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“Blessed are the_____”
Many of us can fill in the blank with a list memorized in Sunday school or catechism class. The meek, the poor in spirit, something about those who are reviled… and that’s it. These Beatitudes are a nice bit of pious trivia, nothing more.
But if that’s what we think, Fr. Sebastian Walshe (Secrets from Heaven) says we’re missing out—not only on some of Jesus’ most important teachings in the Gospels, but on the very core of his saving message.
In Heart of the Gospel, Fr. Walshe demonstrates compellingly how these eight declarations from the Sermon on the Mount known as the Beatitudes make up the foundation, essence, and final goal of Jesus’ teachings. They are as central to the gospel as the Ten Commandments were to the old Law: a roadmap for navigating the New Covenant.
And where does that map take us? To happiness—which is what beatitude means, after all. To that end for which God made us and only in which we can feel fulfilled. In these rich meditations, Fr. Walshe illuminates the scriptural passages from which we get the Beatitudes; explains the significance of their wording, their order, and their timing in Jesus’ ministry; and draws out edifying parallels and connections with salvation history and the lives of the saints.
Most importantly, he offers wise counsel from his own work as a priest and teacher to help us understand the Beatitudes better and live them out in our life—following that roadmap that leads to happiness in this world and in the world to come.