This contemplation aligns one beatitude with each day of the week. The final beatitude is a summation of the first seven and was therefore omitted from this work. Those who follow the beatitudes will encounter persecution, the Eighth Beatitude. And when you do, Rejoice! You are doing your best to bring Jesus to a world in need of Him. You are then living in beatitude.
We desire to live in beatitude because Jesus has called us to a higher level of holiness at the Sermon on the Mount. St. Gregory of Nyssa says that just as an artist describes what makes a beautiful face, so Christ, the artist, describes in the beatitudes what makes true human beauty. Our Vocation to Beatitude is found in the CCC 1716-1729. But several key paragraphs are listed here.
The Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity. They express the vocation of the faithful associated with the glory of his Passion and Resurrection; they shed light on the actions and attitudes characteristic of the Christian life; they are the paradoxical promises that sustain hope in the midst of tribulations; they proclaim the blessings and rewards already secured, however dimly, for Christ’s disciples; they have begun in the lives of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.
The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it:
We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated.—St. Augustine
How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God, I seek a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you.—St. Augustine
God alone satisfies.—St. Thomas Aquinas
The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This vocation is addressed to each individual personally, but also to the Church as a whole, the new people made up of those who have accepted the promise and live from it in faith.
God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him, and so to come to paradise. Beatitude makes us “partakers of the divine nature” and of eternal life. With beatitude, man enters into the glory of Christ and into the joy of the Trinitarian life.
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.
It is a traditional Catholic custom to sanctify each day of the week with special devotional practices.
We need the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill our call to live in beatitude, or to put in motion our desire to live in beatitude. St. Augustine aligned the gifts of the Holy Spirit with the Beatitudes.
By her complete adherence to the Father’s will, to his Son’s redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity. Thus she is a “preeminent and…wholly unique member of the Church”; indeed, she is the “exemplary realization” (typus) of the Church.
If we then believe Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity, we should strive to live our profession of faith as Mary would:
Our Lady’s prayer, The Magnificat, enumerates the qualities in her we should emulate:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness… Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law… This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example. We know that God is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes love for us. A list is given for what Love is and is not. Let us look at this list as a starting point of entering into the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As a starting point we have attached a quality of Jesus’ to practice with each description.
Taken from St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica, the glorified, resurrected body will have these seven characteristics.
How? Christ is raised with his own body: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself” but he did not return to an earthly life. So, in him, “all of them will rise again with their own bodies which they now bear,” but Christ “will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body,” into a “spiritual body.”
This “how” exceeds our imagination and understanding; it is accessible only to faith. Yet our participation in the Eucharist already gives us a foretaste of Christ’s transfiguration of our bodies.
Christ will raise us up “on the last day"; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. For, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, Christian life is already now on earth a participation in the death and Resurrection of Christ.
…the resurrected body of both Christ and the Blessed are the very same material bodies they had before they died…But Christ’s body after the Resurrection was truly made up of elements, and had tangible qualities such as the nature of a human body requires, and therefore it could naturally be handled. (Summa Theologiae III, 54, 2 ad 2)…The resurrected body is not spiritual by being made out of, or turned into, a spiritual substance. It is spiritual by being completely subject to the spirit (soul) of its possessor. But such is the disposition of a glorified body that it is spiritual, I.e. subject to the spirit, as the Apostle says (1 Cor 15:44). Now in order for the body to be entirely subject to the spirit, it is necessary for the body's every action to be subject to the will of the spirit…
The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God.
… I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first-by deed, the second-by word, the third-by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays a reverence to My mercy.
Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life:1 they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.
The Decalogue, the Sermon on the Mount, and the apostolic 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.
When someone asks him, “Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?” Jesus replies: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets.” The Decalogue must be interpreted in light of this twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law…
Each thought for the day reminds us of our desire to live in Beatitude in order to partake in the coming of the Kingdom of God, the vision of God, entering into the joy of the Lord; and entering into God’s rest.
The New Testament uses several expressions to characterize the beatitude to which God calls man: