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The Beatitudes are more than a Sermon on the Mount. Through them, Jesus Christ tells us the purpose of the Christian life!
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CATECHISM CORNER: THE BEATITUDES

THE HEART OF JESUS’ MESSAGE

The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus’ preaching. (CCC 1716)

KEY TO OUR VOCATION

[The Beatitudes] express the vocation of the faithful associated with the glory of his Passion and Resurrection; they shed light on the actions and attitudes characteristic of the Christian life; they are the paradoxical promises that sustain hope in the midst of tribulations; they proclaim the blessings and rewards already secured, however dimly, for Christ’s disciples; they have begun in the lives of the Virgin Mary and all the saints. (CCC 1717)

GOD KNOWS WE WANT TO BE HAPPY

The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it. (CCC 1718)

SAINTS ON HAPPINESS

“We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated.” -St. Augustine

“How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God, I seek a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you.” -St. Augustine

“God alone satisfies.” -St. Thomas Aquinas

THE GOAL FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE

The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This vocation is addressed to each individual personally, but also to the Church as a whole, the new people made up of those who have accepted the promise and live from it in faith. (CCC 1719)

DAY ONE: POOR IN SPIRIT

Beatitude 1

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Breakdown

To be poor in spirit is to rely on God and not ourselves, recognizing everything we have comes from Him.

Scripture Reflection

“God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not fall.” Psalm 62:7

Saintly Wisdom

“Blessed, therefore, is poverty which is not possessed with a love of temporal things, and does not seek to be increased with the riches of the world, but is eager to amass heavenly possessions.” -St. Leo the Great

Real Life Examples

  • I prayed for others before myself
  • I decided to volunteer instead of enjoying some “me time”
  • I helped someone even though I had other things to do
  • I wanted to watch a popular show, but it didn’t reflect the values God gave us, so I watched something else
  • I trusted in God when I was stressed
  • I made sure to make prayer a priority throughout my day
  • I encourage my family to pray the daily rosary

Challenge

How can I be ‘poor in spirit’ today?

 

DAY TWO: MOURN

Beatitude

“Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

Breakdown

The Beatitude definition of mourning is to have sorrow for our sins, and the sins of the world.

Scripture Reflection

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Saintly Wisdom

“Earth hath no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.” -St. Thomas More

Real Life Examples

  • I went to confession with true contrition and sorrow for my sins
  • I offered prayers to God in sorrow for my sins and the sins of the world
  • I comforted someone whose heart was hurting
  • I trusted in God that his forgiveness is real
  • I read a story of conversion, like Francis of Assisi, and reflected how the lessons could be applied to my own life

Challenge

What can I mourn for today?

 

DAY THREE: MEEK

Beatitude

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.”

Takeaway

Being meek is to be humble before God and man.

Scripture Reflection

”Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Matthew 11:29-30

Saintly Wisdom

There is nothing as strong as true meekness, there is nothing as gentle as true strength.” -St. Francis de Sales

Real Life Examples

  • I said apologized to someone even though it was difficult
  • I listen to Jesus’ teaching through the Church even when it’s not easy
  • I said a prayer for the person who cut me off while driving on the road
  • I smiled instead of snapping when someone made a rude comment to me
  • I spoke up for what is right with kindness
  • I gave someone a loving correction

Challenge

How can I be meek today?

 

DAY FOUR: HUNGER AND THIRST FOR JUSTICE

Beatitude

“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.”

Breakdown

Righteousness is holiness, or moral perfection. We should hunger for this holiness – like we hunger for food!

Scripture Reflection

“Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, just as he [Christ] is righteous.” 1 John 3:7

Saintly Wisdom

“True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather it means an effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life.” -Pope St. John Paul II

Real Life Examples

  • I stood up for someone who is being bullied
  • I strive to pray every day even though I am very busy
  • I go stand for justice with love at activities like the “March for Life”
  • I peacefully protest injustice
  • I spent my Spring Break helping others less fortunate than myself
  • I attend a Bible study to grow in knowledge of my faith and holiness

Challenge

How can I take a step toward greater holiness today?

 

DAY FIVE: MERCIFUL

Beatitude

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

Breakdown

Be merciful is to be kind to others – even when it’s difficult!

Scripture Reflection

“For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” (Matthew 7:2)

Saintly Wisdom

“Do not become harsh and unmerciful. Think that behind him who seeks charity from you, is the Lord Himself.” -St. John Chrysostom

Real Life Examples

  • I forgave someone who wronged me
  • I refrained from gossip
  • I chose to think better of someone even though they have a shortcoming (I do too!)
  • I had a kind word for someone who was unkind to me
  • I don’t hold grudges, or hold things over someone once they have made a mistake

Challenge

How can I show mercy today?

 

DAY SIX: PURE OF HEART

Beatitude

“Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.”

Breakdown

To be pure in heart does not only mean free of lust, it also means being single-minded in our devotion to God. This means not caring what the “world” thinks, and holding fast to what God wants of us.

Scripture Reflection

But as it is written: ‘What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him’…” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Saintly Wisdom

“Love God, serve God; everything lies in that.” -St. Clare of Assisi

Real Life Examples

  • My devotion to God comes first and all else follows
  • I “walk by faith and not by sight”
  • I avoid images or entertainment that could cause lust
  • I dress modestly
  • I focus on what God wants from me first, before caring what others think
  • I actively ask God what he wants from me and how I can serve him better

Challenge

How can I serve God with greater devotion today?

 

DAY SEVEN: PEACEMAKERS

Beatitude

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

 

Breakdown

You can be a peacemaker between people. You can also be a peacemaker between people and God by helping others understand Him more, and encouraging reconciliation with love.

Scripture Reflection

“But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” (Matthew 5:39)

Saintly Wisdom

“Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love.” -St. Francis of Assisi

Real Life Examples

  • I try to heal any broken relationships I have whenever possible
  • I try to make peace a standard in the way I interact with those close to me, and if an argument happens, I make up at the earliest opportunity
  • I try to help others see the love of God in how I treat people
  • I “turn the other cheek”
  • I love my “enemies” and pray for those who persecute me

Challenge

How can I bring peace to someone today?

 

DAY EIGHT: PERSECUTION FOR JUSTICE

Beatitude

“Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Breakdown

Living a life dedicated to God confuses the world. This can lead to us being made fun of, being ostracized, and even persecuted. This is not always easy to deal with, but God calls us to stay faithful and witness to the truth.

Scripture Reflection

“In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” John 16:33

Saintly Wisdom

“We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” -St. Paul (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9, 17-19)

Real Life Examples

  • I hold strong to my beliefs even when they are not popular by the world’s standards
  • I am not afraid to say that I am a Christian even though I know it may be perceived negatively
  • I accept being mocked when I stand up for a person other people do not like
  • I stand for Catholic values and am willing to talk lovingly with others about what I believe
  • I don’t hide my faith in my daily interactions with people

Challenge

How can I witness to God’s truth today?

 
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