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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).

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Marvin - May 10, 2008

Thank you, Bryan, for the Work you are
doing through the Cenacles of Divine
Mercy. God bless you and your Cenacle

dmarie - Apr 26, 2008

Divine Mercy for all prisioners souls!!!

Jeannie - Apr 3, 2008

The message is clear ...we must have MERCY for others! God's mercy is GREAT for each of us...and NOW the messeage of Divine Mercy burns deep in my whole being ...knowing that I must proclaim it from the mountain top..and the message is for ALL mankind! May God Be Praised Forever!

Arputharaj - Apr 3, 2008

I thank God for His compassion and love that I have experienced in the recent past at midst of many trials due to my own weaknesses and limitations. Observing Divine Mercy celebration that followed by Novena in honour of Divine Mercy of the Lord. There is a sense of peace in my life

Do remember me in your prayers

sebastian - Mar 10, 2008

Thanks. Jesus Christ, Son of God, expects us to be beautiful with His Beatitudes. Lord Jesus, King of Mercy, You have given us everything we need for our redemption. " But the hour is coming, and NOW is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship Him"(John 4:23). King of Mercy, give us the grace of being in mercy of the Eternal Father's will. Let our attitudes be "The Beatitudes".

Please remember in your prayers. God bless you all.