What the beatitudes teach us PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 February 2017 12:09

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

THE quick answer to that question is that they convert what we usually consider as human disasters or clear disadvantages and inconveniences according to worldly standards into a source of joy, a means of our redemption, a path to heaven, narrow and difficult though it may be.

They expand our understanding of what would comprise as our true happiness by including those situations which we normally regard as unsavory and therefore to be avoided as much as possible and hated.

But, my friends, at these times, these situations are hardly unavoidable. In fact, they are inescapable, what with all the growing differences and conflicts we are having among ourselves nowadays. If we have to be realistic about our life here, we better take the beatitudes seriously.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are they who mourn, blessed are the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness or justice, those who are merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted, those who are insulted…There can hardly be any worse predicament than all these!

Yet Christ reassures us that it would just be fine, and in fact he promises us a great reward, if not now then certainly in the life hereafter. And he is not bluffing because he himself underwent all those disasters and yet he conquered everything with his resurrection. In short, he has proven the veracity of this teaching with his own experience.

We need to study well the content and spirit behind the beatitudes by looking closely at the example of Christ. There we will have the reassurance that all the suffering and sacrifices that we have to go through, and the effort that we have to make in this life would be all worth it.

And to be sure, we can live those beatitudes, because

Christ himself would give us all the necessary graces. We just have to train ourselves in the appropriate attitudes, skills and virtues.

We have to learn to be patient, which is an integral part of the virtue of fortitude that in the end can only be animated by genuine charity. We have to be ready when we are bombarded with worldly goods that can take us away from God, cool down our piety, and lead us to sin.

Or when we cannot help but mourn not only because of the death of someone but also because of some failure we commit or a misery we cannot shake off. Or when we get misunderstood and provoked in our daily exchanges of ideas and opinions with others. Or when we have to rein in our curiosity and raging hormones to keep our heart pure and in its proper orientation toward God.

Let’s always remember the beatitudes, and continually ask for the grace to believe and live them to the hilt. Christ’s promises cannot be denied. We have to strengthen our faith in his word. And start to live calmly, oozing with confidence and focused on what really matters in life!

The beatitudes should always be in our mind, heart and lips!