The Beatitudes

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The Beatitudes, given by Jesus, are a chart which leads us to God. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Blessed are the humble, those who are willing to listen. To illustrate: a man went to Italy. He had been told that there was a great statue there, and it was very beautiful. He looked at it, studied it, and thought, “This doesn’t look like much. I can’t see where it’s beautiful at all.” Finally, a little boy came up to him and said, “Sir, if you step forward, kneel down, and look up, you will see.” So the man stepped forward (which means, he took the first step), he kneeled down (he was humble), and then he looked up into the most beautiful face he had ever seen! But he had to do it in the right way, so that he could appreciate the beautiful work of art that was before him. Blessed are those who are humble.

This is the first step in finding God.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Blessed are those who recognize their sins and their failings, and repent them. Not glibly saying, “Everything is lovely,” when it isn’t. But going to God in their deepest hearts and saying, “Father, if I have disobeyed You, show me what I should do now.” And then, be receptive! We all have the same opportunity to listen to God. This is the second step forward in spiritual growth.

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” When you begin to get a slight grasp on Science, the next thing you may do, if you’re not careful, is to start stomping on your brother. You find fault and criticize, telling him that he hasn’t done this or that right. You know what this does? It absolutely stops your growth, and it breaks your brother’s heart. You can do great damage in that way. So don’t get a little inspiration, and let error cause you to think, “How great I am,” and begin to step on others. Instead, recognize how great God is, and keep your head held low in humility, seeking to bless, not preach at your brother.

A friend told me that when she found Christian Science she was most enthusiastic. Her husband’s relatives were Christian Scientists who lived in California. She went to visit them, and she said to me later, “I shudder at what I did. I was a new broom sweeping clean. I told them they were doing everything wrong. I didn’t even know what I was talking about. I must have been obnoxious!” When I met her, she was wonderful. She wasn’t the least bit obnoxious. But she’d learned her lesson, and never re­peated the mistake.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” When you’ve come through the first three steps, and really begin to want the truth in your heart, Love opens the way. As you can see, there are several things that need to be done before it becomes your heart’s desire. And if it is your heart’s desire, you can’t be stopped. But you have to go through the first three steps, to discard the trash of human thinking, and rise into the glory of Godly thinking.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Oh, as you progress become more kind, more loving, more caring. That’s what we’re learning here. There’s no way, but through love and caring, to spread the Word of God.

My mother and father practiced Christian Science in a large New York church. In the beginning, when I was a child, I saw great caring in the church. And slowly as time passed, that began to disappear. As it did, that great church diminished. It was a great and beautiful church. It diminished until it closed. It had four hundred children in its Sunday School when I was there. It closed in 1972. And when it did, no one was left. The members forgot to care and they lost their church. Keep mercy in your hearts. Don’t judge. Stay kind. Stay loving. Don’t gossip. Don’t enter into unkind conversation about anyone, in anyway. This is the worst stumbling block there can be, criticizing and judging your brother. We’ve seen the mistakes that can be made; and we’re going to be wise enough to learn and profit from them, and know, that in reality, those mis­takes were no part of any child of God, or of any church anywhere.

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Jesus was speaking from his own experience. Blessed are those who hold nothing back from God. This can’t be discussed with others. It’s something between you and God and must work within your heart. It can’t work if you’re discussing it with others. It can only work in the silence of a heart earnestly communing with God. Blessed are those who hold nothing back, who have a pure heart and say, “God, here I am. I love You, and I will obey You always.” “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” When the first six Beatitudes have been put into practice, one can’t help bringing peace to everyone he deals with. And then comes the next step, and Jesus knew it so well, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” We had reviling and persecution for ten years; but we kept on loving, and doing right. We kept on obeying God. Every move we made was made with God. And these moves resulted in the unprecedented winning of a law case in a way that has never been done before, because no one had won a case against the Boston hierarchy. And it was done with love. It was done for the freedom of every Christian Scientist.

And finally, “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” And so, let us rejoice. The battle always has been the Lord’s. He has fought for us. And Love has won! Thank you, God, for Your glorious Truth that always protects and cares for its own.

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