Life in Christ
The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive
moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and
to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true
happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or
power, or in any human achievement—however beneficial it may
be—such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature,
but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love:
All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the
multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure
happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respect-
ability. . . . It is a homage resulting from a profound faith . . .
that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of
the day and notoriety is a second. . . . Notoriety, or the
making of a noise in the world—it may be called “newspaper
fame”—has come to be considered a great good in itself, and
a ground of veneration.
The Decalogue, the Sermon on the Mount, and the apos-
tolic catechesis describe for us the paths that lead to the Kingdom
of heaven. Sustained by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we tread them,
step by step, by everyday acts. By the working of the Word of
Christ, we slowly bear fruit in the Church to the glory of God.
The Beatitudes take up and fulfill God’s promises
from Abraham by ordering them to the Kingdom
of heaven. They respond to the desire for happiness
that God has placed in the human heart.
The Beatitudes teach us the final end to which God
calls us: the Kingdom, the vision of God, participation
in the divine nature, eternal life, filiation, rest in God.
The beatitude of eternal life is a gratuitous gift of God.
It is supernatural, as is the grace that leads us there.
The Beatitudes confront us with decisive choices con-
cerning earthly goods; they purify our hearts in order
to teach us to love God above all things.
24 John Henry Cardinal Newman, “Saintliness the Standard of Christian
Discourses to Mixed Congregations
(London: Longmans, Green
and Co., 1906) V, 89-90.
25 Cf. the parable of the sower: