Beatitudes


Archbishop Fulton J Sheen wrote many things about the Beatitudes, and his points are so profound, I will honor them with no comment, just presenting them.  From Life of Christ:

Two mounts are related as the first and second acts in a two act drama: the Mount of the Beatitudes and the Mount of Calvary. He who climbed the first to preach the Beatitudes must necessarily climb the second to practice what he preached.  The unthinking often say the Sermon on the Mount  constitutes the “essence of Christianity”.  But let any man put these Beatitudes into practice in his own life, and he too will draw down the wrath of the world. The Sermon on the Mount cannot be separated from His Crucifixion, any more than day can be separated from night.  The day Our Lord taught the Beatitudes, He signed His own death warrant.  The sounds of nails and hammers digging through human flesh were the echoes thrown back from the mountainside where He told men how to be happy or blessed.  Everybody wants to be happy; but His ways were the very opposite of the ways of the world.

One way to make enemies and antagonize people is to challenge the spirit of the world.  The world has a spirit, as each age has a spirit.  There are certain unanalyzed assumptions which govern the conduct of the world.  Anyone who challenges these worldly maxims, such as, “you only live once”, “get as much out of life as you can”, “who will ever know about it?”, “what is sex for if not for pleasure?” is bound to make himself unpopular.

In the Beatitudes, Our Divine Lord takes those eght flimsy catchwords of the world-“Security”, “Revenge”, “Laughter”, “Popularity”, “Getting Even”, “Sex”, “Armed Might”, and “Comfort”- and turns them upside down.  To those who say “You cannot be happy unless you are rich”, He says “Blessed are the poor in spirit”.  To those who say “Don’t let him get away with it”, He says “Blessed are the patient.” To those who say “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you”, He says “Blessed are those who mourn”.  To those who say “If nature gave you sex instincts you ought to give them free expression, otherwise you will become frustrated”, He says “Blessed are the clean of heart.”  To those who say “Seek to be popular and well known”, He says “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and speak all maner of evil against you falsely because of Me.”  To those who say “In time of peace prepare for war”, H says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

The cheap clichs around which movies are written and novels composed, He scourns.  He proposes to burn what they worship; to conquer errant sex instincts instead of allowing them to make slaves of man; to tame economic conquests instead of making happiness consist in an abundance ofthings external to the soul.  All false beatitudes which make happiness depend on self-expression, license, having a good time, or “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die,” He scourns because they bring mental diorders, unhappiness, false hopes, fears, and anxieties.

How true this is. Archbishop Sheen is proving once again that Catholics who practice and live their faith usually end up ahead of the curve.  Happy New Year, and God Bless you.

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