"...a life lived in Christ's Spirit, the spirit of the Beatitudes, is "blessed", and that only the person who becomes a "man or woman of the Beatitudes" can succeed in communicating love and peace to others."
Pope Saint John Paul II - May 20, 1990
Blessed are the poor in spirit
for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven
When you are hurting and everything you have tried has only brought temporary relief, if any at all, then you are knocking on the door or being poor in spirit. If you find yourself burnt out or depressed or lonely or confronting serious illness, it could well be that your suffering is the poor in spirit alluded to in this first Beatitude. Hard to imagine the blessing in this!
Often brought about by means beyond our control, we are being forced to consider letting go of what we previously thought was important. In that place, our cup of consciousness that was full of what we thought was valuable, is being emptied. Therein is lies the blessing.
Blessed are those who mourn
for they shall be comforted
Grieving is the internal experience of suffering that accompanies loss. Until we can externalise our grief, we cannot move forward. Mourning is the external manifestation of grief. It’s where the internal suffering is given an external expression. This could take the form of tears, anger, frustration, journaling, art, movement, or even talking with a friend.
In grief you embody your suffering, or avoid it through distractions like addictions. When you mourn you become the observer of your grief. The observer is the place of comfort as it is disassociated from the suffering.
Blessed are the meek
for they shall inherit the earth
Meekness and humility are all about emptying yourself of ego, pride, attachments and agendas. Saint Augustine said, “Empty yourself so that you may be filled.” In a similar vein, fourteenth-century German Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart observed, “No cask can hold two different kinds of drink. If it is to contain wine, then they must of necessity pour the water out; the cask must become empty and free. Therefore, if you are to receive God’s joy and God, you are obliged to put out created things”.
Being poor in spirit and mourning, the first two Beatitudes, are the precursors to meekness and humility, the state of having ‘inherited the earth’. Here the cask is emptied, capable of being filled with new wine. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled
Though our ability to be teachable by being open to intuition, inspiration, and imagination, we can hear the ‘Still Small Voice’, the Holy Spirit of Wisdom. It’s here that we learn what it means to live in Christ Consciousness, referred to in this Beatitude as righteousness. Hunger and thirst alludes to developing insatiability for adopting ‘righteousness’ as a way of life.
This is the point where you decide to be fully committed to being ‘filled’ through your engagement in adopting sustainable values as what you value most. These values include social justice, forgiveness, purity of heart and being a peacemaker.
Blessed are the merciful
for they shall be shown mercy
The thirteenth-century etymology of the word mercy meant having “a disposition to forgive or show compassion.” This identifies two different forms of mercy. Entry level mercy are acts of social justice that meet the corporeal needs of others. Feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and clothing the naked etc.
The more advanced expression of mercy is forgiveness that meets the psycho-spiritual needs of others. Love your enemies, pardon wrong doers, pray for those who condemn and falsely accuse you etc. It’s noteworthy that this Beatitude says you will receive mercy if you extend it.
Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall see God
Having adopted both the corporeal and spiritual Works of Mercy as a way of life, you raise your state of consciousness to now be fully love centred. Being pure of heart is that point in your spiritual evolution where you have completed the apprenticeship and are now committed to helping raise the consciousness of humanity.
Since God is love, now you begin to see God, as the Beatitude reveals, in everyone and every thing. At this point, no will power is needed to live a life of purity. It’s the natural expression of the love that you have for God, for yourself and for others.
Blessed are the peacemakers
for they will be called children of God
By virtue of your spiritual progression, you have come to the place where at-one-ment is all that your experience. This is the place of atonement through the Christ being manifest in you as seen in the 6th Beatitude, and less about Jesus. Oneness is the objective of the peacemaker. This is as much about that reconciliation within oneself, where each of our aspects of consciousness are fully immersed in pure love. There is no fear!
Being called the children of God reflects the idea that you have become the son/daughter of God having taken on the attributes of the Christ, who was identified as the Son of God. This is the consequence of the second birth that John in his gospel refers to - being born of the spirit.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Back at the time of Saint Augustine it was said that this Beatitude was an add-on. The other seven Beatitudes were essentially states of consciousness that one could choose to engage, where as this eighth Beatitude described something that happened to you as a consequence, not as a choice. The medieval Gnostic-Christian sect, the Cathar, were intimately familiar with persecution. Their devotion to their theology of love resulted in their genocide at the hands of the Catholic Church.
Because the Cathar understood the spirit of this Beatitude, they typically encountered the prospect of being burnt at the stake by their oppressors, without resistance. They knew that having fully embraced being a peacemaker, they had already entered the kingdom of heaven.