Beatitudes 2014 - Reflections
Reflection options on the Beatitudes
- Brenda Rockell
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy - Tuned to the Source are those who shine from the deepest place in their bodies. Upon them shall be the rays of universal love.
Take some time to say the following prayer, over and over slowly, in time with your breathing:
‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.’
As you pray, call to mind any situation where you are withholding mercy from someone else by:
- bearing a grudge, or withholding forgiveness
- being aware of their need but doing nothing to relieve it
- mentally dwelling on their negative qualities
- nurturing a desire to see someone be punished, or experience misfortune.
Reflect: In what ways might you be withholding mercy from yourself?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. - Aligned with the One are those who wait up at night, weakened and dried out inside by the unnatural state of the world; they shall receive satisfaction
What do you hunger and thirst for? How hungry are you? How do you distract yourself from your hunger?
Interact with Julianne's art by placing your hand on the plasma ball and looking in the mirror.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. - Ripe are those who soften what is rigid inside and out; they shall be open to receive strength and power— their natural inheritance from God.
How does it help you to understand 'meekness' to consider it in terms of softness vs rigidity, rather than weakness vs strength?
Meditate on a recent situation where you acted in a way that was not meek. Replay that situation in your mind, making a different choice of word or action.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God - Healthy are those who strike the note that unites; they shall be remembered as rays of the One Unity.
Reflect on a situation of conflict known to you. Ask God for one way you could promote peace in that situation.
Light a candle and pray for the situation and your choice of action.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven - Blessings to those who are dislocated for the cause of justice; they realize their part in the vision that rules all creation.
When was the last time you felt a conflict between what you felt to be right or just, and what felt comfortable, safe, or advantageous?
What strengthens your own convictions and practice toward the 'cause of justice'?
What would your faith mean to you if faced with a choice of conversion, flight, or death?
Hold in your heartthe conflicts unfolding in the Middle East, and in particular the persecution of Christians in northern Iraq under ISIS rule. Pray for those faced with intolerable choices. Pray for those politicians, oppressors, soldiers, and journalists, that some may choose justice and compassion, even at cost to themselves.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God - Aligned with the One are those whose lives radiate from a core of love; they shall see God everywhere.
Matthew 6:21-23 ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.'
A ‘pure heart’ has to do with a single, or undivided ‘vision’, a commitment that is not easily fragmented because it is sourced in a constant love.
How much of your focus is turned towards your 'ultimate concern' – to the treasure in the field and the pearl of great price, which is the loving realm of God?
What other things fill the eyes of your heart and distract you from your primary identity and joy?
Light a candle and take it back to your seat. Look into the flame. Still your mind and body. Let the light fill you. Taste for a moment, an undivided self. Let God become visible to your heart.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted - Ripe are those who feel at loose ends, coming apart at the seams; they shall be knit back together within.
Read Psalm 126
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.
Discover one word or phrase that resonates for you from the psalm, and meditate on it – repeat it in your mind, and let it open up associations for you. Listen for anything that sounds like God's word to you this morning.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven - Blessed are those who realize that breath is their first and last possession— theirs is the “I can” of the cosmos.
Read Virgin Birth by Joy Cowley
(not reproduced here to avoid copyright issues, sorry)
James K Baxter describes those who are poor in spirit as “nga raukore” – trees stripped bare of leaves and branches.
Meditate on either of the images above: the ‘virgin place’ or the bare tree, or images Andrew shared.
Create your own image or symbol that represents your experience or idea of spiritual poverty.
Write or draw it on the paper provided.