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Saturday, September 27, 2008



1716 The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching….The Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven.
1723 The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement - however beneficial it may be - such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love:
All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respectability. . . . It is a homage resulting from a profound faith . . . that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second. . . . Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world - it may be called "newspaper fame" - has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration. CARDINAL NEWMAN.
1724 The Decalogue (Ten Commandments), the Sermon on the Mount, and the apostolic catechesis describe for us the paths that lead to the Kingdom of heaven.
POOR in Spirit …I recognize my need for God. My relationship with God depends on His Grace.

MOURN….I feel the pain that sin, including my own, causes. I can let others know I am hurting without embarrassment. I can weep like Jesus did.

MEEK… I don’t have to be the strong one who is always in control. I can be tender and gentle. I have given my life over to God and I don’t always have to triumph. But with my strong faith, I can endure the evils and disappointments of this world.

SPIRITUAL HUNGER..I want to know God and his will more than anything –including my own pleasure, status or success. Righteousness is JUSTICE.

MERCIFUL I can share the feelings of those who are hurting, lonely or distressed and walk alongside them in their pain. God has given me sensitivity for the suffering of others and a compassion to help them.

PURE IN HEART I a completely honest with God and others. I don’t have to put on a false front or pretend to be something I am not. My life is marked with openness and integrity. My conscience is clear. I know the difference between right and wrong.

PEACEMAKER I work hard to keep channels of communication open with others. Rather than let anger and conflict to fester, I deal with them constructively. I help those around me work out their differences without hurting one another. I do my best not to insult or taunt others so as to preserve peace and friendship among all men and between God and man.

PERSECUTION I know for whom and what I am living. And for this I am willing to suffer and if need be stand alone for what is right. I can take criticism without reacting defensively or feeling self-pity. Even if I am repaid with ingratitude and scorn a new blessing will be mine: the Kingdom of God.
Sustained by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we tread them, step by step, by everyday acts. By the working of the Word of Christ, we slowly bear fruit in the Church to the glory of God.

The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching. They take up the promises made to the chosen people since Abraham.

The Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward is great in heaven.


The Latin:
Beáti páuperes spíritu : quóniam ipsórum est regnum cælórum.
Beáti mites : quóniam ipsi possidébunt terram.
Beáti qui lugent : quóniam ipsi consolabúntur.
Beáti qui esúriunt et sítiunt justítiam: quóniam ipsi saturabúntur.
Beáti misericórdes : quóniam ipsi misericórdiam consequéntur.
Beáti mundo corde : quóniam ipsi Deum vidébunt.
Beáti pacífici : quóniam fílii Dei vocabúntur.
Beáti qui persecutiónem patiúntur propter justítiam : quóniam ipsórum est regnum cælórum.
Beáti estis cum maledíxerint vobis, et persecúti vos fúerint, et díxerint omne malum advérsum vos mentiéntes, propter me: gaudéte, et exsultáte, quóniam merces vestra copiósa est in cælis.

St. Augustine’s Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount is very interesting.
3. What, then, does He say? Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We read in Scripture concerning the striving after temporal things, All is vanity and presumption of spirit; but presumption of spirit means audacity and pride: usually also the proud are said to have great spirits; and rightly, inasmuch as the wind also is called spirit. And hence it is written, Fire, hail, snow, ice, spirit of tempest. But, indeed, who does not know that the proud are spoken of as puffed up, as if swelled out with wind? And hence also that expression of the apostle, Knowledge puffs up, but charity edifies. And the poor in spirit are rightly understood here, as meaning the humble and God-fearing, i.e. those who have not the spirit which puffs up. Nor ought blessedness to begin at any other point whatever, if indeed it is to attain unto the highest wisdom; but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; for, on the other hand also, pride is entitled the beginning of all sin. Let the proud, therefore, seek after and love the kingdoms of the earth; but blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4. Blessed are the meek, for they shall by inheritance possess the earth: that earth, I suppose, of which it is said in the Psalm, You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. For it signifies a certain firmness and stability of the perpetual inheritance, where the soul, by means of a good disposition, rests, as it were, in its own place, just as the body rests on the earth, and is nourished from it with its own food, as the body from the earth. This is the very rest and life of the saints. Then, the meek are those who yield to acts of wickedness, and do not resist evil, but overcome evil with good. Let those, then, who are not meek quarrel and fight for earthly and temporal things; but blessed are the meek, for they shall by inheritance possess the earth, from which they cannot be driven out.
5. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Mourning is sorrow arising from the loss of things held dear; but those who are converted to God lose those things which they were accustomed to embrace as dear in this world: for they do not rejoice in those things in which they formerly rejoiced; and until the love of eternal things be in them, they are wounded by some measure of grief. Therefore they will be comforted by the Holy Spirit, who on this account chiefly is called the Paraclete, i.e. the Comforter, in order that, while losing the temporal joy, they may enjoy to the full that which is eternal.
6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Now He calls those parties, lovers of a true and indestructible good. They will therefore be filled with that food of which the Lord Himself says, My meat is to do the will of my Father, which is righteousness; and with that water, of which whosoever drinks, as he also says, it shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.
7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. He says that they are blessed who relieve the miserable, for it is paid back to them in such a way that they are freed from misery.
8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. How foolish, therefore, are those who seek God with these outward eyes, since He is seen with the heart! as it is written elsewhere, And in singleness of heart seek Him. For that is a pure heart which is a single heart: and just as this light cannot be seen, except with pure eyes; so neither is God seen, unless that is pure by which He can be seen.
9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. It is the perfection of peace, where nothing offers opposition; and the children of God are peacemakers, because nothing resists God, and surely children ought to have the likeness of their father. Now, they are peacemakers in themselves who, by bringing in order all the motions of their soul, and subjecting them to reason— i.e. to the mind and spirit— and by having their carnal lusts thoroughly subdued, become a kingdom of God: in which all things are so arranged, that that which is chief and pre-eminent in man rules without resistance over the other elements, which are common to us with the beasts; and that very element which is pre-eminent in man, i.e. mind and reason, is brought under subjection to something better still, which is the truth itself, the only-begotten Son of God. For a man is not able to rule over things which are inferior, unless he subjects himself to what is superior. And this is the peace which is given on earth to men of goodwill; this the life of the fully developed and perfect wise man. From a kingdom of this sort brought to a condition of thorough peace and order, the prince of this world is cast out, who rules where there is perversity and disorder. When this peace has been inwardly established and confirmed, whatever persecutions he who has been cast out shall stir up from without, he only increases the glory which is according to God; being unable to shake anything in that edifice, but by the failure of his machinations making it to be known with how great strength it has been built from within outwardly. Hence there follows: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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