Eighth Beatitude

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)

We are in chapter nine of our study book. This title fascinates, “Living as Whole Person Among the Unreconciled”. So looking forward to sharing stories and thoughts on how to live and rejoice while being persecuted for doing what one believes right.

Blessed are they who are persecuted~Stained glass window-St. Vincent de Paul Parish Church

“Eternal Life is symbolized by the heavenly crown and stars. The Palms symbolize victory over death. The sword and scourges represent persecution and suffering on earth.”

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16 thoughts on “Eighth Beatitude”

    1. Awee, always fun to look back and see photos! 😍

      As I think on sharing stories of life, one comes to mind about a beloved one many of us shared life and death with recently…when one gives their all to try and do the very best for another it seems voices all around become loud and clear with tones, words and suspicion that fail to encourage and see that one or ones paused in life to help, grant a little comfort and show respect for a lonely one in great need. This eighth Beatitude gives great hope and reminds us there are bright spots along our path and we find it’s full of joy to be called children of God. And, that at times brings out the worst in others, jealousy, angry, gossip among other intolerable vices.

      Yes, we find our pets, plants and friends seem to brighten our day among the abuse or lack of comfort we might desire from another.

      Thanks for sharing a joy reminder of Bonnie and Rocket which just might represent angels on assignment. It’s called 💕

      1. I wanted to share a dream MG’s sister-in-law had. I received this yesterday as some of us paused to remember MG’s fall a year ago.

        Pastor Antoinette had a dream about MG.

        “MG was on a the left side of a platform in a church. She was seated at a piano it was a very high piano but I could see MG’s head. She had dark shoulder length hair her eyes were big and bright and she looked beautiful. She was poised and focused on someone as if she was waiting for direction. Whoever she was focused on was not in view in the dream.”

        We believe that this is a dream of comfort to everyone who knew and loved her. We appreciate and thank you for the updates.
        Our continued prayers, Alex and Antoinette

  1. “one comes to mind about a beloved one many of us shared life and death with recently…” . Yes, and it was on March 8, 2017 (just a couple of days from today), that the ‘beloved one’, Mary Grace Cericola Henry, that Sara writes about above, fell and never recovered from that fall. 9/5/17 She saw Jesus. And we that loved her and tried to be a part of supporting her in her journey toward wholeness were persecuted by others for reaching out to her and helping in every way we could.

    1. It is so interesting how MG came to the forefront of this lesson. We have glorious stories of her life as we read her obituary. Many from her students to her rehab experience at age 80.

      She would be overjoyed to have even her death to be a testimony unto Jesus Christ. She was truly persecuted at times by friends and foes alike for her faith. She came out of sin into His marvelous Light.

      I remember a retreat years ago where we were working on inner healing and she bonded with a lady as they shared taking care of elderly Mothers etc. MG opened her heart in a very vulnerable way to this Christian lady. And, later this lady turned on her and called her weak, etc. really had no use for MG ever again. This hurt MG deeply. Yet, MG continued to love and pray for her to the very end. Which many of us still do today. It’s a longer story but hopefully we understand persecution for faith hurts yet we know the healer hopefully.

      1. “She showed His love to those she met and lived life with intention till the very end – reading her Bible, praying, and playing her beloved piano and conversing with her family and friends.”( Copied from MG’s obituary) I believe Sara’s comments above shows evidence of one way MG showed Christ’s love to this “Christian lady.”
        Wuellner speaks, about persecution on page 132 (“Jesus speaks of the overflowing abundance of blessings each one of us who joins our life to him will receive. Each of us will be healed, released, and empowered by him. Along with the abundance and blessings of our inner life, we will receive persecutions!”), and I believe MG knew the Healer and was ” healed, released, and empowered by Him”, as she “continued to love and pray for her to the very end.” Brings tears to my eyes, as I read here how MG forgave and loved anyway.

      2. Tammy, I shared the tears with you. Also, made me 🤔 when we are persecuted for righteousness sake we are entitled to the Kingdom of heaven. Wonder what MG’s perch looks like now? Heaven and then comes the rewards ceremony, Ephesians 6:8 “…the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do.”

        Let us continue to encourage one another to do the right thing even when it hurts. Just maybe others might repent and come to the Father even if not us.

  2. Wuellner, pg 130 warn us not to expect enemies at every turn or go around with a martyred attitude. We do need to be aware of what can and often does happen when we undertake a new way of living. Then she gives us a list of ways persecution may come.
    First on list; “Stonewalling. Refusal to discuss, talk seriously, respond to real changes in our lives.”

    Selah!
    I’m back…I paused and read on down the list and through the chapter with my mind bulging with people I could name quicker than thought it seemed of people on my list…Then I thought what about me stonewalling another? I had this Christian writer of this very book on my radar…she says things in ways I had not heard or maybe remembered before. She has been taking up my time thinking about some of her thinking. I can refuse to pray, read, study and open my mind to the Holy Spirit to change me, guide me, search me and be my guide by day and night. Or, I can follow the path be willing to discuss, talk seriously, and respond to real changes in another’s life including the writings of this writer.

    Glad to be a part of others endeavoring to do the same through this study.

  3. “Or, I can follow the path be willing to discuss, talk seriously, and respond “…Sara, your comment made me think of several times in the book where the author has shared what I think are encouraging things about her own learning journey. One example was in the chapter (pg 55) on the third beatitude, “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth”. She gave an example of speaking with someone who gives a ‘sharp, cutting criticism’ and said: “…we can meet it directly, saying, “The way you are saying this is hurtful, but I am trying to hear the real gist of your criticism. I think I might learn something from your point if we can talk about it another way. She then does on to say, “This way of responding (and I have a long way to go learning it!) rises from our own sense of worth, combined with willingness to learn and grow…”

    1. Debi, when you refer to my comment making you think of example from (pg 55) of study book are you saying the example you made reference to is persecution? Who is persecuting who?

      In my comment I am thinking of trying not to persecute the writer by her teaching a theology I’v never heard. Just because I’v never heard it that way doesn’t mean she’s wrong. I’m not even sure I understand her meditations. I’m not going to persecute her (throw her book out and not try to understand and run around saying I don’t believe she is a Christian) because she understands things differently. Now, I don’t really know her in the sense to have conversation with but I have found at times in those I may know well if they don’t agree with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Cross they go into the list she gives on page 130. These things may happen when we undertake a new way of living.

      Persecution for the sake of righteousness Eight Beatitude vs Third, the meek. I see you have tied together. I guess I was thinking the third was abuse, just plain mean, evil people. And, eighth was throwing a person to the wind for living a righteous life. I’m trying to thread the needle between abuse and persecution.

  4. “Debi, when you refer to my comment making you think of example from (pg 55) of study book are you saying the example you made reference to is persecution? Who is persecuting who?”
    Sara, in trying to make a point about growing in our learning, I see I used an example that was tied in to abuse, not persecution for’ righteousness sake’. I really wasn’t thinking when I tied an example the author was giving on pg 55 of how to deal and respond (and grow in our learning) to abuse to this chapter and topic on the beatitude of being persecuted for rightousness sake. There is a big difference and really no comparison. You are correct in saying, “I guess I was thinking the third was abuse, just plain mean, evil people. And, eighth was throwing a person to the wind for living a righteous life.”
    Sara, you said in a prior comment above, “Wuellner, pg 130 warn us not to expect enemies at every turn or go around with a martyred attitude. ” I think in mixing the two and making no distinction between them that I may have a pious martyr attitude.
    Thanks for the question and bringing this to my attention for help and clarification in our blog discussion and understanding. I hope my response helps clarify and untie the wrong knot I tied.

    1. Debi, I understand. Nice when we begin to see and we can forgive and heal. Our study book does say we have nine steps. I think of a toddler starting step climbing they somrimes go one and then two and excitement arises in their adventure and they forget to focus and tumble. Sometimes our spiritual journey seems a little like that.

      Now, that you are a new grandmother and have steps leading to your home office you might just remember this and give those two tots a hand. 👐

      1. Thanks Sara for your encouragement and understanding.

        And yes, I hope to remember your advice about the steps and two grandchildren.

  5. I read a very interesting thought by Dr Keller on persecution. “One of the great spiritual dangers of persecution is that it can make you self-righteous.” He goes on to say, “Don’t try to pay back but leave it to God who alone knows what people deserve. Let God be your vindicator, one day all will be known.”

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