Tag Archives: mercy

BLESSED ARE THE POOR

BLESSED ARE THE POOR
THE BEATITUDES OF JESUS ARE REVOLUTIONARY.

The Beatitudes present a model of happiness contrary to what is usually communicated by the media and by the prevailing wisdom.

Today, what is glorified is success at any cost, affluence, the arrogance of power and self-affirmation at the expense of others. According to the logic of this world, those whom Jesus proclaimed blessed are regarded as useless, “losers”.

BLESSED POOR

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”                                                                                                                             Matthew 5:3

BLESSED ARE THE POOR -WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

It seems confusing because we ought to strive to be rich in spirit, not poor.

At a time when so many people are suffering as a result of the financial crisis, it might seem strange to link poverty and happiness.  How can we consider poverty a blessing? Does Jesus teach material poverty? Jesus is here talking about the condition of the spirit, not of the wallet.

Jesus loves everybody. Jesus wants to bless everyone, so why would he single out the economically poor for some kind of special blessing?

Economic poverty and sociological poverty often overlap, but not always.  There are the “sociological poor”; these include people who are marginalized and oppressed, rendered vulnerable and given over to all sorts of hardships for reasons not of their own making. They are deprived the basic dignities which should be accorded all human beings–and it their spirits are often crushed, they are often broken-hearted, as a result.

It goes far beyond merely keeping the commandments: trying to gain eternal life. It’s undergoing a profound change in all of our attitudes, our value system, to really come to know Jesus, to hear His message, to imitate His way of life, to follow Him. That will require profound conversion.

BLESSED ARE THE POOR

Jesus is talking more about an attitude, a way of knowing one’s need for God, which is a disposition of the heart and not simply economic deprivation.

“When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind. Blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”                                                                                        Luke 14:13-14

We understand that material goods are not a be-all and end-all for anyone, or should not be. We understand that we need enough to have a full human life, but we don’t need excess. We understand that God made the world for all and not just for a few, and so we need to find ways to share the goods of the earth and the goods of our world so everyone has a chance for a full human life.

The poor in spirit are those who recognize their total spiritual destitution and their complete dependence on God. So that the logic of being more will prevail over that of having more!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.                                                                                                                              Matthew 5:3

DOES “POOR IN SPIRIT” MEANS TO BE HUMBLE?

Continue reading BLESSED ARE THE POOR

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CARE OF THE SOUL

Materialistic life can be so absorbing that we get caught in it and we forget about spirituality. Many don’t believe in the soul and therefore many don’t give it any place in the hierarchy of values. What we need is soul in the middle holding together mind and body. A spiritual life of some kind is absolutely necessary for psychological ”health”.

CARE OF THE SOUL

Psychology is a secular science while care of the soul is a sacred art. We separate psychology and religion, therapy and spiritual practice. Psychology and spirituality need to be seen as one. Psychology is incomplete if it doesn’t include spirituality in a fully integrated way. When the soul is neglected, our problem doesn’t just go away; it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence and loss of meaning.

The emotional complaints of our time that are heard by therapist: 

  • Emptiness
  • Meaninglessness
  • Vague Depression
  • Disillusion about marriage, family and relationship
  • Loss of values
  • Yearning for personal fulfillment
  • A hunger for spirituality

OUR QUEST

All these symptoms reflect a loss of soul and let us know what the soul craves. We cannot solve our “emotional” problems until we grasp the mystery that honors the Divine.

We yearn excessively for entertainment, power, intimacy, sexual fulfillment, and material things. We think we can find these things if we discover the right relationship or job or therapy. We strive to attain alluring satisfaction in great masses, thinking that quantity will make up for lack of quality.

Yet, without soul, whatever we find will be unsatisfying. What we truly long for is the soul in each of these areas. Soul doesn’t pour into our lives automatically. It requires our skill and attention.

We cannot care for the soul unless we are familiar with its ways. We need to make the necessary changes revealed by depression and anxiety. These problems make it felt because the soul needs attention.

care of the soul

ILLNESS AND HEALING

Doctors are learning that there is an actual correlation between psychological experience and physical ailments. For example, one’s colon is unhappy. Doctors know that there is a relationship between repressed anger and colitis. If cancer cell growth has gone berserk, is there something that has been disordered?

The word, “disease or dis-ease” says it all. It means without ease and disease emanates from stress. Disturbances created from marriage and family can be more stressful to the soul than conditions of work.

Modern medicine is hell-bent on cure and has no interest in anything about the soul. Maybe our lives are too secular and in need of such a visitation through the soul. Do we know what can be speaking silently to us in our body? “Recognize what is before your eyes, and what is hidden will be revealed to you.”    Gospel of Thomas Continue reading CARE OF THE SOUL

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WHAT DOES SPIRITUALITY MEAN?

IN SEARCH OF SPIRITUALITY

We are in this world but not of this world since every day Christians say: “Our Father who art in heaven…

Spirituality mean

Even when we worship different gods, attend different schools, have different skin colors, we’re all supposed to share spirituality.

But you have a compute and Wikipedia: “Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the ‘deepest values and meanings by which people live.’”

Yes, that’s Wikipedia! It continues on to say, “Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life. It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.”

Hmm! That’s extremely broad. Maybe you should read a book on the subject.

Princeton religion scholar Leigh Schmidt wrote one called Restless Souls that charts the development of American spirituality. Rather than the “New Age” phenomenon it is sometimes misinterpreted as, spirituality is an egalitarian, pluralistic realm of experience and thought has  a unique and sometimes intellectually advanced role in American history. So, basically, Schmidt can’t (or won’t) really define spirituality, either.

We instinctively know that it’s mixed up in religion, but it’s definitely distinct from institutional religion. Can someone be religious without being spiritual? It’s completely plausible.

On the other side of the coin, you hear “I don’t go to church, but I’m very spiritual.” You may get called spiritual once in a while without understanding what it means. People can use spirituality as a buffer. Relying on ambiguity can be risky. Continue reading WHAT DOES SPIRITUALITY MEAN?

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