Understanding the Beatitudes -2 of 8
Understanding the Beatitudes 2 of 8
“Blessed are They that Mourn, for they shall be comforted”
by Rev. Christine 2/9/2020
I’m continuing with the series based on the Beatitudes, the eight “Blessed’s” from Jesus the Christ’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 1-8. Last week was “Blessed are they that are poor in spirit, for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.” The attitude here was humbleness - the attitude of silent prayer or meditation.
Christ Jesus was teaching his inner circle of disciples so that they too can carry on his message, and while he was also speaking to the multitudes. We too are of his inner circle that seek to find that deeper meaning in his teachings - if we have ears to hear – and to follow having the right attitude of “Being” in living the Christ way. For the multitudes his message was one of great hope. These are promises for the multitudes, and instruction for a student of Truth.
The Bible is the story of the soul’s journey in knowing God. That every character either male or female is an aspect of our soul. It is the journey in bringing them forth in their higher aspects, from Adam and Eve to Joseph and Mary. We see it as a marriage, a merging, or balancing of the male and female aspects, or of the right and left brain, or kundalini. Bringing these into a risen state of awakening as the Christ consciousness within us.
We are told in Matthew 5 :1, “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:” Metaphysically, the multitudes are the many thoughts stirring through the mind. And, the disciples are our inner power centers. The mountain is a high state of consciousness. When the mind became still, and the power centers awakened, the Christ consciousness spoke. As a lesson for us, it is saying to retreat from all those thoughts, whatever the concern is, and turn within, quiet the mind and listen. And be receptive to our inner guidance.
Now for the 2nd Beatitude in Matt. 5:4, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” This may seem strange, but when understood as a great promise, we see this as, when we know God within - an all loving Divine intelligent Presence, we will be comforted through any concern.
Let’s look at the definition of the word “mourn.” The Webster Dictionary has “to feel or express sorrow, lament, grieve.” Most commonly the use for today is in the loss through death or breakup of a relationship, a job, or way of life. This could also be to grieve over our past mistakes, or to be truly sorry for one’s actions over the past.
We are taught in this second Beatitude of release, dying to the old ways of thoughts and beliefs. Sometimes we mourn for ourselves, our unhappy childhood, our dissatisfactions, failed relationships, our emotional hurts. Mourning is laying our self open for self-examination. So, as we deal honestly with our self, we confront what we have been unable to face previously.
Confronting self, mourning or releasing may hurt. But the beauty of releasing is that we clear away and go beyond the hurt. Like a sliver festering it hurts. It also hurts to come out, but then we find release and it heals, and the pain is gone. There is a silver lining when we learn from our pain.
In the eastern tradition, mourning meant to long for, and for a disciple this would be longing for our connection with God. That deep longing will eventually bring us closer to God. We also find that through sorrow when we seek for answers.
The Book of Job has a wealth of wisdom. Job was a good man who had it all; family, land, riches. Then lost it all, he was in the dark night of his soul. The story starts with him mourning for his loss in renting his clothes, pridefully crying out “I was a just good man, why, oh why me?” Have you ever been there like Job?
Mourning is normal, we all go through this process, first denial, then anger, and finally acceptance. The Jewish people showed their mourning by the renting of their clothes; renting means to tear. And to cry out loudly in a public display for several days. Everyone in their community knew they were mourning and reached out to comfort. This was their way to release pain out of their body and soul, so they could move on. Today we have therapists that prescribe screaming, hitting pillows, or even laughing.
We are told if one continues to wallow in self pity, then there is no comfort. We are stuck in the muck of life. Like quick sand, being sucked in deeper and deeper with circumstances only getting worse. So the story goes with Job, his body became totally covered with boils. The pain was surfacing coming to a head so he could analyze in self-examination. First Job’s well meaning friends came to give advice, but of little help. The true healing came when he finally turned within to God for understanding and comfort.
The new day came – a new understanding. In his new understanding, or relationship with God, he had new land and wealth, a new wife and more children. But, before the new came he had to be cleansed of the old. He had to release his feelings of attachment for what was, and the anger and pain over the loss. Such is the process of mourning – a time of healing our wounds and gain in spiritual understanding, building a deeper faith. Then the greater good, a new life, comes.
Sometimes we come to a point in life when it is difficult to go within to that silent place or high mountain in God. We find it difficult to clear the mind of all the negative chatter, anger and painful memories. Much like Job we seem to be stuck.
During this time we may even feel God has failed and betrayed us, or that we are being punished for our wrongful deeds – this is not a God one would want to be in union with. So in troubled spirit we have an internal war of the “Dark night of the soul” until we seek the inner Light, and have that great longing for that deep connection with God.
Then the great promise – this too shall pass. The darkness before the light. Its like we come out of our eggshell or cocoon, from the confinements of darkness. First we may just see a small glimpse of light through a small crack, and with curious expectation we seek after that light enlarging the crack to a peephole. We feel the warmth and comfort in the light.
Then with great enthusiasm we breakout of the shell to be fully exposed in the light to a whole new world filled with brilliant colors of light, new life, hope and joy much greater than we could ever expect. The Christ Light - our union in God.
The following is a quote from 1919 by W.R. Inge: “Bereavement is the deepest initiation into the mysteries of human life, an initiation more searching and profound than even happy love... Bereavement is the sharpest challenge to our trust in God; if faith can overcome this, there is no mountain which it cannot remove.”
The Old Testament is filled with stories of mankind learning of God through pain and suffering. This seems to be the path when one gets ego driven and too focused in the material world. An example is in the story of Moses, following the 7 plagues, the Pharaoh of Egypt finally gave in to Moses request to free the Hebrew people, and the Hebrew people had to also want to leave their bondage for a new uncertain way of life.
It wasn’t until the death of the Pharaoh’s son, and in his grieving agreed to set them free. Although in after thought, in his anger, his ego did rise up again, and attempted to stop them, but without success. His power over them was gone for they had a new faith and were being guided by the light.
In another sense Jesus was preparing his disciples for when he was to depart from this plane, and there would be great sadness and mourning for their dear friend and teacher. Sometimes those of us on the spiritual path think we are to be above pain and emotions when a loved one has died or we are faced with great crisis, but this is not so. We must move through our emotions.
Jesus was telling them to go ahead and mourn; feel the pain, cleanse the mind, body and soul. Say good-bye to their old friend; the one they lived with and would lean on for spiritual strength and guidance. They knew he wouldn’t be truly dead, but the way they knew him would be gone. It was time for a new way by seeking the new comforter, for the comforter will come “ask and you shall receive.” Be ready for the new day – the great change within individual consciousness to the Christ way.
The deepest pain of loss for me was the death of my nine year old son. I grieved, I also longed for him - especially to hug. I had already been meditating, but for about six months I couldn’t, and couldn’t go into a deep sleep either, for the pain deep within was too great. So I prayed. I turned to God within for comfort. I was fortunate to already be grounded in this way of thinking. I had the comfort in knowing my son’s life was eternal, and that this was for the higher good in his soul’s journey. I was also very grateful to still have my daughter.
A few months later, I began to have visitations in my dream states. I was comforted by these visits, and felt great joy for several days following them. These visits became fewer as time passed, and eventually stopped. Yet I knew his love was always with me, as was mine with him.
Now looking at the deeper spiritual teaching to Jesus’ inner circle, I find it in Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For whoever asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door is opened.”
Jesus is talking to us about meditation and prayer, and our commitment for going within and building our relationship with God, or our own Christ Self – our true comforter. Finding the truth that shall set us free.
We knock, announcing I am here to our inner consciousness; we enter quietly asking for guidance, wisdom, or just simply to know God as in “closer to thee my God.” Entering our sacred temple of silence we shall find, and be comforted. Our longing, our commitment, shall be rewarded by an all loving Presence, inspiration and new understanding.
As we continue to seek God within and knock, all the blessings of the spirit shall be given unto us; a new consciousness, a new life, a new relationship with God as our comforter – the Holy Spirit within us.
Interestingly, the word “mourning” as to grieve, also sounds like the word “morning” as the dawn of a new day, new beginnings. Say good bye to the old – the yesterdays; and greet the new day with joy and expectation of opportunities for much good.
The following is a Chinese proverb: “Life does not give you joy unless you really will it. Life just gives you time and space. It’s up to you to fill it.”
Now the Beatitude metaphysically rewritten, “Joyful are they who commit and seek within, for they shall be comforted in union with God.”