Happy Are the Blessed – Part 4 of 4

Father Geiermann concludes his discussion of the Beatitudes, and how the practice of the virtues contained therein leads to one’s happiness.

Christ said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt 5:9). Father Geiermann comments: “Lasting peace can be established only on the principles of truth and justice. The Christian soul, who is a peacemaker between God and man, or between man and man, must be disinterested to the claims of both, and compromise neither truth nor justice, to establish a lasting peace.”

“The Christian soul knows that though sin is objective, the guilt of the sinner is subjective, that is, relatively proportionate to the sinner’s dimmed vision, weakened will, and passionate nature, that it is proportionate to the suddenness and violence of the temptation, and to every circumstance that influenced the sinner in his transgression. In full sympathy with the difficulties before her, and with an unshaken faith in the offender and a boundless patience and toleration with him, the soul who acts as peacemaker brings the guilty one to admit the claims of both truth and justice, and moves him to struggle honestly to fulfil both. Having strengthened him in this resolution she sends him away feeling how good and merciful God is, or how deserving his neighbor of his nobler consideration.”

“By thus acting as the mediator of God on earth the Christian soul unites herself, and endears herself still more to Him, and receives the beatitude of being more than a child of men, a true child of God.”

Christ said, “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10). Father Geiermann says of the practitioner of this virtue: “She derives no pleasure from the opposition, as some strange characters do, nor does she receive consolation from any purely human source.” He adds: “From the days of Abel to our day countless men and women, who acted in perfect union with God and with the purest of motives and the best of intentions towards their neighbor, have suffered from the antagonism of ignorance and indifference, from the opposition of nervousness and intolerance, from the jealousy of vile suspicion and base slander, and from the hatred of contumely, ostracism, and systematic persecution.”

“To suffer all this meekly for love of Him who died in ignominy and shame for love of us, is perfect conformity to the example of our divine Master as well as to the holy will of God.”

Quotations from Peter Geiermann, The Narrow Way (New York: Benziger, 1914).

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