Friday, November 09, 2007

The Beatitudes...

THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mt. 5:3-10.

Our Lord Jesus Christ left us with alot of words to live by, but few are quite so beautiful, I think, as the Eight Beatitudes.
To be poor in spirit, to have that innocence of the ways of the world ~ never coveting, always satisfied with one's lot, never causing strife or jealousy in anyone else ~ this is a wonderful, spirit-filled way to be. To have one's eye on Heaven and to live one's entire life in preparation of that experience...now that is what it must be to be a true child of God!
To have that love for another person, and to lose that person to serious illness or injury, or even death itself ~ and to trust in God's infinite goodness that all will be well in the end ~ what a beautiful way to live the Virtue of Hope! What an exquisite reward must await anyone who knows the value of suffering in this world, only to offer it all up, expecting nothing in return but the Promise of Our Lord and His eternal life!
To always put oneself last, after even the worst of one's own enemies...and to not resent it...following the example of Jesus on the Cross, even though He was the Master of those who murdered Him ~ talk about trusting in Him! Following Him and taking up one's cross to join in His Sacrifice, even if it means to die for love of Him ~ no wonder the Martyrs merit a crown of glory in Heaven!
To seek to alleviate the suffering of others, to dedicate one's entire life to the good of souls, and to filling the corporal needs of those souls...feeding the hungry, educating the ignorant, etc. ...this is a real work of Charity. When justice is not served, when wrong runs amok ~ both here or abroad ~ it is the duty of every Christian, whether Catholic or not, to right the wrong...and I daresay that on the Last Day, when Jesus returns to judge us all, I am sure He will reward those who worked to serve His Justice here in this life!
To forgive a wrong committed against us ~ that is a hard thing to do ~ and it is ongoing. Someone once said that forgiveness is not a single act, but a continuous process...and he was right! To hold a grudge against anyone is a hateful thing, full of Satan and his lies; but to forgive a wrong and to never 'go there' again ~ this is the true spirit of Christ. If He was able to forgive us for all that we have done and continue to do, I say we must try to overlook anything anyone else does to us! How much worse could it possibly be? ...not even close...
When Jesus, as an Infant, promised the innocence of childhood to anyone who recites and carries His Chaplet, one of the greatest benefits was the granting of a purity of heart to anyone so devoted. God works for us through His children, the most innocent and pure of all His creatures. They are most pleasing, and with good reason ~ their hearts are unstained with years of mortal sin, they see His Light in all that surrounds them ~ and He is pleased to grant them His peace and protection. To have such a pure heart is to be truly blessed!
To have no rancor against a fellow child of God, for whatever reason, or to love the sinner and hate the sin, is what Christian 'love' is all about ~ 'They will know one another by their love...' ~ and when one member of the Body of Christ is in turmoil, we all suffer. To make peace between two people who are at odds with one another (say, like St. Rita of Cascia, or in imitation of her) is to bring that Light of God to all with whom we come into contact...and God will reward us a thousandfold for being His peacemakers!
And, lastly, to have the love of the Martyrs ~ to give up one's very life ~ for the love of God...what a wonderful testament to the following of Christ's words in the Gospel!!! Since not everyone is chosen to give up his or her life in this way, there is a way to be a 'dry Martyr' instead...and many have been so blessed. Our Blessed Lady, Herself, is a Dry Martyr ~ which is why She merits the title 'Queen of the Martyrs' ~ since She was the first and most perfect one of all.
But there is another way that one can give up one's life that doesn't necessarily mean in a bloody way...and that is to follow the Will of God, no matter where it may lead, or what it may cost. To do what is right, for example, to have more children than is the custom and not to use birth control, is another way to show a commitment to righteousness...and to never listen to what the naysayers may say will bring rewards too numerous to mention!
This, and all of the Beatitudes, are what I consider to be one of the most beautiful examples of God's love for His children ~ and I am most grateful to Our Lord for putting it in such an easy-to-understand language. To have spelled it out in this way was just one more example of His Mercy to His humble servants...and until the day I die, I will bless Him for His kindness!

2 comments:

Andrea said...

Jenn,

Great post! We have been studying the Beatitudes in my Familia. I'm going to link to you! =)

~~JennD.'J.M.J.'~* said...

hi Andrea! :)
Thank-you very much! I'm glad you like what I wrote...it makes it that much more fun to keep doing it ~ ;)
God bless...J.