Choose a topic from Part 2A:

69. Beatitudes

1. The beatitudes pronounced by our Lord in his sermon onthe Mount are acts rather than habits of the soul. Hence thebeatitudes differ from the virtues and from the gifts, all of whichare habits.

2. The rewards (the blessedness) promised in thebeatitudes are not exclusively for enjoyment in heaven; some ofthem at least may have a beginning in this present life. Forrewards that can be perfectly enjoyed in the perfect state of manin heaven, may, in some measure, be partially enjoyed in thepresent and imperfect state of man on earth.

3. The beatitudes are suitably enumerated in scripture.They seem to carry man from the things of sense, through the activelife, to contemplation. First, man is taught not to seek happinessin the things of sense-riches, honors, self-indulgence; he is to bepoor in spirit, meek, mourning. Next, man is directed towardshappiness in his activity with reference to his neighbor; he is tothirst after justice, he is to be merciful. Finally, man is toprepare for contemplation, for seeing God; he is to be clean ofheart, he is to be a peacemaker.

4. The rewards promised in the beatitudes-kingdom ofheaven, land (of the living), fullness of justice, mercy obtained,sight of God, full status as children of God-all these rewards areto be obtained perfectly in heaven; they are included inthe perfect happiness of heaven. It is suitable that these phasesof the perfect heavenly reward should be enumerated in thebeatitudes for our better understanding.

"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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