VII- SPIRITUAL LIFE
Must the beatitudes eclipse the ten commandments?
Commandments of God: prohibitions.
Which are more positive?
That is strange. I have almost completely forgotten the Commandments, whereas the Beatitudes are still vivid in my mind and seem more stimulating, a better proof of my faith translated into action. What do you think?
God's Commandments, in spite of its sometimes negative wording, make up a positive code of life and holiness. Read them again in Exodus, chapter 20 and in Deuteronomy, chapter 5.
John Paul II stresses their importance: "The Commandments are part of the covenant between God and mankind. They define the essentials of human conduct. They determine the moral value of man's actions."
The Beatitudes are the heart of Christ's Gospel (Mt 5: 1-12; Lk 6: 20-23). They are the way to true happiness. Practicing them makes you happy, blissfully happy. In the Bible, the Beatitudes are followed by antitheses (Mt 5: 20-48): "You have heard... What I say to you is...", Jesus declares, demonstrating that His preaching goes beyond the letter of the old laws. Jesus wants our outer behavior to conform to our interior dispositions. He seeks to weed out our hearts so that the good seed may grow. Do meditate on these beautiful passages of the Bible.
In so doing, you will discover the importance of both the Commandments and the Beatitudes. They are the very marrow of the Gospel. Both the Commandments and the Beatitudes are God's word. They are not to be lived separately, but in harmony. Let us read them often to stimulate our Christian life, while keeping in mind that Jesus Himself is our model.
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