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THE 8 BEATITUDES 1. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

" "Poor in spirit" means to be humble. Humility is the realization that all your gifts and blessings come from the grace of God. To have poverty of spirit means to be completely empty and open to the Word of God. When we are an empty cup and devoid of pride, we are humble. Humility brings an openness and an inner peace, allowing one to do the will of God. He who humbles himself is able to accept our frail nature, to repent, and to allow the grace of God to lead us to Conversion. It is pride, the opposite of humility, that brings misery. For pride brings anger and the seeking of revenge, especially when one is offended. If every man were humble and poor in spirit, there would be no war! 2. "Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted." If we are humble and appreciate that all of our gifts and blessings come from God, we grow in love and gratitude for Jesus Christ our Savior. But this can only produce mourning and regret over our own sins and the sins of this world, for we have hurt the one who has been so good to us. One also mourns for the suffering of others. St. Gregory describes another reason to mourn: the more one ascends in meditation of Divine Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, and then realize the poverty of human nature, man can only be left in sorrow. When one contemplates that we were made in the image and likeness of God and lived in Paradise, the Garden of Eden, and compare that to our present state after the Fall, one can only mourn our present condition. But the sentence continues that they shall be comforted, by the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and hopefully one day in the Kingdom of Heaven. Mourning in this context is called a blessing, because mourning our fallen nature creates in us a desire to improve ourselves and to do what is right! 3. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." St. Gregory of Nyssa taught that the Beatitudes build one upon another. A humble person becomes meek, or becomes gentle and kind, and exhibits a docility of spirit, even in the face of adversity and hardship. A person that is meek is one that exhibits self-control. St. Augustine advises us to be meek in the face of the Lord, and not resist but be obedient to him. Obedience and submission to the will of God are certainly not in vogue these days, but they will bring one peace in this world and in the next. 4. "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." A continuous desire for justice and moral perfection will lead one to a fulfillment of that desire - a transition and conversion to holiness. This is true for all the virtues - if you hunger and thirst for temperance, you will head towards the goal you have in mind. St. Augustine called the Beatitudes the ideal for every Christian life! In his discourse on the Lord's Sermon on the Mount, he noted the correspondence of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and their necessity in fulfilling the Beatitudes. For example, one must have the gift of fortitude so one may be courageous in seeking justice. 5. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." Mercy is the loving disposition towards those who suffer distress. Love, compassion, and forgiveness towards one's neighbor will bring peace in your relationships. We say in the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. As we are merciful to others, so our Heavenly Father will be merciful with us! Jesus reminds us that whatever "you did to the least of my brethren, you did it to me (Matthew 25:31-46)." St. Paul calls for the obedience of faith in the beginning and end of his Letter to the Romans (1:5, 16:25-27).

The following are ways to be merciful to your neighbor, as well as obedient in faith to Christ our Savior. The Corporal Works of Mercy 1 Feed the Hungry 2 Give drink to the thirsty 3 Clothe the naked 4 Shelter the homeless 5 Comfort the imprisoned 6 Visit the sick 7 Bury the dead The Spiritual Works of Mercy 1 Admonish sinners 2 Instruct the uninformed 3 Counsel the doubtful 4 Comfort the sorrowful 5 Be patient with those in error 6 Forgive offenses 7 Pray for the living and the dead

6. "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God." Moses (Exodus 33:20), John (1:18), and Paul (1Timothy 6:16) all say that no one can see God here on earth! But Jesus says the pure of heart shall see God! To be pure of heart means to be free of all selfish intentions and self-seeking desires. What a beautiful goal! How many times have any of us performed an act perfectly free of any personal gain? Such an act is pure love. An act of pure and selfless giving brings happiness to all. 7. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God." Peacemakers not only live peaceful lives but also try to bring peace and friendship to others, and to preserve peace between God and man. St. Gregory of Nyssa calls a peacemaker a man who brings peace to another; but one cannot give another what one does not possess oneself. Hence the Lord wants you first to be yourself filled with the blessings of peace and then to communicate it to those who have need of it. By imitating God's love of man, the peacemakers become children of God. 8. "Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." Jesus said many times that those who follow Him will be persecuted. "If they persecute me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20-21). Stephen, Peter and Paul, nearly all of the Apostles, and many Christians in the Roman era suffered martyrdom. Oppressive governments and endless conflicts in the last one hundred years, such as World Wars l and ll, and the War in Iraq have seen their share of martyrs, such as Maximilian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Latin American martyrs, and Middle East Christians. The Central American Martyrs include the 38 recognized martyrs of La Cristiada, the Cristero War from 1926 to 1929, when the Mexican government persecuted priests of the Catholic Church, such as St. Christopher Magallanes, St. Toribio Romo Gonzalez, and the 14 year old martyr Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio. St. Maximilian Kolbe offered his life in place of a stranger at the Auschwitz death camps on August 14, 1941. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor who was hung on April 9, 1945 for condemning the leadership of Hitler in Nazi Germany. Another Central American martyr was Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who was assassinated while saying Mass at Divine Providence Hospital on March 24, 1980 for speaking out against government human rights violations. Christians in Iraq have suffered severe persecution throughout the Iraq War. At least 58 Christians were slaughtered at Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Eastern Catholic Church in Baghdad on October 31, 2010. But the Lord promised those that suffer for his sake will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven! Jesus Mary The Bible

The 8 Beatitudes
Supreme blessedness or happiness.

1. Verse 3 - "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." We must be BORN AGAIN! You are to lay your spiritual pride in the dust, for even God cannot spiritually fill you while you are already spiritually full of yourself. Empty yourself of spiritual pride, make yourself spiritually poor, and God will bless you by making you spiritually prosperous. For most all people, their greatest spiritual need is to discover and understand the depth of their great spiritual need. All humans are born naturally poor in spirit; i.e. unreceptive to God's Holy Spirit; spiritually dead from God's perspective. Human souls do not become spiritually dead to God's Holy Spirit during their lifetimes, they have been born in that spiritually dead condition ever since the days of Adam. However, human genius has invented and conjured-up myriad forms of merely human spirituality in an attempt to fill the deeply felt, tangible, spiritual void left by an absence of authentic contact with God's Holy Spirit. Do not enter into the imaginary psychological construct that "poor in spirit" could mean either humbleness, contriteness, despair or low self-esteem, for it has no such meaning here. That attitude about the meaning of "poor in spirit" is self-deception by entry-level Christians, or it is self-delusion by wishful-thinking spiritual lightweights who reside in a theological fantasy-land. When you stop being spiritually prideful; when you stop deceiving yourself through vanity and philosophy; when you realize, psychologically, you are spiritually bankrupt, and desperately need a saviour because you have no ability to please God in and of yourself (Romans 3:9-12); when you admit that you are weak, spiritually, in the face of trials and testings; and admit that without Christ Jesus' spiritual help your soul is really hurting; you will be led to become "Born-Again", that second (spiritual) birth which activates (catalyzes) spiritual contact with God through His Holy Spirit. About the repentance: 1 john 1:9 2. Verse 4 - "Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted." to feel or express sadness for the death or loss of (someone or something) Mourners are sorrowful and heartbroken. The guilt that convicts us causes us to mourn because of our sins. Once you realize that in spite of all your self-actualized goodness, fairness, kindness, justification, sanctification, and in spite of all your loving charitable works, that you do not qualify for salvation or heaven if you are not spiritually "Born-Again", you will come to Christ Jesus in genuinely authentic (not false) repentance for all your sins. And, don't imagine you can confess and repent of the same sin over and over again, for the spiritual fact is that once you confess and repent of a particular sin you must turn-away from that confessed sin and never commit it ever again, or else your repentance is not genuinely authentic. Once you are "Born-Again" (See: Verse 3, above); once you confess your sins to Christ Jesus; and once you truly repent (in a genuinely authentic manner) by putting those particular sins behind you forever; you receive God's forgiveness. And being spiritually "Born-Again" opens you up to baptism in the Holy Spirit, making you eligible to receive God's spiritual blessings in your new spiritual life. Where there is no mourning there is no confession or repentance; where there is no repentance there is no forgiveness or spiritual blessing from God; where there is no forgiveness from God there is no salvation. "For if you forgive men their sins against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive your sins; But if you forgive NOT men their sins against you, NEITHER will your heavenly Father forgive your sins."

Matthew 6: 14-15 - Literal Expanded Version. About "The Comforter", see: JOHN 14:15-18 JOHN 14:26 JOHN 15:26 3. Verse 5 - "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the Earth." Growth in GRACE Meek means humble in spirit or manner; suggesting retiring mildness or even cowed submissiveness; "meek and self-effacing" Meekness means you are under God's spiritual control. Here, meekness is not a contrite or humble spirit in the face of an ugly, unfair and unjust Gentile dominated (unbeliever dominated) world. Meekness means: Once you are "Born-Again", once you are spiritually activated to God through His Holy Spirit, your new-found spiritual power and your considerable spiritual authority are constrained (by God) so that God, through His Holy Spirit, can spiritually lead you, spiritually teach you, and spiritually prove and test you in Holy righteousness and in practical spirituality. Holy righteousness means that once you are familiar with God's entire Word, Witness, Testimony and Counsel, Christ Jesus will come in unto you and live (inside you) the Holy, righteous, spiritual life He wants you to lead without much pious or devotional input on your part. Christ Jesus does the spiritual hard work concerning morality and righteousness that humans (even "Born-Again" Christian humans) can not successfully accomplish to God's satisfaction on their own. Your meekness, here, means that you yield spiritual control over to Him, for He will direct your paths from here on out. Practical spirituality means (At that same level of spiritual achievement.) God will prevent His authentically "Born-Again" believers from running-off-at-the-mouth spiritually. He will constrain His own from unauthentic spiritual endeavors like the flesh-fed worldly practice of babbling in uninterpreted tongues while claiming an enhanced level of spirituality; and He will prevent genuinely "saved" believers from advocating the false gospel of "Health and Wealth" as if it were an absolutely guaranteed blessing from God. To grow you in grace, so that you will be enabled to inherit the Earth, God through His Word will start you with spiritual milk like a newborn babe, and He will grow you in grace up to the point where you can mentally digest spiritual meat. Where you will then be able, through His power, strength and mighty dominion of genuine authority and holiness, to trust and believe God's promises for you. Where you will be led to find His narrow path of righteousness, for you now have His Truth for how you are to spiritually conduct yourself. Where you will be enabled to find the strait (strict) gate that leads to salvation, for you have become an heir to God's Kingdom while alive on this Earth. In your meekness, God spiritually changes you from a "Born-Again" nebbish (a spiritually foolish, out-ofcontrol, child-like believer) to a "Born-Again" mensch (a spiritually mature, under-control, somewhatperfected, believer) without letting you become too rambunctious and over-the-top, spiritually, before you are ready to become an effective witness for Christ Jesus. The spiritually meek shall inherit the Earth, but not those who are out of God's spiritual control. The spiritually mature will commune with God through His Holy Spirit, while the spiritually child-like will be left to their own fleshy and worldly spiritual devices. God gives you a little taste of the grapes from the "Promised Land", and He even gives you a little glimpse of the "Promised Land" itself; for said "Promised Land" is God's spiritual rest, which is the Earth that the meek inherit. About "Meekness", see: MATTHEW 11: 28-30 JAMES 1: 21

4. Verse 6 - "Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." Spiritual Fulfillment Divine Righteousness - as opposed to Self Righteousness. Opposed = fight, combat, resist, withstand, contest Those who have had a little taste of the grapes from the "Promised Land", and those who have even caught a little glimpse of it from afar, will develop a continuing spiritual appetite. They will feed this continuing spiritual appetite by seeking God's will by the method of seeking His righteousness and holiness through His entire Word, Witness, Testimony and Counsel to find happiness in His grace and in His spirit. Matthew 6:33 Your spiritual fulfillment will demonstrate that you have been to spiritual Zion and, through Christ Jesus, are actually anointed to lead others to God's salvation - if they will come. Spiritual seekers who are in God's Word (in Christ Jesus) and have God's words abiding alive inside of them will be filled with righteousness. The only level of righteousness we can attain to as mortal humans is spiritual (Divine) righteousness. See: JOHN 5:24 JOHN 15:1-14 5. Verse 7 - "Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy." The Magnificence of mercy Mercy is compassion in action It is by God's mercy we are renewed daily. The time will come when you will want God's mercy more than anything in the universe. If you are not a genuinely authentic possessor of salvation, that time will be the occasion when Christ Jesus initiates the "Great White Throne" judgment day referred to in Revelation 20:11-15. God's chosen ones demonstrate mercy by combining pity with action; and this will lead to being the object of God's mercy. You can definitely depend on God's forgiveness and mercy when you are actually forgiving and actively merciful to all others. Love the Lord your God completely, love your neighbor as you love yourself, and love your enemies. BASIS OF MERCY God is just: Sin must be punished. Showing mercy is to withhold judgment when it is due. God is not fair: You deserve hell, but God is willing to forgive. BLESSINGS OF MERCY The upright are merciful. PSALMS 18:25 Mercy reproaches judgment. JAMES 2:13 Those who have received God's mercy are most able to show mercy to others. 6. Verse 8 - "Blessed are the pure of heart; for they shall see God." Ritual and Spiritual Clensing Purity, as referred to in the Bible, is a lack of ritual and spiritual contamination with pagan, heathen religious and devotional practices or beliefs. The heart, as referred to in the Bible, is the center of your mental, emotional and moral being. You see God when you see His truth (John 5:24) and knowing His truth leads to fellowship with God. 1 TIMOTHY 3:16 JOHN 1:18 JOHN 14:7 God loves you just as you are, but He does not want to let you remain in your current spiritual condition. God wants you ritually and spiritually cleansed through His entire Word, Witness, Testimony and Counsel; and He wants your sins cleansed (sins forgiven and guilty feelings removed) by the blood of Christ Jesus.

God wants you ritually and spiritually cleansed (Accomplished in you by God; to His satisfaction!) in order for you to become ritually eligible and spiritually enabled to come boldly before His Throne of Grace in prayer without a guilty conscience. HEBREWS 10:19 ROMANS 12:1-3 7. Verse 9 - "Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the Sons of God." Agent of Peace First comes pureness of heart, then comes spiritual peace. End your ritual and spiritual war with God and find peace through Christ Jesus. If you practice or believe anything "Religious" that God considers pagan or heathen, you are ritually and spiritually at war with God. You will be peaceful with God only when you first receive personal, spiritual peacefulness by your forgiveness of others, and then by your knowing that Christ Jesus has forgiven your own sins. Through faith in actually being forgiven, you can peacefully function ritually and spiritually without guilt or without fear of judgment and condemnation from a fierce, angry, wrathful God. Christ Jesus makes no truce with sin, you must surrender to His Lordship to find spiritual peace. Authentically finding this spiritual peace leads to an inheritance as a Son of God. GALATIANS 3:26 ROMANS 5:11 ROMANS 10:15 ROMANS 12:18 PHILIPPIANS 4:7 Believe God and that He can do these things for you; then you can exchange your strength for God's strength. When you find His spiritual rest and peace is when the exchange of strength happens. ISAIAH 40:28-31 8. Verse 10 - "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." Verse 11 - "Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." Verse 12 - "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Persecuting for Persecution Take a stand for Christ Jesus and you will be persecuted. Christians are to be different from the world, which makes Christians divisive. Christians who are truly authentic and who are genuine possessors of salvation are not of this world. Christians are chosen-out of this world, and the world hates effective evangelical Christians without a cause. You can conform to the world and never be persecuted. "SECRET" Christians are ineffective, but safe from the world's persecution of Christians. Christ Jesus calls that strategy a cop-out. Christians are not to please other people, Christians are to please Christ Jesus by being a testimony against the sinfulness of this world. Christians are to be the "salt" of the earth, and salt irritates the worldly, salt stings sinners, when God's Word is rubbed into this decaying putrefying world it burns like it is salted with fire. Christians are to be the "light" of the world, and light reveals spiritual truth, light exposes religious lies, light illuminates the darkness where sin abides. Being "salt" and "light" attracts attention, and once an effective evangelical Christian is noticed they are open to persecution. The world does not hate the helpless baby Jesus in a manger or in His mother's arms; the world does not hate the helpless, crucified, dead Jesus hanging on the cross; the world does not hate the kindly Jesus who healed the sick and fed the multitudes. Those views or aspects of Jesus offend no one. The world hates theresurrected Christ Jesus who will put an end to the works of Satan. The Name and the cause of Christ Jesus offends the world.

If you are not persecuted, reviled and lied about one wonders if your witness and your testimony are the ones God wants for you? MARK 13:9-13 LUKE 21:12-17 PHILIPPIANS 1:29 2 TIMOTHY 3:12 1 PETER 4:14-19 For you to make a firm spiritual impression and receive a strong reaction you must demonstrate the reality of the life of Christ Jesus shining forth in your life, your witness and your testimony. If you partake of God's righteousness you are led to rejoicing and gladness over great rewards in heaven, and you develop patience in persecutions, in sufferings and in trials. God's highest goal is not your physical comfort but your spiritual comfort. God's will and purposes supersede your physical comfort. Christians will be persecuted if they are fully committed to evangelization of the gospel of the kingdom in God's mighty power, strength and truth. So rejoice and be exceedingly glad. Shout, sing, leap, jump, dance and be happy. Somehow the world has identified you as a Christian and the world now hates you because of Christ Jesus' name. ASK YOURSELF: If, in the future, the government began rounding-up "suspected" Christians (including "secret" Christians), and if Christians were dragged into court and put on trial for the crime of being authentic Christians, and if YOU were put on trial too, would there be enough (or any) evidence of your Christianity to convict you? Would the evidence convict you of being a True - Bible Reading Word Knowing - God Centered - Christ Jesus Abiding Christian? Or would you escape conviction because there was not enough (or not any) evidence for the world to declare that you are guilty of being a Christian? ISAIAH 40:28-31 HEBREWS 11:1 -and- 33-34