Thursday, September 15, 2011

blessd are ...



The New Testament reading for Morning Prayer today contains the Beatitudes . I'd like to suggest you read them slowly. They are the first of our Lord's teaching we hear in Matthew's Gospel. Position alone accords them a particular importance: it's the first teaching of the first Gospel. That emphasis sets the tone for all the teaching that follows in the Gospel. That tone is one of love and mercy and compassion. For that reason, even non-Christians such as Mahatma Gandhi thought they were sublime; and for the same reason Friedrich Nietzsche hated them. He thought the reflected the slave morality of Christianity (you may remember that Nietzsche's concept of the Superman was much beloved by Adolf Hitler). As I said, read them slowly. Then read them aloud. Make your own mind up. For my own part, I think this world could do with living more people living their lives according to the values reflected in the Beatitudes. Looking at the headlines today, or any day, it seems hard to argue that this world doesn't need us living our lives with a bit more love and compassion.

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