Quotations from Saint Josemaria
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit... (Mt 5:1ff).
The preaching of Saint Josemaría Escrivá was based on the word of Jesus Christ, and the Beatitudes form a principal part of that. Some of his thoughts on the Beatitudes are gathered below. He sought to help souls make the Word of God operative in their lives, to translate it into challenging but practical goals. The Beatitudes become, in his view, immediately feasible. The following texts are chosen from various works of his.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If you want to achieve this spirit, I would advise you to be sparing with yourself while being very generous towards others. Avoid unnecessary expenditure on luxuries and comforts, whether out of caprice, or vanity, etc. Don’t create needs for yourself. In other words, learn from Saint Paul to live in poverty and to live in abundance, to be filled and to be hungry, to live in plenty and to live in want: I can do all things in him who comforts me. Like the Apostle, we too will come out winners in this spiritual combat if we keep our hearts unattached and free from ties.
Friends of God, 123
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
You enjoy an interior happiness and peace that you should not exchange for anything in the world. God is here. There is no better way than telling him our woes for them to cease being such.
The Forge, 54
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
It made me think when I heard that hard but true saying from a man of God, when he observed the haughtiness of a miserable creature: He wears the same skin as the devil – pride.
«And there came to my mind, in contrast, a sincere desire to wrap myself in the virtue taught by Jesus Christ when he said, Quia mitis sum et humilis corde – I am meek and humble of heart. It was the virtue which attracted the gaze of the Most Holy Trinity to his Mother and our Mother: the humility of knowing and being aware of our nothingness.
The Forge, 726
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
First of all, we must be just towards God. Let this fact be firmly impressed in our hearts, so that it shows in our behavior, for it is the touchstone of the true hunger and thirst for justice which distinguishes this virtue from the shouting of the envious and resentful and from the outcries of the selfish and greedy... For the worst and most ungrateful injustice is to deny our Creator and Redeemer the recognition of the abundant and wonderful gifts he has given us. If you are really striving to be just, you will often reflect on your utter dependence upon God, and be filled with gratitude and the desire to repay the favors of a Father who loves us to the point of madness: For what have you got that you have not received?
Friends of God, 167
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
The life of Jesus Christ is a summary and compendium of the story of God's mercy: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. And on another occasion our Lord said: Be merciful, therefore, even as your Father in heaven is merciful. Many other scenes of the Gospel have also made a deep impact on us, such as his forgiveness of the adulterous woman, the parable of the prodigal son, that of the lost sheep, that of the pardoned debtor, the resurrection of the son of the widow at Naim... What security should be ours in considering the mercy of the Lord!
Christ is Passing By, 7
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
By divine vocation, some are called to live this purity in marriage. Others, foregoing all human love, are called to correspond solely and passionately to God’s love. Far from being slaves to sensuality, both the married and the unmarried are to be masters of their body and heart in order to give themselves unstintingly to others.
... Holy purity is not the only nor the principal Christian virtue. It is, however, essential if we are to persevere in the daily effort of our sanctification. If it is not lived, there can be no dedication to the apostolate. Purity is a consequence of the love that prompts us to commit to Christ our soul and body, our faculties and senses. It is not something negative; it is a joyful affirmation.
Christ is Passing By, 5
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
The task for a Christian is to drown evil in an abundance of good. It is not a question of negative campaigns, or of being anti anything. On the contrary, we should live positively, full of optimism, with youthfulness, joy and peace. We should be understanding with everybody, with the followers of Christ and with those who abandon him, or do not know him at all.
«But being understanding does not mean holding back, or remaining indifferent, but being active.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Contempt and persecution are blessed signs of divine predilection, but there is no proof and sign of predilection more beautiful than this: to pass unnoticed.
The Way, 959
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
When we think we have been accused of something unjustly, we should examine our behavior, in God's presence, cum gaudio et pace – calmly and cheerfully; and we should change our ways if charity bids us, even if our actions were harmless.
«We have to struggle to be saints, more and more each day. Then let people say what they like so long as we can apply the words of the beatitude to their utterances: Beati estis cum... dixerint omne malum adversus vos mentientes propter me – Blessed are you when they slander you for my sake.
The Forge, 795
List of Contents
- 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The crowning with thorns
- 4th Sorrowful Mystery: The carrying of the cross
- 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The crucifixion and death of Jesus
- 1st Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection
- 2nd Glorious Mystery: The Ascension
- 3rd Glorious Mystery: Descent of the Holy Ghost
- 4th Glorious Mystery: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary
- 5th Glorious Mystery: The Coronation of the Virgin Mary
- The Annunciation
- The Birth of Our Lord
- In the House at Nazareth
- Temptations in the Desert
- Calling the Apostles
- Conversing with Everyone
- The Beatitudes