The Eight Beatitudes


The Sermon on the Mount - by ROSSELLI, Cosimo - from Cappella Sistina, Vatican

 

The Eight Conditions required constitute the Fundamental Law of the Kingdom, the very pith and marrow of Christian Perfection. The Pious, whose Sentiments and Desires, whose Works and Sufferings are held up before us, shall be Blessed and Happy by their share in the Messianic Kingdom, here and hereafter.

 

Happiness for the Soul
The Eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12)

by Father Joseph J. Kleppner, S.T.L., PhD

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God Implanted in us a desire for Happiness, Eternal Happiness. In Truth, the Things of this World - Money, Athletic or Scholarly Achievement, Fame, Possessions - can never Satisfy the hungry Heart we all possess. Only God, God's Goodness and Love, can quench our thirst for Happiness. Jesus teaches us what we have to do right now to develop the kind of Attitudes that lead to Happiness, even in this life. Think of the Beatitudes as Jesus taught us as Attitudes for Happiness. They will require us to change our lives. But the payoff? Happiness.

 

"Blessed are the Poor in Spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (verse 3)

Spiritual Poverty recognizes that all we have and all we are is a Total Gift from God. We are Totally Dependent on God, a Good and Loving God, Who is in charge of the Universe and of Our Lives. We should not Horde what we have been given as Gifts. Rather, we should use our Talents, Intelligence, Possessions, and the like to Help others.

 

"Blessed are they who Mourn,
for they will be Comforted" (verse 4)

Those who Mourn know how little they are without God. In their Sorrow, they will be Comforted. But their Sorrow helps them see the many around them who are much worse off - the Poor, the Abused, the Hungry, the Discriminated Against, the Victims of Crime and War and Disease and Prejudice. Their Sorrow can move them to lend a helping-hand to those who Suffer and be Jesus' Instrument of Comfort to them.

 

"Blessed are the Meek,
for they will inherit the Land" (verse 5)

The "Meek" are Gentle People, not Pushy, Self-Centered, or Controlling. In Humility, they treat others with utmost Respect, Understanding, and Compassion. They do not Gripe when Hurting or when they are Ridiculed for their Beliefs. Rather, they identify with the Lord Who Suffered Wrongs Patiently and with Forgiveness in His Heart. They are Good Stewards of God's Good Earth, treating Creation with Joyful and Gentle Gratitude. They will inherit the Earth.

 

"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for Righteousness,
for they will be Satisfied" (verse 6)

Jesus' Followers must have High Ideals and Goals and not be satisfied with Mediocrity. The Highest Ideal of all is to desire above all else to put God's Righteous Will into action and then work unceasingly with His Help to grow in Holiness, Justice, and Truth. Part of striving to do God's Will is to realize that God teaches that we Prove our Love for Him by taking care of each other, as Mother Theresa of Calcutta put it, "by doing something beautiful for God".

 

Blessed are the Merciful,
for they will be shown Mercy" (verse 7)

God has shown us Profound Compassion by Loving us into existence, by Forgiving our Sins, by giving us the Lord Jesus to Die so that we might Live. As Disciples of Jesus we must Forgive others, without strings attached, even our Enemies. We must stop holding Grudges. We must stop harping on the Faults of those who have Hurt us. We must genuinely Care for others by showing True Compassion, as Jesus did when He Died on the Cross for everyone, even the person standing next to us who may have Hurt us. If we give Mercy, God will be sure to be Merciful to us as well.

 

"Blessed are the Clean of Heart,
for they will see God" (verse 8)

Those who are Clean of Heart are Single-Hearted, undivided in their Loyalties, without Fakery or Pretense. They put on the Mind and Heart of God, looking on others with the eyes of Jesus, accepting them as Brothers and Sisters, persons of incomparable Inner Beauty and Worth. The Pure of Heart know what is really important - closeness to the Lord Who alone can satisfy their Inner Longings for Love and Understanding. The Clean of Heart will not allow anything - Wealth, Fame, various Pastimes, Job, Academic Achievement, the Opinions of Others - sway them from what is really important, seeing God in others and responding to them as another Christ, an Alter Christus.

 

"Blessed are the Peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God" (verse 9)

Since we are all God's children, it is stupid to Fight and Quarrel and cause Dissension. This only tears-down the Human Family. Rather, we are called to side with the Prince of Peace, to work to settle Disputes, to root out Violence, to Forgive and show Compassion. We are to be those who Unite, not those who Divide; those who Cooperate, not those who Compete; those who Build Bridges, not those who Erect Walls. The Risen Lord says, "Peace be with you" (John 20:19). His Followers have the same message.

 

"Blessed are they who are Persecuted for the sake of Righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (verse 10)

The Quaker founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, once said, "No Cross, no Crown". To stand up for what is right, especially in the face of Mockery, Rejection, and Verbal and even Physical Abuse, is to stand with Jesus Christ and help Him carry His Cross. Jesus never Promised us a Rose Garden; He did Promise us Eternal Happiness United to the Blessed Trinity. At times we might have to Pay the Price of our Convictions, even to the point of Paying with our lives. But for Christians, the Cross is not a Sign of Defeat. It is the ultimate Sign of Victory, of life with Our Lord and Savior Jesus. To be willing to stand with Him guarantees that He will never abandon us.

 

No Pain . . . . . . No Gain
No
Guts . . . . . . No Glory
No
Cross . . . . . No Crown

 

Audio Clips by Father Andrew Apostoli
on the Eight Beatitudes

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