St. Ambrose on the Beatitudes

Ambrose (339-397 A.D), an early church father and bishop of Milan, links the beatitudes with the four cardinal virtues which strengthen us in living a life of moral excellence. He writes:

“Let us see how St. Luke encompassed the eight blessings in the four. We know that there are four cardinal virtues: temperance, justice, prudence and fortitude. One who is poor in spirit is not greedy. One who weeps is not proud but is submissive and tranquil. One who mourns is humble. One who is just does not deny what he knows is given jointly to all for us. One who is merciful gives away his own goods. One who bestows his own goods does not seek another’s, nor does he contrive a trap for his neighbor. These virtues are interwoven and interlinked, so that one who has one may be seen to have several, and a single virtue befits the saints. Where virtue abounds, the reward too abounds… Thus temperance has purity of heart and spirit, justice has compassion, patience has peace, and endurance has gentleness.” (EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 5.62–63, 68).

“‘Blessed,’ it says, ‘are the poor.’ Not all the poor are blessed, for poverty is neutral. The poor can be either good or evil, unless, perhaps, the blessed pauper is to be understood as he whom the prophet described, saying, ‘A righteous poor man is better than a rich liar’ (Proverbs 19:22). Blessed is the poor man who cried and whom the Lord heard (Psalm 34:6). Blessed is the man poor in offense. Blessed is the man poor in vices. Blessed is the poor man in whom the prince of this world (John 14:30) finds nothing. Blessed is the poor man who is like that poor Man who, although he was rich, became poor for our sake (2 Corinthians 8:9). Matthew fully revealed this when he said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ (Matthew 5:3). One poor in spirit is not puffed up, is not exalted in the mind of his own flesh. This beatitude is first, when I have laid aside every sin, and I have taken off all malice, and I am content with simplicity, destitute of evils. All that remains is that I regulate my conduct. For what good does it do me to lack worldly goods, unless I am meek and gentle?” (excerpt from EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 5.53-54)

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Saint Teresa of Avila

“A sad saint, is a bad saint”

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Create a new mind in me…

Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.

– Romans 12:2

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The seven beatitudes in Revelation:

The seven beatitudes in Revelation:

1. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it. (1:3)

2. Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord. (14:13)

3. Blessed is the one who stays awake and is clothed [with the teaching of the Gospel], not going about naked and exposed to shame. (16:15)

4. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. (19:9)

5. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. (20:6)

6. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. (22:7)

7. Blessed are those who wash their robes so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. (22:14)]

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