• Sarah Raad


Please God – I would do ANYTHING to hear Your HOLY VOICE, for only then, would I be SUPREMELY BLESSED!

The Sermon on the Mount (Rosselli Bergrede)

Over the last few days I have prayed and reflected greatly upon those who suffer. While I have been praying my usual litany of prayers for those who suffer – the grieving, the sick, the sad, the lonely, the oppressed, the Lost Souls of Purgatory – it suddenly occurred to me to read about the Beatitudes.

When this happens – because I do not believe in coincidences – it occurred to me that perhaps my Beloved Holy Spirit wished to enlighten me about something important… And so, I started doing some reading on the subject…

As a little schoolgirl, I remember being taught about the beatitudes. As I grew older, I remember reading allusions to them in modern and popular poetry, particularly in the War Poems of Wilfred Owen. I remember having vague recollections about meekness and peacemakers. I remember watching the 1961 film by Ray Nicholas, “The King of Kings” with my family every year at Easter time and hearing the Christ-actor listing out the beatitudes, and yet, I never really focused on them more than to think that if bad stuff happened to people, they could be happy in Heaven.

Now I think of them a little differently. Or perhaps, a little more maturely.

For the beatitudes are supreme BLESSEDNESS…

The Gospel of Matthew (5:3-10) outlines the Beatitudes for us from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount was most likely the compilation of a series of sermons that Christ gave during His public ministry, rather than one sermon delivered at one time.

Regardless of the chronology and logistics of His delivery, the Beatitudes are effectively, the NEW Commandments provided by Christ, to mirror the 10 Commandments, through positive actions and words…

The first beatitude is… “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” But who are the poor in spirit?

They are the humble! Never forget that Original Sin was the Sin of Pride. It was the Pride of Humankind – led by Eve – that doomed the world, and it was perfect Humility led by the new Eve – Our Blessed Mother, and her Son Christ – that saved it. Only in surrendering our powerlessness to God and in recognising our weakness, with HUMILITY, can we be blessed.

The second beatitude is… “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Yet, for what do we mourn?

We mourn for LOVE! We cry tears of grief for the loss of those we love and in this, we imitate God – for Christ’s tears at Calvary were not for the spits and blows and bruises and lacerations and offences and suffering and death… They were tears of GRIEF for His beloved children who were damned through sin to eternal HELL… For what is grief, but love – pure love? When we mourn for our sin, we are blessed for it is then that we truly love.

The third beatitude is… “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” And this begs the question, who are the meek that they shall receive such a reward?

Our Lady and Our Lord are “the Meek”. The meek are those who are completely submissive to the Will of God. And who is more perfectly submissive to God’s own will that Our Blessed Mother and her Only Begotten Son? Not once did Our Blessed Mother call out from the Foot of the Cross. She said no words as she stood there hour after hour. Not once did she say, “Enough. You have done enough. One drop of your blood would have sufficed. Come down now from that Cross. It is accomplished.” No. She stood there, silently, watching, in PERFECT MEEKNESS and PERFECT SURRENDER to the Will of God, waiting for CHRIST to say, in PERFECT SURRENDER to the Will of God… “It is Accomplished.” (John 19:30).

The fourth beatitude is… “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Who hungers and thirsts for righteousness?

Anyone who seeks to grow in virtue. For it is through virtue that we can become worthy to be called children of God. And with what are they “filled”? The Holy Spirit – for virtue begets virtue, just as vice begets vice.

The fifth beatitude is… “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” And who are the merciful?

God! For did Christ not say… “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)? If we are merciful, we are Godly.

The sixth beatitude is… “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Who are the pure in heart?

Anyone who generously gives without counting the cost. Christ was pure of heart – He gave everything – even until the last drop of His most Sacred Blood. His Blessed Mother did the same. She gave her only son and in exchange accepted us – sinful, imperfect, offensive us… “Woman, behold your son!” (John 19:26-27).

The seventh beatitude is… “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” And who are these peacemakers?

These are the people who bring peace... In the face of gossip they turn away. In the face of discord, they bring words of harmony. In the face of sin, they bring God.

The eighth and final beatitude is… “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” And who are these?

All of us who follow Christ, for Christ said… “If they persecute me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20-21). “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” (Matthew 16:24). It is through the Cross that we are saved. In the words of Saint Pope John Paul II… “The greatest deception and the deepest source of unhappiness, is the illusion of finding life by excluding God, of finding freedom by excluding moral truths and personal responsibility.”

So, when I reflect on these beatitudes, with slightly more than a schoolgirl brain, it appears to me, that they are beautifully summarised by the words of the English Christian writer and essayist, C.S. Lewis who said that “God WHISPERS to us in our pleasures, He SPEAKS to us in our conscious and He SHOUTS to us in our pain.”

Please God – I would do ANYTHING to hear Your HOLY VOICE, for only then, would I be SUPREMELY BLESSED!

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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