Variously described as ‘The Compendium of Christ’s Doctrines’ or ‘The Magna Carta of the Kingdom’ or ‘The Ruling Maxims of Jesus’ Kingdom’, THE BEATITUDES refer both to those words of blessing with which, according to both Matthew and Luke, Jesus began that great discourse which is known as the Sermon on the Mount and they describe the state of being (- the way of living) which is characterised by intimate union with God (see for example, Psalm 1:1: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked”; Psalm 2:12: “Now, O kings, understand, take warning, rulers of the earth; serve the Lord with awe and trembling, pay him your homage, lest he be angry and you perish … Blessed are they who put their trust in God.”)
Thus, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read, ‘God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him, and so to come to paradise. Beatitude makes us ‘partakers of the divine nature’ and of eternal life. (c.f. 2Pt 1:4; Jn 17:3) With beatitude, man enters into the glory of Christ and into the joy of the Trinitarian life. (CCC 1721)
The Catechism continues, ‘The beatitude ( – the blessedness) we are promised, confronts us with decisive moral choices. The beatitude invites us to purify our hearts from bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. The beatitude teach us that true happiness is not found in riches, or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement … but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love. (1723)
Lord, grant me the grace to purify my heart, to walk humbly in your presence, to love and adore you, and to know the power of your love operating in my life. Amen.
Fr Philip Sainter