I’ve been doing some research on the beatitudes and discovered that they are a process. While taking in all this information, I found that it was the path my life took as I was healing from the effects of child abuse. The first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I realized it was about an awakening or spiritual birth. When I started my transformation, my life was a disaster, the one thing that was missing was God. I was poor in spirit. As I began to discover my relationship with God, the Kingdom of Heaven, harmony, became real to me. I could see that with God, my suffering could end.
As I was learning who I was, I realized I needed to accept my past choices as the second beatitude says: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” I mourned my past, accepted it, and gave it up. I didn’t need to drag it along with me for the rest of my life. In doing so, I felt God’s tenderness and support. I also had to mourn the sins of my neighbor, as we are all in this together. That helped me to understand my oneness with the rest of the world. What I understand about myself also applies to my neighbor. I started to feel the comfort that giving up my past brings.
I was beginning to see what it meant to be God’s image and likeness. My growth was slow at first. I had a lot to learn. Now on to the third beatitude: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” In the beginning, I thought I had to make all decisions without help, and I was making a mess of everything. When I started listening for God’s direction, I felt the stress leave me, I made better decisions, and my life here on earth changed immensely for the better. I learned that being meek was not weakness but strength.
Now that I had a start in the right direction, I had to make sure I didn’t let go of the progress I was making. Thus, the fourth beatitude: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” I was definitely hungering and thirsting after God, no doubt about it. The more I learned, the better the world looked to me, the more harmonious my life became. I know this world is full of discord, but if we look past the discord, we can see God’s creation. If enough of us are witnessing the harmony, the discord begins to dissipate. Above the clouds, the sun is always shining. Now, this doesn’t mean to ignore discord, do what you can to resolve it, pray about it, and move on. And always remember persistence has its rewards. If it doesn’t happen today, don’t give up.
While I was growing in my understanding, I became less critical of others. The fifth beatitude: “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Being merciful may sound easy but takes a lot of self-knowledge. To be merciful, I needed to be aware of my sins, so I did not deal with others in sharp condemnation, and to have mercy for all creatures, not just man. You know that old saying, what goes around comes around. Those who are merciful shall obtain mercy.
I was becoming a better person and seeing those around me as better people. This beatitude is the culmination of all that came before. I work on this one every day. The sixth beatitude: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Pure means 100%, in this context I think it means rightness of mind, singleness of motive to do God’s work, even in the throes of adversity and pain, to turn yourself completely over to God. When I do this, I can see God’s creation. I’m not 100% there yet, but it is a worthy goal.
I had learned to take my new understanding and go out into the world and make peace. On my job, I am a problem solver, which seems to include solving disputes between employees as well. Sometimes to make peace, I needed to stir up the muddy waters and was seen as a troublemaker. But, in the end, when they understood what I was doing, all was well. Problem solved, and peace came. The seventh beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Being a peacemaker involves a lot. I had to find peace within myself and learn to love my enemies before I could share peace with others. I wrote about my job above, but the most important role of the peacemaker is to bring man closer to God. That is true peace. The peacemaker must exemplify God’s qualities and recognize all men as their brothers. I am working on becoming one of God’s peacemakers.
As I was rising from the ashes of a life shattered by child abuse, I had to stand firm. I lost all my friends as we were now traveling down different roads. They did not like who I was becoming and tried to convince me this was just another self-help binge, and it would end as all the others did. Now the eighth beatitude: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
I was determined not to let others drag me back into old ways; I knew I was on the right path and stood my ground no matter the temptations placed in my path. I was doing this for God. I was His idea, His child, His image, and I believed that, and my job now was to exemplify Him, to live the life He created for me.
Look what they did to Jesus, for righteousness’ sake, for the sake of God, but he never complained. All the old ways I gave up were replaced with new ways, the friends I lost were replaced with new friends, and joy was my reward. This beatitude states, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,” those who stand their ground are blessed, no reason for self-pity. Those uninspired will always fight against the ways of God, and I was learning how not to be disturbed by their words and acts. As God’s reflection, I have all the courage it takes to stand in the face of those that revile me for my beliefs. I let their comments go as Jesus said, “forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Blessed be and go in peace.