Beatitudes (Part I)
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
By: Elaina Simpson, C.S.
Praying for the world can sometimes feel like a big thing to do. Once when I didn't know where to start, it occurred to me to check out the beatitudes. Since then, I've found the beatitudes (or the "blessings) to be a useful guide for praying for the world. Seeing them spiritually illumines them and proves just how useful they are. It's always going to be the same Truth, but each beatitude will mean something special to each individual in their unique time of need-- Bringing new and fresh revelations. So needless to say, there is no right or wrong way to look at these. I've found it helpful to unpack each beatitude looking at it's spiritual meaning. For my own notes, I found it useful to look to Mary Baker Eddy's (discover and founder of Christian Science) writings to find complimentary parallels that portray each beatitude. Although we do not know if she was referring exactly to the beatitudes when she wrote these verses, these verses certainly expand on and fulfill the beatitudes.
1.) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Even in the times when tempted to feel 'poor' in our understanding of God (Spirit), or even if one feels poor pertaining to their finances... We have a promise; That each of us already have the 'kingdom of heaven.' Spirit can represent many things. We learn in Christian Science that it is one of seven synonyms for God. It helps me to think of Spirit as God's Self-sustained, exuberant, outward expression of joy. Even when it seems we can lack joy, for instance, God sees his children possessing the Kingdom of Heaven. Here is the definition of 'Kingdom of Heaven' found in the Christian Science textbook on healing:
"KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme."
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 590:1) This beatitude to me, points to our infinite, uninterrupted understanding of God, Spirit. And, our divine entitlement to the 'kingdom of heaven' as God's children. So right in those moments when one feels tempted to feel 'poor' in anyway, right there, we can acknowledge our 'kingdom of heaven.' We have it, even in those moments. Christ Jesus mentioned that this 'kingdom of heaven' is not out there somewhere else, it's not something we have to wait on or even pray to get. This 'kingdom of heaven' is 'within you.' This "blessing" promises that for you and all.
2.) Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Even if mourning and grief seem to cloud our view of ourselves as God's 'image and likeness,' this "blessing" promises that a false view cannot prevail. Even if we seem to feel overwhelming sadness, the "liar" (as Christ Jesus refers to negative suggestions in our thinking), does not win. A psalms verse echos this very promise, "For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (30:5) (It helps me to think of God, as our "Judge" (Isaiah 33:22) never allowing an unjust sentence. The Judge's loving promise always rules.) Mary Baker Eddy writes... "...divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy..."
Regarding this promise of being 'comforted', she writes about the Comforter: "In the words of St. John: 'He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.' This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science." (SH 55:27)
These comforting laws, are always here with us. Acknowledging them in prayer, we find that sorrow holds no law and doesn't last. We find that; "...though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for [LOVE] is with me; [LOVE'S] rod and [LOVE'S] staff they comfort me."
(SH 578:10) _____ I will post the next two beatitudes next week to break it up a bit. :) I've been learning that prayerfully pondering an idea and allowing it to unfold in thought does wonders. It's not about how much we can read or all the things we can accomplish, but quiet contemplation, unfoldment and growth. So, I'll be thinking about these ideas this week if you'd like to join me. So grateful for the beatitudes! I don't have a comments on my website, but I have a chat/comment box where you can share any additional thoughts. (Bottom right for desktop users). Thank you. For updates on future posts, you can subscribe here.