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Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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BEATITUDES

The promises of happiness made by Christ to those who faithfully accept his teaching and follow his divine example. Preached in the Sermon on the Mount, they are recorded in St. Matthew (5:3-11) and in St. Luke (6:20-22).?26? In Matthew there are eight (or nine) blessings of a spiritual nature, applicable to all Christians; in Luke there are four blessings of a more external character, addressed to the disciples. Luke's version also includes four maledictions threatened on those who do the opposite. In both versions, the beatitudes are expressions of the New Covenant, where happiness is assured already in this life, provided a person totally gives himself to the imitation of Christ.

IN THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW

"How happy are the poor in spirit: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle: the shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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; this how they persecuted the prophets before you" (Matthew 5:3-12).

IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

"How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.

Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.

Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.

Happy you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.

Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.

Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets" (Luke 6:20-26).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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