Category Archives: Sermon on the Mount

Meekness

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth’

Matthew 5:5

I’ve compiled a few thoughts on meekness from across the web. I hope they speak to you.

The meek are those who are gentle, humble, and unassuming, simple in faith and patient in the face of every affront. Imbued with the precepts of the gospel, they imitate the meekness of the Lord, who says, “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.”

Chromatius, Tractate on Matthew

To see what meekness is, you must look not at meekness but at Christ. Saying meekness is this or that sends you to concepts which are pale copies of reality. Saying “Jesus is meek” sends you to the living reality of it.

Peter Kreeft, Back to Virtue

If it is the meek, the helpless, the disabled, who will inherit the earth, this is perhaps because the earth, God’s earth, the real earth, can be had on no other terms. It is a gift. Or, in the words of the beatitude, it is an inheritance.

Simon Tugwell, The Beatitudes

The land is always inherited; it is not taken. It is not ours to take, but God’s to give. Thus we have no absolute right to it. Our “inheritance” of any land ultimately demands fidelity to God’s vision for the household, how we are to live in the land.

Michael H. Crosby, Spirituality of the Beatitudes

The renewal of the earth begins at Golgotha, where the meek One died, and from thence it will spread. When the kingdom finally comes, the meek shall possess the earth.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

There is radiant meekness in Mary’s response to the archangel Gabriel: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord. Let it be with me just as you have said” (Luke 1:38). … In all its meekness, no other act in human history has had such significance. Through Mary, our Creator became one with us in the flesh.

Jim Forest, The Ladder of the Beatitudes

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Sayings of the Master

Sermon On The Mount

Matthew 4:16-25

  • No one can live only on food. People need every word God has spoken.
  • When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.
  • When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
  • Don’t store up treasures on earth! Instead, store up your treasures in heaven.
  • Your heart will always be where your treasure is
  • Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself.
  • I tell you not to worry about your life. Can worry make you live longer?
  • Why do you have such little faith? Put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.
  • God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.
  • Ask, and you will receive. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be open for you.
  • Treat others, as you want them to treat you.
  • You can tell what they are by what they do.
  • I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners.
  • Anyone who gives one of my most humble followers a cup of cool water, just because that person is my follower, will surely be rewarded.
  • If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.
  • Good people bring good things out of their hearts, but evil people bring evil things out of their hearts.
  • What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?
  • Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.
  • Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first.
  • Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.”
  • If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.
  • I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.

Reflection – Choose one of these sayings of Christ to become your focus each day as you journey.

Monica Boudreaux

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The Monastic Path

Some sixteen hundred years ago men and women who sought a deep relationship with God went to the Egyptian desert to find a sense of peace and unity with Him. These men and women became known as the Desert Fathers and Mothers (the Abbas and Ammas.) They lived a simple and somewhat isolated life of work and prayer, and followed a three step program to mysticism. The goal of every monk was to see and feel the mystical presence of God.

The first level was Purgatio, a time when the young monks through prayer and ascetic practices sought to control their “flesh.” Specifically they were challenged to control their desire for wealth, lust of the flesh, and gluttony. This period of purgation could last for years, and didn’t conclude until they realized that the only control was found through grace. This grace came directly from the Holy Spirit.

Then the young monk went to the second step, Illuminatio. During this period the monks practiced the paths to holiness as revealed in the Gospel, identifying strongly with the Christ who taught the Sermon on the Mount. At this point the monk began to guide others in their paths of purgation, helping them to discover the grace of God. They entertained visitors and took on students as their resources allowed. Often the monk stayed at this stage until his death.

The final stage was Unitio, a period in which the soul of the monk was meant to bond with the Spirit of God in a union often described as the marriage of the Song of Solomon. At this point, many monks withdrew to the deep desert, modeling their journey after resurrected Christ, when he hid himself from His disciples, and appeared to them sparingly.

Amazingly, we can learn so much from desert monasticism. These pioneers of spirituality provide for us a personal path to God that works so well. Just imagine what  life would be if we would follow the path of the desert, as we sought God. Many of the conflicts and worst church experiences could be avoided. If each Christian saw as his first task to purge himself of the desires of the flesh (not just sexual lust), and then share his journey, without judgment, with someone else, we would teach and hold up each other. It would be the burning desire of every believer to assist others in finding their path.

I am not sure that any of us will ever get to this final stage. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, taught an order of salvation: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Unitio and glorification are similar theologies, and Wesley concluded that glorification was not possible in our lifetime. I agree with Wesley’s conclusion, but we can have such a joyful journey if we are mindful of ourselves and those around us.

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