Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A reflection, not quite a poem, on the beatitudes

Blessed are the…
What does it mean to be blessed in a world of death? Jesus told us. First, let go; be poor. Receive the Kingdom of Heaven. This is where blessedness is found: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
And mourn. The world really is a sad place. And yet, not so sad that there is no comfort. We fight and lie and cheat to find comfort without mourning, only to squander our comfort so that even comfort is comfortless. We prefer blindness to the sadness of sight. See and be sad, then you will find comfort.
Don’t fight, be meek, and you will inherit everything. The world of death teaches us to hunt and kill--to win. And the fighting never ends; until we lose, which always happens: even giants get tired. A strange strategy for happiness Jesus offers us: let the other guy win. The meek are conquered and in losing win.
Feel the want of righteousness within you first and then around you. Let it oppress your soul. “Keep your mind in hell and despair not,” for righteousness is near to those who thirst for it. To feel that all is not right is the first hunger pang, the beginning of your salvation. Righteousness comes to those who lack it, who hunger for it.
And be merciful, so that you too may receive mercy. Righteousness without mercy is law without spirit. What law should we not bend for mercy’s sake? God bent the heavens in mercy. Happy is the one who is not imprisoned by his own ridged rule. Mercy leaks through the bars.
Don’t try to understand the darkness. The virgin heart will see God. Wheels within wheels darken the heart and it cannot see the God whose mirror it is. Blessed are the politically naive. Blessed are those who trust others. Blessed is the one who looks for the good in others: he will find it.
And having found the good, make peace with it. Empty yourself to calm the anger of others, and prove to be a child of the One who brought peace by emptying himself.
Finally, don’t assume they’ll like it or that they will understand; for to share in the resurrection, you must also share in the suffering. This too is the Kingdom of Heaven.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Beautiful, Father. Your last two posts are ones that I will keep to reread again and again. Thank you!