The Beatitudes of the Saints

Posted by James Hahn on

Wednesday November 1st - Feast of All Saints

Matthew 5:1-12

The Beatitudes are simply amazing. Every time I pray through them there is something that catches my eye and my heart. The thing I noticed today was that throughout the discourse Jesus' address follows a "blessed are "they"' pattern. At the end it changes to "blessed are you."

Why the change? Am I not merciful? Poor in spirit? Meek? etc? Am I destined to be the only one who is persecuted? Too often have I read the Beatitudes in this light. Too often have I seen a division which is truly not there. Jesus is not speaking of a group in the "poor in spirit" category. He is not categorizing different folk forever alienating them from one another. He is not saying that those who mourn will be comforted but they might as well forget about inheriting the earth because that belongs to the meek.

No, the Beatitudes are the marks or signs of sancitity. Those who hold these qualities are those who will be rewarded with the blessings. This is the check list of the saints. I've never read about the life of a saint who possessed 95% of these qualities. All of the saints were poor in spirit, mourning, meek, desiring righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and were persecuted for righteousness sake. Blessed were they in all those things. Some were so blessed with those qualities that the final blessing of Our Lord was placed upon them in the form of martyrdom.

FROM THE SAINTS - "Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.
Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory." -
Saint Bernard of Clarivaux

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