You will enjoy this double CD collection of 26 Divine Mercy teachings as you learn how to live the message in your family and workplace.
By Dr. Bryan Thatcher
I want to share some thoughts with you on the Beatitudes, or the attitudes that we are to have in our daily lives. The "How to Be" Attitudes give us a roadmap for sanctity and deal a lot with compassion and courage. They speak about virtues needed as we traverse the earth. And they speak about action — being merciful and showing compassion.
We know what James wrote in Chapter 2:17: "faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." We are to live the Beatitudes in our daily lives!
But what does Jesus expect, and what kind of attitude are we talking about? In Matthew 5:3-12 we read:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they 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 they 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, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
When was the last time you were compassionate? When was the last time you went out of your way to help somebody, expecting nothing in return?
I was pleasantly shocked one day when my wife told me that my 16-year-old son gave a homeless person some of his Christmas gift certificates from a local restaurant. He did it out of compassion. Something must have moved my son and led him to action. And when reflecting about it, the words in Matthew 5:7 come to life, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
The Lord told St. Faustina, "... before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice ... (Diary of St. Faustina, 1146). Ask yourself this question: When you see Jesus face-to-face, will you be pleading for mercy or will you be asking for His justice? I can tell you that without reservation I will be asking for mercy.
When I look at the Beatitudes, the one I find most comforting is the line addressing those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness. I think back to all the struggles of the early Church — all the martyrs, all those who were beheaded or thrown to the lions for their courage in following Jesus, and all those throughout the ages that have kept the Faith and run the good race. I am sure that if they could address us today they would be encouraging us, telling us as St. Paul did, that "For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen" (2 Cor 4:17).
And I think of all those who are persecuted today because they want to wear a crucifix around their neck, say a short prayer in school or in the workplace, or have the courage to speak out against the murdering of all the infants in the womb, as well as the killing of the sick and the elderly through euthanasia. We must keep our eyes on the finish line and "walk by faith, not by sight" ( 2 Cor 5:7).
I want to close with the opening line of a beautiful prayer that St. Faustina wrote in her Diary. As Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, we say it every morning in our daily prayers in the office. It begins: "I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor" (163).
When you have placed in your path a chance to live the Be-Attitudes, do it out of love of God and with an attitude of gratitude, trusting in His mercy and believing in the words of St. Matthew, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the director of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy. He is featured in EWTN's Cenacle of The Divine Mercy, Series II, now airing weekly on Mondays at 2:30 p.m. (EST) and Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. (EST).