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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Thoughts on Monday's Gospel

MT 5:1-12

This is the Matthean version of the beatitudes. The beatitudes have often been seen as the new commandmants - a shift from "Thou shalt not" to "Thou shall". I also remember one theologian asking why so many Christians sought to get the Ten Commandments put in public places, but no one ever did the same for the beatitudes.

Perhaps it is because following the beatitudes can be much more difficult that following the commandments. I know when I am lying but how do I know when I am pure of heart or pure in spirit? Perhaps this is why the beatitudes aren't talked about nearly enough - because following the beatitudes requires a constant effort to fulfil them and it doesn't seem sufficient to look at just one of the beatitudes whereas trying to fulfill all of them can seem overwhelming.

I think that following the beatitudes requires both action and a change of mindset. Fulfilling the goal of the beatitudes easily and naturally requires a constant desire to be the beatitudes until fulfilling them becomes habitual. This is not something that comes easily - it requires our whole lives.


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