Living the Beatitudes extraordinarily

Ordinary time always returns after the Easter season in an extraordinary fashion with the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount: the Beatitudes.  Let us make this time extraordinary by focusing on the “blesseds” in Jesus’ exhortation toward personal conversion:

  • Poor in spirit: release attachment to all earthly possessions in a radical way so as to focus on our relationship with God and other persons
  • Mourn: when we suffer sadness or loss turn to the Lord; when we become aware of this pain of others let us become Christ to them in being a channel of the Comforter
  • Meek:humility safeguards all virtues; may we always seek to put ourselves in the lowest place, always acknowledging the truth that all our good gifts come from God
  • Hunger and thirst for righteousness: may it be our overwhelming desire to be righteous in the eyes of God and seek righteousness for all God’s children
  • Merciful: our God is a God of mercy — may we pay forward the mercy He has shown us to every person who harms us in any way (remember “forgive 70 x 7 times”?)
  • Clean of heart: may we imitate the Blessed Mother in complete purity in our thoughts, words, and deeds, and work towards a world that eliminates all manner of filth
  • Peacemakers: peace begins at home and extends to the whole world; let peace begin with our example of love and charity
  • Persecuted for the sake of righteousness: we may first think of those harassed, tortured, even killed in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East — and we should pray very hard for them — but we should also implore the Lord for the same courage and fortitude to become or remain firm in the truth in our place and time so that no person and no “law” will deter us from standing up for what is right

If any or all of these seem to require an extraordinary effort, that’s okay — the reward for meeting the challenge and persevering in it has everlasting benefits.  But, I think we’ll find the extraordinary will become quite our ordinary mode of behavior with practice.  And practice makes perfect.  Let’s start today.

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