|To Grizzly Gulch|
I believe the Beatitudes provide a path to spiritual wellness that transform us into the "peacemakers" Jesus calls us to become where we live, learn, work, and play. That path begins like a hike to the summit begins, in the valley. But, how does that journey begin?
If the summit of our path is the presence of God that fills our "hunger and thirst for righteousness," then,
The journey into the presence of God begins with the confession "I need help!" It is only when we realize we are unbelievably unfit to stand before God and equally unable to honorably wear the title Christ follower without His help that we are in the most prime position to be used by and for God's will. (66)I believe "the poor in spirit" are "blessed" because Jesus promises them "the kingdom of heaven."
What does it mean to be "poor in spirit?"
[They are] people who do not see themselves as the answer to all their problems.
[They] realize they have drained their spiritual bank accounts and cannot pay their spiritual debts...someone who has maxed out their spiritual credit cards--all of their credit cards. (73)Poverty of spirit--realized by choices, circumstances, choices by others, or the Holy Spirit--is physically like having a heart attack and finally admitting you are sick and need a new way of living.
How do we make room in our lives to experience both this blessing and promise?
The spiritual exercises of solitude and silence can expose and enhance our spiritual poverty.
Being alone [solitude] allows you to hear your soul...Silence follows you to your place away from the noise of life. Silence is how you hear God. (79, 81)
To follow Jesus is to follow him to quiet places. (82)Begin the path to spiritual wellness by following the path of the Beatitudes. If you have begun your year with physical goals, care for your soul, too.
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