Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ,
What Are the Eight Beatitudes?
The fulfillment of the Christian life!
The Eight Beatitudes form the core of the Christian life. As Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., writes in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, they are the “promises of happiness made by Christ to those who faithfully accept his teaching and follow his divine example.” That happiness is not in the future but now for those who conform their lives to Christ.
There are two versions of the Beatitudes, one from the Gospel of Matthew and one from the Gospel of Luke. Both are delivered by Christ during the Sermon on the Mount. The text of the Beatitudes given here is from Saint Matthew, the version most commonly quoted and from which we derive the traditional count of Eight Beatitudes. (The final verse, “Blessed are ye . . . ,” is not counted as one of the Eight Beatitudes.)
The Beatitudes are found in the Gospel of Matthew 5:3-12.
· Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
· Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
· Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
· Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
· Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
· Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
· Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
· Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’s sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
· Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.
Utilizing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit we are able to live out the beatitudes in our daily lives. At times it seems hard to live the life of a Christian in the world – to stand up for our faith. To choose to follow God’s commandments and to follow Jesus is the road to salvation. We have been given the graces we need to live a life worthy of the entering the Kingdom of Heaven on our judgment day. It only takes us cooperating with the graces, gifts and blessings that God has already given us.