We need to pause, look deeply, reflect, and understand what is being said here…
Blessed are they who are humble, modest, unselfish, and compassionate for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn for all the injustices and suffering in the world, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they who have experienced the epiphany of oneness and understand the sacredness and the impermanence of all, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger for the end of all oppression and exploitation, and thirst for justice, equality, and a dignified life for everybody, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for speaking truth to power, for being compassionate, and for doing what is just and morally right, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are they who believe that Heaven is here, if we want it to be, for they will live in Heaven, right here on Earth.
On November 1st, 2016, at the end of a trip to Sweden, Pope Francis celebrated a Catholic Mass in a stadium. Saying that new situations require new energy and a new commitment, he offered a new list of beatitudes for modern Christians:
Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart. Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them their closeness. Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him. Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home. Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others. Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion.
If you want to be blessed and to be a blessing, do what the Beatitudes ask us to do, and be…
gentle, kind and generous
loving, giving and forgiving
pacific, calm and soft
patient, humble and quiet
nonviolent, benevolent and courteous
selfless, modest and mild
Here are the original Beatitudes as they appear in the Gospel according to Mathew:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I believe that we can organize ourselves to live on this planet in such ways that everyone can have a good, thriving life. Our planet is a place of abundance, and everybody can have all they need to live a dignified life, without the fear of not having enough. We only need to change the prevailing ideas and ways we have been operating on Earth.
We need to find a cure to the disease of obsessive hoarding that plagues our minds. There’s no need for some of us to accumulate as much as we do. And why we do it? Mainly because we are afraid of not having enough in times of need. And why? Because we live in a very selfish and individualistic culture, a dog-eat-dog environment where, as we were told since we were young, “only the strong survive.” We are brought up being told that “it’s each man for himself and each woman for herself.” Naturally, we grow afraid that if something bad happens to us, no one will come to our rescue. What we witness in the world today is a lot of competition and greed.
Well, I believe we can use a lot more of compassion, cooperation and solidarity. I believe we can organize ourselves in such ways that everyone can be supported to be the best that they can be, what, in turn, will allow each one of us to give our unique contributions for the betterment of the world.
Unfortunately, we are immersed in a very greedy and selfish reality. George Carlin describes it in his own George Carlin’s way…
WARNING: George Carlin’s way is full of words that you may find offensive.
I invite you to listen to Alan Watts telling the The Story of the Chinese Farmer, and reflect about fortune and misfortune.
The Story of the Chinese Farmer
Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. That evening, all of his neighbors came around to commiserate. They said, “We are so sorry to hear your horse has run away. This is most unfortunate.” The farmer said, “Maybe.”
The next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and in the evening everybody came back and said, “Oh, isn’t that lucky. What a great turn of events. You now have eight horses! That’s great, isn’t it?” The farmer again said, “Maybe.”
The following day his son tried to break one of the horses, and while riding it, he was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbors then said, “Oh dear, that’s too bad, isn’t it?” and the farmer responded, “Maybe.”
The next day the conscription officers came around to conscript people into the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again all the neighbors came around and said, “Isn’t that great?” Again, he said, “Maybe.”
The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad — because you never know what will be the consequences of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.