Teachings on the Blessings - The Beatitudes . . .
The following teachings were received at the end of the year 2004 and then the following year. They were not in the traditional order and some also required me to explore their meaning myself and to comment on them. In this exploration I discovered that the texts and translations differed not only in the English but from the English to other languages. Often they were interwoven in more general teaching of myself in particular, as well as all people of good will.
I was also encouraged by Bishop Danylak to write them up as well as to write up any reflections that have arisen as a result of prayer and instruction. This coupled with Fr Peters frequent call to me to write have resulted in the following presentation.
I sincerely hope that they are a blessing to anyone who reads them and a point of personal growth and inspiration to further spiritual development. They were given by Jesus to those on the mountainside as a path to holiness, a spiritual treatise on a way of perfection, a journey into the sublime nature of God for Mankind. They stood as reversal of the usual ways of man which lead to self perpetuation and greed and threw open the door to a better path. Received as the events of the tragic tsunami were unfolding they stood as poignant reminder of how far we have travelled from Mankind’s relationship with the Creator but also as a sign of the capability of man to be generous and aware of the needs of his fellow man.
Thus the call to write and pray about the Beatitudes opened with the words of Jesus: -
How dark the world is growing, how tormented and unprepared. Mankind, bow down before it is too late and the shutters of sleep are closed and the bitterness of night, of unrelenting night, will not allow the light to penetrate. Many will be lost in anguish and despair. Many will not see the light of day. For a few days Mankind became fragile, aware of its own mortality, but how quickly it turns itself away from its own nothingness and hides behind its common humanity. Can Man stop nature?
Wake up and believe that I Jesus, intercede for you all with My Father. I am the Lord of Mercy, plead for it, do not disgrace yourselves by seeking other means of defence and prevention of events that have long been foreseen in the Eye of God.
With one voice, cry out: " Lord have mercy, we have sinned against you. Christ have mercy, we have rejected you. Lord have mercy, we acknowledge your Greatness, King of Heaven and Earth."
Halina I remind you of your mission. Do exactly as I bid.
As I begin to write out the teachings, the news of the second major hurricane, Rita, to hit the southern states of the USA is breaking, adding even more to the significance of the words given. I pray that they will be heeded . . .
A Teaching Within a Teaching
When the Lord wishes to instruct he does so in many ways and on various levels simultaneously. He uses different means depending on the task and the person that He is instructing. Indeed He chooses the means very beautifully and finely. All people receive this teaching although not every one is aware that it is going on or that they are being guided so directly. The direct and explicit teaching of the Word, the New Testament, is alive and active and the voice of the Lord can be heard in and within it.
The teachings contained ripple through our everyday lives and call us to 'follow the Master.' They apply always yet as many people have discovered sometimes the words jump out at us and seem to be for us a guide in particular circumstances. How often too, do we simply not notice a phrase or two till a special moment in our lives and then we simply cannot believe that we have missed it all those years, it has always been there but we hadn't noticed.
No less important is our willingness to receive the teaching and Jesus Himself expects us to do some of the work ourselves . . . to go and find out some aspect of a teaching or Pray a great deal more for understanding or even study a little, read more etc. When the heart is engaged in such learning, the teaching touches our spirits in a unique way and the lesson is well learnt and retained, so important for change.
It is in this manner that the Beatitude teaching were conveyed to me.
The call to listen very attentively is the first step and a kind of very delicate attention is engaged upon. This does not mean that all is necessarily clear . . . far from it.
Jesus' words to me were simply . . .
JESUS . . . Little one be attentive and another series of words will be laid on your heart ( 19th August 2004 Home Middlesbrough).
These words were part of a much longer locution and could almost be missed save for the 'special touch off the Lord' a kind of awareness of something about to unfold . . .
Then nothing seemed to be being given that was somehow linked with the first call in spite of other locutions. Patience is always required when the Lord asks us to do something. Then quite unexpectedly two months later, in the middle of writing, Jesus says . . . (17th October 2004, Home)
JESUS . . . Blessed are the poor in spirit . . .
Halina, keep your heart open to Me and only to My prompting. You feel useless, then let Me use you and you will not be useless, but useful. My uses are different to those of Man. I break the bonds of sin and division by using those who have a hunger for me and are united with me in Spirit. Yes, they are poor, poor in wealth sometimes, poor in the perceptions of others without guile or anything that Man considers valuable. They esteem themselves little and consider themselves empty and incapable, yet they are so full of surrender to even a faith rooted not in knowledge but in blind belief in Our Almighty Love and Power. Yes, Halina, by degrees I have emptied you, even more now in the spiritual realm in which the Holy Spirit reigns and Man has no power whatsoever. Silently He works in the Spirit, weaving a spiritual path for the glory of the Trinity. He moulds the spirit and reshapes it so that a new creation is made within the body, a purer spirit becomes luminous and sparkles because it has become irradiated with Pure Love and Humility, which allows it to recognise the Creators presence in the Spirit. Spirit indwells in spirit.
Matter and form do not impede the action of the Spirit, for He cannot be contained.
The poorer the spirit, the soul, the greater the Spirit of the All Holy Spirit indwelling in it. So the gifts are given and used - knowledge without learning, understanding without study and competence, awareness without perception, solicitude without turmoil, and so onward to Perfection . . .
Thus was the first direct teaching conveyed. The locution continued but on a more personal level reminding me of the imperatives of accepting' belittlement' as a means of attaining a purity of spirit.
TEACHING AS STUDY . . . A search and confirmation.
This may seem strange as the words given were so clear but I did not assume that others would follow. The one explicit teaching may have been just that. It may have been given as a means of instructing me. However in the next few months the teaching became clearer as the Beatitudes began to be presented to me in various forms. I could hardly open a book, read anything, listen to anything, without one of the Beatitudes jumping out of the pages at me. As I have learnt Jesus often expects us to do some of the work ourselves. He leads and guides and the Holy Spirit inspires us to turn to certain things that reveal part of the mystery of what we are supposed to be delving into. For those for whom books or reading are not usual fayre this instructing can come through people, indeed this is so for everyone to some degree, or through very ordinary things such as recordings, films, music or anything that speaks of God. So during this period the Lord draws us to what he wishes to communicate and sometimes the pages seem to fly open for us. And so it was for me with the Beatitudes.
I was waiting for Mass to start one day and there was a slight delay. Fingering through my Office Book I came across a picture of the Face of Jesus as depicted on the Turin Shroud. The picture was a very old one and I had kept it as it had been in my father’s prayer book. I had never noticed that on the back were the Beatitudes. As I started to read these in Polish I became acutely conscious that the words were not identical to the translation in English. The word that particularly stunned me were ‘Blessed are the silent (ones) for they shall own the earth'. (my translation) The words shook me for I knew them as 'Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth'.
No lesser surprise was the use of the word 'toil/tire instead of mourn. I have tried to pray through the statement of' blessed are they that mourn' (or worse ‘happy’) many times and there always seem to be a paradox here. Jesus indeed comforted those who mourned and he himself did so over the death of Lazarus but I had to work hard at the idea of mourning being a Blessing as such. The Polish threw a different slant on the teaching.
This experience made me even more aware of the teaching on the Beatitudes. This was soon followed by a second revelation. While looking up the various translations in different bibles I noticed that more and more were the words 'Happy' used and not 'Blessed.' This has troubled me a little in the past but now it seemed to impinge on me in a deeper way. So the search continued.
As I started to reflect on the call that the words Jesus gave us carries I realised how vital it was to be faithful to them. Words carry with them a deliberate loading which has an effect on both our understanding and our actions.
One day while pondering this deep in my spirit Jesus asked me to copy out the various translations. I remembered that he had said 'remember the Beatitudes'. I realised then, fully, that it was these that the Lord was to lay on my heart.
Not surprisingly the readings for the next day were the Beatitudes. (29th January 05....taken from St. Matthew Ch5. vs. 1-12).
That evening I started to copy them out.
As already mentioned the first copy came from the' holy picture’ that I found. Interestingly the Face of Jesus taken from the Turin Shroud was almost identical to the face of Jesus that appeared on the Photo of a chapel at Graymoor above the tabernacle (Home of the Friars of the Atonement). The Polish on this picture I had was very similar to the texts used today. Indeed there were only two minor variations of grammatical form. The polish texts are reprinted in the appendix.
I also looked the various English translations and copied out the following. The first was taken from the Jerusalem bible (1966) and as it happens was the form used on our Mass leaflet.
I then turned to the Knox version . . .
Also . . . Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and speak all manner of evil against you falsely because of Me be glad and light hearted, for a rich reward awaits you in Heaven. So it was they persecuted the prophets who went before you (Knox).
Counterbalanced by the Mass leaflet . . .
Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on My account,
rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in Heaven (Jerusalem).