The Beatitudes - (GCSE) Religious Studies A Unit 4

Notes about the Beatitudes and religious figures that relate to them - helps with revision for GCSE RE exam (Roman Catholicism: Ethics)

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The Beatitudes

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven"

Being poor in spirit suggests an attitude of mind, an approach to life based on humility and morality rather than excess and self centredness. God is close to the poor because they understand the need for him.

Monks can relate to this Beatitude as they take a vow of poverty and also live a minimalistic life where they are focused on God rather than their own desires.

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The Beatitudes

"Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth"

Meaning those who are humble and gentle putting others first. They recognise the dignity of others as Jesus did and like him give themselves in service of others. For this they will be rewarded.

Mother Teresa can relate to this Beatitude as she spent her life in dedication to helping others. Giving dignity to people who were sick and had leprosy and were left dying in the streets.

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The Beatitudes

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted"

Those who mourn for the evils and many wrongs in the world and wish for God's will to be done instead. This is about a suffering not for their own loss but for the loss in the world.

The people of Coventry can relate to this Beatitude as they gave a replica of the statue in the coventry cathedral to the peace garden of Hiroshima in Japan to remember those who had died in the bombings during WWII.

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The Beatitudes

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled"

Meaning a desire for religious and moral perfection seeking justice throughout the world. A sense that only God can satisfy.

Father Ignatio Ellacuria can relate to this Beatitude as he was involved in work in El Salvador in the community for justice. Believing that finding perfection and religious truth was directly linked to fighting injustice. He was eventually assassinated along with others for his work.

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The Beatitudes

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy"

Being merciful is being God like, to show mercy is to show Love and forgiveness. Showing mercy can be difficult, but Jesus shows this when he forgives those who crucified him.

John Paul II can relate to this Beatitude as he was shot 4 times by Mehmet Ali, when he was arrested he forgave Mehmet Ali and supported his family. The Pope insisted that Mehmet was released from prison and they stayed in regular contact.

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The Beatitudes

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God"

Purity of heart is being committed and dedicated to God, avoiding impure actions (e.g. going against the 10 commandments). A person who is pure in heart will display this outwardly in their just fair dealings with others. It is not about ritual cleanness. To becomes pure hearted one must recognise their faults and pray to God for help.

Priests can relate to this Beatitude as they spend their lives in dedication of God and others, trying to fulfil the commandments.

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The Beatitudes

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God"

Peace means more than the lack of war but the reconciliation of divided people. Jesus taught a message of bringing everyone together especially when he died on the cross to unite us. As christians we should bring people divided by conflict back together.

Martin Luther King can relate to this Beatitude as he fought for the rights of black people during the segregation in America. He engaged in protests, the bus boycott and inspirational speeches to try and unite white and black people.

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The Beatitudes

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven"

Those who are persecuted because of their faith will be given a share of the Kingdom of God. The path to holiness is hard but the reward is eternal happiness with God. Both Jesus and the prophets were also persecuted.

Maximillian Kolbe can relate to this Beatitude as during WWII he provided shelters for Jews fleeing persecution. He was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. While in the camp some men were chosen to be starved to death, Kolbe volunteered to take the place of a family man. He led the men chosen in hymns and prayers.

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