize:”
1. regard as worthy of disgrace
2. mark with stigmata
He then proceeds to address his consideration of the subject in light of St. Gregory the Theologian’s oration “On Love of the Poor.” Expanding his analysis to the self-stigmatization that can happen to a poor person, and to the resulting marginalization by both individuals and societal social structures, he goes on to speak of response. Here are the three central responses in summary form: 1. to Protest; 2. to appeal to Christ’s call to see His very Person in those who are counted “the least of these;” 3. Direct engagement with people who are stigmatized- getting to know them and building relationships with them. In addition to quoting St. Gregory the Theologian, he begins and ends his essays with quotes from another Holy Hierarch, St. John Chrysostom, that great champion of the poor. He quotes many others as well, and provides very helpful footnotes. Thank you, Dr. Jones!