Blessed Are the Pure In Heart

Although I have with God’s help at times ascended to the high plains of mercy, I cannot say that I have ever walked the plateaus of purity of heart nor the peaks of peacemaking. I have gazed upon them. And in this I derive hope. The promise of the sixth beatitude it nothing less than deification, the beatific vision, to see God. To see God is to become like God, as St.…

Satiety And Hunger

One of my faithful interlocutors has written the following question regarding my post on “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Maybe my musings on this question will be a blessing to someone. “I reread this blog after reading the account of the Woman at the Well in St. John. Christ tells her that the Living Water He provides quenches all thirst and becomes a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. So…

Saskatoon

Thanks to your prayers, it seems that the young adult retreat in Saskatoon went well. Of course it is easy to teach a bunch of people who want to learn. One of the themes that kept coming up was humility, not humility as a “virtue,” as though someone who is humble would know it. Rather, in conversations, confessions and at various points throughout the talks, I found myself encouraging the young people…

Ways to Pray

Bishop Joseph often quotes this word from the Desert Father, St. Poemen: “If three men meet, of whom the first fully preserves interior peace, and the second gives thanks to God in illness, and the third serves with a pure mind, these three are doing the same work.” Prayer has much more to with who we are on the inside than with what we say, or what is officially called prayer. Prayer…

Blessed Are the Merciful

  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. This is the fifth rung on the ladder. One of the hurdles that causes people to stumble moving from hunger and thirst for righteousness to showing mercy is a legalistic, rule based understanding of righteousness. That is, we stumble when we mistake righteousness for being right. Mercy triumphs over justice (James 2:13). In a sense, mercy is the deeper law (to borrow…

Adam Bede (Remember Him?)

I began many months ago to read and comment on George Eliot’s Adam Bede. After only one post a few chapters in, I became so annoyed by the moralizing put into the mouth of Dinah, that I put the book down and only picked it up at points of extreme necessity: long waits in airports, mostly. I finally finished a few weeks ago. It is not Eliot’s fault that Dinah’s moralizing bothered…

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness

Blessed are the hungry and the thirsty. Having tasted the comfort of the Comforter, we hunger and thirst for more. The forth rung of the ladder of the Beatitudes moves from the meekness that comes from mourning to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Our life is never static. To stand still, or to imagine we are standing still, is to slip into despondency (“what’s the use?”) or complacency (“I already have enough;…

Blessed Are The Meek

There’s nothing like a good cry to calm one down. Mourning brings about a clam peace. Mourning over our sin and the lack of God’s Grace in our lives leads us to the third step on the ladder of the Beatitudes. Meekness is the quiet calmness of accepting myself as I am and where I am. Inwardly, a meek person can let go of pretending, can let go of the fear of…

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Once we have seen and accepted that we are poor in spirit, we begin to see ourselves as we really are. Christ comes to us where we are, not where we wish or imagine we were. Christ meets us as we are, not as we pretend to be. But most of us spend a good deal of our life and energy pretending to be somewhere and be someone we are not. Coming…

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

I have ignored my blog the past two weeks because I have been preparing for the visit of His Grace Bishop Joseph (which, by the way, went very well) and a young adult retreat coming up in two weeks. The original speaker, Mother Melania, had to cancel suddenly; and after several days of trying to find a good replacement, the bottom of the barrel was reached. I have been studying the Sermon…