Beatitude Five
                            Blessed (well off) are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. 

Index

By the ultimate sacrifice, which was Jesus Christís redemptive act of dying on the cross, he earned for us the opportunity to become Christ-like and so help one another as He did.  Acts of mercy involve more than merely feeling sympathy toward another person or group; they call for our  ďRedemptive ActĒ to help others.    This includes the needy who are often ignored, suffering and perhaps rebellious, the very persons whom society ignores.

Through Christís suffering and death on the cross in obedience to his father, God shows his desire to bring all humanity back into his grace from the condition of alienation humanity created by the first Original Sin.  The faithful follower of Christ, when in the state of Grace (possessing the very life of God), are strengthened by special graces received from the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and can take positive action as a faithful follower of Christ to show mercy toward and help those who suffer and have need of our help.   

In the state of grace (possessing Godís life within us), the faithful Christian is able to respond to the events of life in a special way by cooperating with and using the graces called the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  These gifts are bestowed through the Sacrament of Baptism, and are strengthened and completed through the Sacrament of Confirmation. 

SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE:

WISDOM:  Allows us to judge things according to the standards of God.  We take ďGodís point of view,Ē and place things in relation to him. 

UNDERSTANDING:  The desire to learn, appreciate and grasp the truths of oneís religion. 

COUNSEL:  Helps us see what is the right course of action in particular cases, (supernatural common sense).  It uses the principles provided by Understanding and Knowledge as the basis for our choices.

KNOWLEDGE:  Helps us to see the spiritual value, worth and usefulness of created things as they point to God.

FORTITUDE: Helps a person face the evils he dreads.  Involves the control of fear not its absence.  It is humility without pride when one succeeds, or humility without despair when one fails.

PIETY:  A desire to practice our religion out of love for God rather than out of obligation or duty.  We reverence God's sake persons and tings consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. 

FEAR OF THE LORD:  Respect for God which leads us to desire not to offend Him by sin.  We wish to reverence and submit to Him and His rules.  

When responding to the events of life, and cooperating with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the faithful Christian receives special additional graces called the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. 

TWELVE FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE:

CHARITY:  Is based upon our love for God and finds its expression through an unconditional love for Him and our neighbor.  It considers the needs of others before our own, and is seen evidenced as the basis for oiur selfless thoughts and actions toward our neighbors and God.

JOY:  Is the kind of happiness that results from placing God as the center and purpose of life with the conviction that our purpose on earth is to merit to be with him in eternity.

PEACE:  Is the calmness we experience when we put our complete trust in God.  We know that he cares for us, provides for us now and free from anxiety in the future.

PATIENCE:  Patience allows us to exercise concern for others in spite of their flaws and weaknesses.  We realize that while we are all imperfect, God gives us his love without question.  As he does for us, we should do the same toward others. 

KINDNESS (BENIGNITY):  Means that we are willing to help others over and beyond that to which we may feel they are entitled. 

GOODNESS:  Includes following the path of righteousness in our thoughts and actions.  All things and attitudes must be judged to be in conformity with Godís will.

LONG SUFFERING:  Means that we exercise self-control in all the conditions and situations we experience and must endure; even those which have been created by others who oppose us.

MILDNESS:  This gift assumes moderation and gentleness in behavior.  Oneís attitude is that of forgiveness, meekness and peace rather than one of revenge, anger and violence. 

FAITH:  To have faith means to place God at the center of our life, to live as he has asked us, trusting that he in his wisdom cares for us and leads us to an eternal home with him.

MODESTY:  Being humble, recognizing that all that we are and will be is the result of Godís gifts and not accomplished entirely by ourselves. 

CONTINENCE:  To exercise moderation and self-control in everything we think, do and say.

CHASTITY:  Means to be pure in thought, word and action. To be pure in these areas means that they remain free from those things that lead us to deviate from their ultimate final purpose which is to draw us into closer union with God.  Chastity in human endeavors and situations ennobles them and makes them the means by which our union with God is strengthened.