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Monday June 3 – The Beatitudes:  We Rise
One way of seeing the Beatitudes is as a vehicle — say a hot air balloon — that can carry us upward toward higher levels of consciousness. We enter into Jesus' Way to happiness by sacrificing our suffering; through observing and non-identifying, we begin to jettison weighty attitudes, fixed ways of taking things, objectifying others, programs for happiness and over-identification with religious, ethnic and family groups. We Self-remember, become empty, and find we are being filled with lightness of Being — the Beatitudes and the Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit. And we are risen.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
"To have mercy is, in one sense, to know and see that what one blames in others is also in oneself — that is, it is to see the beam in one's own eye, to see oneself in others and others in oneself. This is one basis of practical mercy."
- Maurice Nicoll, The New Man
"The God who is Love Itself has given us everything we've ever had and forgiven all the errors we've ever made. … The entire world and everything in it, including us, comes from God and belongs only to God and nobody anywhere owes us anything. Every bit of our good comes from God alone. In the Kingdom of Heaven, nobody owes us anything."
- Tim Cook, The Mark, May 2016
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

"To be pure in heart means literally to be purged in heart or cleansed by purgation. … It is about an emotional state that can be reached in which the reality of the existence of God is seen directly from the clear-sightedness of the purified emotional understanding."
- Maurice Nicoll, The New Man
"As I start to let my heart be cleansed by letting go, what comes forth is love, compassion and acceptance. My journey is not about adding anything. … My prayer and deepest intention is that my heart and eyes can see God in all [God’s] creation. That includes me."
- David Wallace, The Mark, June 2016
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.
"If you do not give yourself peace, how can you share it with others? If you do not begin your peace work with yourself, where will you go to begin it? To sit, to smile, to look at things and really see them, these are the basis of peace work."
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Commentary on the Heart Sutra
"To make peace in oneself is to be free from inner disharmonies, inner disturbances, inner contradictions. To make peace with others is to act always from what is Good and not to take hold of differences of opinion or argue about different viewpoints or theories, which always produce disagreements."
- Maurice Nicoll, The New Man
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Fr. Thomas says this from today's video on the transformational meaning of persecution, what the Work would call conscious suffering: "'How happy,' Jesus says, 'you will be if everybody just says the worst things they can think of about you, if you suffer for the truth or for justice or for my name.' … That’s the peak of happiness in this extraordinary worldview of Jesus. Because now one has moved beyond self-interest to such a degree that one no longer possesses not only things, or one’s body, or one’s own will and judgment, but no longer has a possessive attitude towards the self or one’s identity, because one’s identity is rooted in Christ and whatever unique mission or identity [Christ] wants you to have. … [O]ne’s whole happiness has become centered in the truth."
A Meditation
Christ says in the Scriptures, "Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:20). As Maurice Nicoll explains in The New Man, "This form of righteousness is the level … where everything [one] does is for the sake of his own merit and for its own sake. Such a [one] justifies himself by outward acts and behaviors. To justify oneself means to make out that one is guiltless. … Christ was teaching another order of Truth … He was speaking all the time about this higher level called the Kingdom of Heaven. … Righteousness must be something utterly different. … When a man receives teaching about inner evolution, he can no longer justify himself as he has done. He can no longer blind himself by his former self-justification to what he really is, in the light of the new order of Truth he has learned." 

To Practice
Video Reflections: View the video excerpt "The Beatitudes: Healing the Emotional Programs, Part 2." This excerpt is about 27 minutes in length. You will find the video and transcript here.
Examen: Reflect on the Beatitudes and the Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit. What is being emptied and what is emerging in your life?
Fruits of the Spirit - Galatians 5: 22-23
… The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 
gentleness, self-control.
Gifts of the Spirit - see Isaiah 11: 2-3
A spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of godliness (piety),
and he shall be filled with the spirit of fear of the Lord (reverence).

Resources for Further Study:
  • Read more about suffering in Commentaries, by Maurice Nicoll, "Commentary on Suffering," Vol. 4, Nov. 6, 1948, page 1239. 
  • An archive of previous emails may be found here
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