Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I am grateful for all that has been given to me; for my family past and present steeped in the values of duty and service to others, for my Catholic education emphasizing living a life of integrity before God, and for friends along the way who support my very being. For all of this, I am humbled.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
I am grateful that I am shy. It keeps me from being too egotistical. I’m just one of many who hope to inherit the Promised Land, who seek meaning and purpose beyond money and power.
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
I am grateful for the grace that comes with sorrow, the time off from busyness, and the solace offered from those who care for me. It is not easy to grow old and live with seemingly perpetual mourning.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice: for they shall have their fill.
I am grateful for my desire and pursuit of social equality for those less able to advocate for themselves. I hope my life makes a difference for the good. That is my fulfillment.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
I am grateful for all the times I have been forgiven for my misdeeds and mistakes. I strive to be a person who takes absolute responsibility for all my thoughts, words, and actions. There is no need then to forgive others.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
I am grateful for the promise of “seeing God” in the completion of the heavenly kingdom, but being clean of heart alludes me. I am human. I carry rancor, disgust, complaining, despair and ill-will in my heart. Is good intention enough?
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
I am grateful that I learned diplomacy and peacemaking in my sometimes chaotic family life. My parents were rarely at peace. Our world does not respect or encourage peace. There is a Department of Defense but why not a Department of Peace among our United States government agencies? This beatitude implies we cannot be the progeny of God until we make peace with each other.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I am grateful I have not suffered outright persecution for being a woman, for my race, for my disability and for my beliefs. However, I have felt persecution in sympathy with others in my work as a counselor and disability rights advocate.
Jesus, the Christ, laid out before us a plan for perfection and a promise of heaven on earth if we practiced these blessings. May you be especially blessed during this holiday season.