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Blessed Are They Who Mourn
for They Shall Be Comforted

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Talk about a paradox: Blessed or happy are those who are not happy. “Now Lord, we know you can speak mysteriously but what does this mean?” Is Christ telling us there is blessedness and happiness if we mourn? YES. In other words, is it sinful to mourn? No, provided we mourn over the right things and we mourn in the right way. No one can mourn over trifles, over nothing - and that is wrong! We can even mourn over those things that do not need to be mourned over, (inconsolable) – that is wrong! Even when we weep we should not weep all day.

Now Christ gives us the perfect model of what we are to mourn over and how we should mourn. The two occasions where Christ wept are once at the grave at Lazarus and at another time He mourned over Jerusalem. So what may we legitimately mourn over? Over the loss of someone we loved by death as in the case of Lazarus, or estrangement (as in so many broken homes nowadays, broken hearts). Surely, there is a legitimate cause for mourning. Christ wept over Jerusalem - what a lesson to us and also what an examination of conscience. All you have to do is page through the daily newspaper. Do you people get newspapers here? Do you read them? It's all right you can shake your heads. Sister Theresina answers: “We read religious papers once a week but not current events.” I very seldom read the newspapers, never actually read them. I subscribe to some twenty publications a month and read an average book a day. The newspapers are no guarantee of the truth in case you have not been told. All you have to do is read what is going on in New York City and that's enough – talk about Christ weeping over Jerusalem.

Father Hardon glances at the station of the cross on the wall and smiles and turns to say, I am glad you have the "Way" of the Cross. Do you say them everyday? If not do so. My favorite way of the cross is to identify Christ's suffering now in His Church. Christ who is now glorified cannot weep over the modern Jerusalem but we are supposed to weep over the crimes, and my friends in high places, especially that God forgive them. Crucified by those who have been especially dedicated to Him. We are to weep over our own sins.

The words, "they shall be comforted – consoled" does not bring out what the holy scriptures as recorded in St. Matthew wants us to learn. Whenever you see the letters FOR together in a word (in the science of linguistics), it stands for power. The word Fortitude (F-O-R) inside of comforted, means – they shall be strengthened. If there is one mistake we should not make whatever else we make is to never make the mistake that this is already heaven. We can expect to have pain and suffering or for a present purpose – mourning. God will put wonderful into our lives. And he will take them away, either us from them or them from us.

Ex. "I was already ordained a priest. My mother saw me ordained. She suddenly died. I did not realize there were that many tears in one pair of eyes. One Mass through I wept."

God allowed us to have sorrows to make us realize (either should shout louder, repeat emphatically, or etch in bronze to tell myself and you) that sorrow mourning is a gift from God.

Copyright © 1998 Inter Mirifica

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