The simplicity of the nine Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-11 (RSV) has always been a dangling carrot to reach for to receive blessings in my marriage, home, and life.
These Beatitudes tell me what I must BE.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5.”Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
So how can I apply them?
To be poor in spirit is to recognize my hourly dependence on God.
To mourn is to find my comfort in the Lord, first.
To be meek is to recognize the Kingdom of God within my dwelling; to see Christ within all whom I encounter.
To hunger and thirst for righteousness is to focus on the things of the Lord–the reading and hearing of God’s word daily–not on the possessions of the world.
To be merciful is to do unto others–my husband, my children, my neighbors– as I want to be done unto. Would I say to myself what I say them?
To be clean of heart is to seek His kingdom in my daily life, not the kingdom of the evil one. Regular monthly Confession truly helps here.
To be a peacemaker means allowing my husband to lead and not striving to always get my own way within my family.
And to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness means to conduct my life with conformity to God’s will.
For Matthew considered all Christian disciples as prophets, and prophets are persecuted. Asking myself, “What would Jesus do?” has an application here.
I cannot control my environment, but I can only control whom I am in it. And as a Catholic Christian, I can influence the world, my world, for good. If I fail in these BE-attitudes, I lose my salt and light.
Our lives are are all "under construction." Following the 9 Beatitudes will give us that finished look!