The Beatitudes


The Beatitudes are eight teachings about happiness that Jesus proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount.

Each beatitude begins with the words “Blessed are”. Together they describe the spirit of people who live in imitation of Jesus.

The blessings that Jesus promises in the Beatitudes require a level of suffering and self-sacrifice that people do not normally associate with happiness.

Because Jesus encourages detachment from worldly things, Christians who live a life based on the Beatitudes often find themselves ridiculed, marginalized and even persecuted.

Blessed are they:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.h Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5: 3-12

Living well and becoming holy:

The heart of Jesus’ preaching:

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.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1717

Living like Jesus did:

Jesus’ secret to happiness:

Guided by truth, justice, and love:

The Beatitudes are not specifically concerned with certain particular rules of behaviour. Rather, they speak of basic attitudes and dispositions in life and therefore they do not coincide exactly with the commandments. On the other hand, there is no separation or opposition between the Beatitudes and the commandments: both refer to the good, to eternal life.

Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, August 6, 1993

Detached from the world:

Hand-in-hand with an innate desire for happiness:

Paradoxical promises:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

It is a grace to see our sin:

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