According to the Baltimore Catechism...
Q. What are
the Beatitudes and why are they so called?
A. The Beatitudes
are a portion of Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount, and they are so called because
each of them holds out a promised reward to those who practice the virtues they
Q. Which are
A. The Beatitudes
are: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, 2)
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land, 3) Blessed are they that
mourn, for they shall be comforted, 4) Blessed are they that hunger and thirst
after justice, for they shall be filled, 5) Blessed are the merciful, for they
shall obtain mercy, 6) Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God,
7) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God, 8)
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven.
Q. What is the
meaning and use of the Beatitudes in general?
A. (1) In general
the Beatitudes embrace whatever pertains to the perfection of Christian life,
and they invite us to the practice of the highest Christian virtues; (2) In
different forms they all promise the same reward, namely, sanctifying grace in
this life and eternal glory in the next; (3) They offer us encouragement and
consolation for every trial and affliction.
Q. What does
the first Beatitude mean by the "poor in spirit"?
A. The first
Beatitude means by the "poor in spirit" all persons, rich or poor, who would not
offend God to posses or retain anything that this world can give; and who, when
necessity or charity requires it, give willingly for the glory of God. It
includes also those who humbly submit to their condition in life when it cannot
be improved by lawful means.
Q. Who are the
mourners who deserve the consolation promised in the third Beatitude?
A. The mourners
who deserve the consolation promised in the third Beatitude are they who, out of
love for God, bewail their own sins and those of the world; and they who
patiently endure all trials that come from God or for His sake.
lessons do the other Beatitudes convey?
A. The other
Beatitudes convey these lessons: The meek suppress all feelings of anger and
humbly submit to whatever befalls them by the Will of God; and they never desire
to do evil for evil. The justice after which we should seek is every Christian
virtue included under that name, and we are told that if we earnestly desire and
seek it we shall obtain it. The persecuted for justice' sake are they who will
not abandon their faith or virtue for any cause.
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