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Monday May 27 – The Beatitudes:
Healing the Emotional Programs
Then you will know the truth
And the truth will set you free.
- John 8:32
In these next four sessions, Fr. Thomas illuminates the Beatitudes as highly condensed remedies for progressive healing of the wounds and paralysis we acquired at each level of consciousness. He reminds us that the word "Blessed" is another way of saying "Oh, how happy we would be if …" In other words, the Beatitudes are algebraic; they inform us that true happiness equals (or is the same as) letting go of our identification with superfluous programs for happiness, and vice versa. We cannot have one without the other.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
"Now if you are full of yourself you are rich in spirit, but if you begin to observe yourself through what the Work teaches about identifying you will become poor in spirit — that is, you will not identify with yourself so much. What will the result be? You will find what for you is bliss. You will find an enormous relief, a strange kind of happiness in no longer having to keep up the idea of yourself with which you were formerly so identified."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "On Changing Our Level of Being," Vol. 2, June 30, 1945
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
In the Work, mourning can also refer to the anguished letting-go of thinking that we can, of our own volition, live the values of the Gospel. We cry out like Paul, "Why do I think and act the way I do, though I know it is unloving?"
In the upside-down world of the spiritual journey, this realization of our utter powerlessness to change or improve ourselves is the beginning of healing. For it is then that we reach out for God. It is then that we intentionally and actively practice the Work of non-identifying with mechanical reactions, negativity and cultural conditioning.
"All things are given to those who ask, and they only deserve them, and they only can enjoy them. The infant cries when she is hungry and to her the food is given, and it is then that she enjoys it most. So it is with the lovers of God, with the seekers of Truth; when their desire becomes so deep that it makes them mourn, it is then that they are comforted."
- Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Unity of Religious Ideals
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
"Now what does 'meek' mean in the original sense of the Greek word? It means 'not resentful.' … [I]f a man can observe himself and cease so much to identify with himself and with his pictures of himself … he will be able to practice being meek in the real sense of the Greek word — he will not be so resentful when people do not behave to him as he thinks they ought to behave — he will not make so many internal accounts against others."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "On Changing Our Level of Being," Vol. 2, June 30, 1945
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
"The fourth Beatitude refers to "those who long to understand what is [the] goodness of being and [the] knowledge of Truth that lead to the higher level — they are those who, feeling their nothingness, … long to be taught what Truth the higher Man must know and follow what Good means at the level of the Kingdom of Heaven. They hunger for Good and thirst for Truth, for the union of these two … makes … the inner harmony called righteousness."
- Maurice Nicoll, The New Man
We see that the prescription of the Beatitudes is the emptying out of the self in order to allow our true essence to shine forth by God's grace. . How blessed we are to be given tools that allow us to participate with the Holy Spirit, the Divine Physician, that we might fulfill our destiny as beings of Goodness and Truth!
A Meditation
"Get up … it is time to move on. The world is begging for new and more abundant life. The life of the world is your life, and your life belongs to the whole of life. Stop trying to preserve yourself; lose yourself because you have the power to Christify life, to help unify it, to raise it to a new level of ultra-humanity. … Omega love is in our midst, and this love is our power, our hope and our future. … Be the co-creator you are made to be: emblazon this world with the grandeur of God."
- Ilia Delio, Making All Things New
To Practice
Video Reflections: View the video excerpt "The Beatitudes: Healing the Emotional Programs, Part 1." This excerpt is about 25 minutes in length. You will find the video and transcript here.
Examen: Reflect on the first four Beatitudes as illuminated by Fr. Thomas and the ideas of the Work. How has your understanding of the Beatitudes opened up with this teaching? Is one of these Beatitudes particularly applicable to your life at this time?
Resources for Further Study:
  • Read more about the Beatitudes in Commentaries, by Maurice Nicoll, "On Changing Our Level of Being," Vol. 2, June 30, 1945 and Invitation to Love by Thomas Keating, "The First Four Beatitudes."
  • An archive of previous emails may be found here
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