Continuing Formation: “The Beatitudes”

For the next few months, we will be concentrating on the Beatitudes and how they apply to the Franciscan way of life. The eight beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew 5: 3-10 as quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
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 sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward is great in heaven.

Last month we discussed the poor in spirit and the meek, this month, we will concentrate on the seventh Beatitude listed here—“Blessed are the peacemakers”

Seventh Beatitude

The "peacemakers" (verse 9) are those who not only live in peace with others but moreover do their best to preserve peace and friendship among mankind and between God and man, and to restore it when it has been disturbed. It is on account of this godly work, "an imitating of God's love of man" as St. Gregory of Nyssa styles it, that they shall be called the sons of god, "children of your Father who is in heaven" (Matt., v, 45).  Taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Please note the following from our Rule:

17. In their family they should cultivate the Franciscan spirit of peace, fidelity, and respect for life, striving to make of it a sign of a world already renewed in Christ.

19.  Mindful that they are bearers of peace which must be built up unceasingly, they should seek out ways of unity and fraternal harmony through dialogue, trusting in the presence of the divine seed in everyone and in the transforming power of love and pardon.Messengers of perfect joy in every circumstance, they should strive to bring joy and hope to others.