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Blessed are the meek

4/18/2017

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”. Blessed are the peaceful, blessed are those who make meekness their strength, blessed are those who are gentle in their speech and gestures, a gentleness that is never fake, never natural, but that is a slow and disciplined conquest of the heart. Meekness is not a character trait. It is not weakness, nor is it servility or passivity. It is not the absence of vigor or strength. The meek are the heirs of the earth, and therefore they have strength in their arms and in their willingness to cultivate and govern it. Who are these heirs who do not compete for their inheritance in a world of envy, jealousy, and greed that meanders silently or roaring with arrogance? Who are these blessed who undemanding, without invoking their rights, without shouting, and without violence will have everything?

Are naive people the only meek left? No, the inheritance of the earth is not for them because meekness is not naivety, rather it is the cunning of goodness and intelligence pushed to the highest degree of good. The meek know of the chain whereby evil generates evil and good begets good. They choose to act or react with meekness in order to stifle the spiraling and interlinked mechanisms of hatred and revenge. The meek are not calm or passive. They quiver with life and their hands are full of deeds and in each one a whisper can be heard that says, “love”! A spring dream, a living utopia? In fact a life thus lived is far from reality; at the most what remains is a false calmness made of fears and denigration, a calm that is the willful privation of life that suddenly risks turning into an aggressive outburst. I am far from it, I who am full of wonderful intentions and aspirations to reach the blessed states of existence, but with a consciousness worn by guilt. Had I a mind free of delusions, wishful thinking, arrogance, fears - even ancestral ones, misplaced ambitions, passions, sensuality, fraudulent thoughts, everything that weighs down the mind, exploits it and sidetracks it from the truth! Skillfull thinking is a test of meekness, offering man broader viewpoints for observing events, people and relationships, and encouraging him to find motivation to exercise this virtue in adverse or painful situations, to come out of oneself and from the prison in which he is locked up.

The gentle or meek person is a fighter and his struggle is never to attack. Man’s heart is very sensitive to the touch of violent passions, and how easily it gives way to violence in affections, pleasures and desires. Meekness is a virtue that reins in the human will and gives it an unstoppable brake that prepares the will to hand itself over to the Creator. How necessary it is to be meek along life’s journey in order to reach the life of the Divine Will. How holy it is to be meek, to be able to replace passions with the Passion and regain, by bearing up offenses with loving patience, a state of innocence, as innocent as the Lamb of God. Jesus chose the most gentle and most innocent of animals to represent Himself. Meekness leads to holiness, to opening up our sealed hearts onto the universe, the world, and to our neighbor. The meeek do not put up barriers to anyone, for everyone is truly their brother. The meek person is shelter, a safe haven, full, wide and open trust; he is the protective guardian of our sufferings. Is it not Christ who invites us by saying, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will refresh you. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me who am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is sweet and My burden light"? He is the Master of those who follow Him, and shouldn’t the disciple imitate the Master?

Meekness pervades all the forces of creation. In every season the breath of nature is docile, calm and strong at the same time. The vigor and sculpted shapes of the trees, the colors and perfumes that with their worthless appearance rejoice and exalt the desires of amorous ecstasy, or the endless and soft shades of light on the soft curtain of the sky or among the orchards in bloom, or on the white snow of the mountains; and then the always new, always different and relentless songs of the birds that gracefully circle through the air, or the crystal-clear and azure vastness of the seas that ferry man’s thoughts beyond the bounds of reason. All these things, do they not inspire the human soul and hint to feelings of peace, reconciliation and benevolence? Sunlight reaches the earth with perfect gentleness; it is the only way for her to be able to generate life. Doesn’t man prefer to live in temperate climates? Do we not imagine earthly Paradise to be like this? What happens in creation can happen even within us, each one of us can be a harbinger of heavenly scents. It is no longer possible for man to put off to an obscure future the intimate need to regain his relationship with creation and not look at it as cold matter to study or to greedily exploit, or as a decorative element like the background of a picture or a computer desktop. Nature is a living creature that speaks to us and reveals precious treasures from its immense and ancient book. With nature one learns patience, perseverance, and sweetness. Doesn’t the psalm say, "Lord, you walk in the wind, are the winds your messengers?" So isn’t creation a door between reality and the divine mystery? The inheritance of the meek is precisely the earth. Modern man has lost his ancient dialogue with creation and takes refuge or barricades himself inside increasingly horrendous cities or, in an even more drastic way, flees inside virtual worlds robbing himself of the chance to cultivate meekness through the knowledge of the earth; he is taken and won over by virtuality or urban rhythms that stir up passions, trouble the waters of our spirit and muddy them. To inherit the earth one must know it.

Luisa Piccarreta certainly knew creation. As a child she took refuge inside the mysterious hollow of a large mulberry tree where she could open her mind to divine contemplation. Luisa knew how to perceive the breath, the heartbeat, the hearing and the voice of every creature; her intelligence was joyously and entirely directed towards her Creator. From the flower to the star, Luisa knew how to put in every created thing an "I love you" to the Creator. She lived in this cosmic harmony with creation, and in so doing harmonized her spirit to this immense love.

And lastly, meekness is so great that it can sustain the world. It is the meekness of the divine Jesus that reveals itself to Luisa. On May 31, 1936, He speaks of the great pain caused by man’s lack of recognition of the life-giving works of its continuous act of love that gives life to everything and everyone. It is patience, which under the push of this centuries’-old pain, becomes immeasurable to preserve intact that continuous act of love of the Godhead for His creature. But it is not a virtue for its own sake. Jesus tells Luisa that this patience is rightfully exercised only because of the knowledge of the final goal, which is the coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will on earth. This is Jesus’ standpoint for acting divinely: He looks toward the omega of history and at the end of His sufferings, which coincide with restoring His Will on earth, and this motivates Him to exercise gentleness and patience. As we are sincerely eager for this coming, we can find ways to cultivate this virtue to ever more resemble Jesus, God, and then infuse the just and willful flow of love in our acts in order to sanctify us and make us divine (and thus sanctify and deify the world that is so much in need of our good) to become worthy heirs of the Kingdom.

Fiat. 

Alessandro De Benedittis
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