Fr. Denis Lemieux writes on the Beatitudes. Please read the whole thing!
But what a strange beauty the Beatitudes show us. An upside down beauty, a crazy beauty. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ – what does that mean? Our normal human way of thinking about ‘beauty’ is to think in categories of fullness: the curved breast, the rippling muscle, the full mouth, big eyes, smoothness of skin, luxurious hair. To be beautiful is to ‘have it’, to have what it takes.
And a beautiful life, stepping away from the strictly physical categories, we normally see as a life ‘full’ of blessings. We may not be so foolish as to associate happiness, beatitude, with possessions and wealth, but most of us do associate it with having lots of loved ones, days filled with laughter and song, work that we love, and yes, a modicum of the world’s goods. Beauty = riches is a powerful, almost inescapable equation in the human spirit.
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ Something new is introduced here into the human equation. Something incalculable, an entirely new way of seeing reality. Real beauty, real happiness, real blessing comes not from a life filled with good things, but a heart empty and open, available to God and to neighbor, ready for anything because it has nothing of its own to hold onto.
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