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The Sermon on The Mount 1 by manatita
Maxims For Our Children. A Look at The Teachings of Jesus, The Christ
The Wise one sat on his bed silently, looking at his two beautiful children with tremendous love and divine pride. It was 7.a.m., and both Kanya and Junior were busy preparing a makeshift alter in a corner of the room. Kanya - the younger of the two – was already known for her eagerness, enthusiasm and keen spirit of creativity. Slowly and methodically, with the welcomed support of her brother Junior, she got hold of a small bedroom table, laid a clean cloth on top of it, and began to prepare for Morning Prayer.
They had learnt well, these two. Out came two candles from their father’s supplies; incense from his extra stock, and a picture of the Christ, that they had removed from the mantelpiece in the lounge. They had no flowers, but this did not seem to bother them as they sat down on chairs borrowed also from the lounge, and composed themselves. The time for prayer, had arrived.
Kanya: (with folded hands) “Lord God, we give thanks to you for our lives, daily food and drinks, warmth and shelter. We also thank you for our mom and dad. Bless us this day and bless our parents, friends, teachers and everyone else that you wish to bless.”
Junior: (with folded hands) “This prayer we offer to you, o Lord, not as we wish, but according to Your Will.”
The two children sat for a further minute or so, sang a song of gratitude taught them by their father, paid their respects with folded hands to the Saviour Christ, and then returned to their beds. Smilingly, secretly, and with great joy, the wise one laid his head back on the pillow, and decided to take a satisfied nap.
Blessed are ...
It was now about 8 a.m. Although Kanya was still going to school, it was the holiday period and the wise one had decided to seize this opportunity to teach them once again. Making his way to the bathroom, he slowly completed his morning’s hygiene needs, and then prepared breakfast for himself and the two children who by this time were wide awake. Breakfast being completed, and having the attention of the two children once more, the wise one opened his mouth and taught them like this:
Wise one: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” St. Mathew 5:4.
Junior: “The poor in spirit, daddy?”
Wise one: “My children, humility is a great virtue. The truly humble sees God’s children everywhere. There is no greater or lesser, smaller or larger. To be falsely proud creates great pain and springs from a divided mind. The ‘poor in spirit’, recognise their helplessness without God, and remain dedicated and devoted to Him.”
Kanya: “So the truly humble have a childlike heart.”
Wise one: “Good. The heart is all oneness, my child. In the act of identifying itself, it thinks of ‘we’ and ‘ours’, and not ‘me’ or ‘mine.’ To such pure souls, our Lord offers the key to the Kingdom. A tree, when it has plenty of fruits, bends down and offers them to us all. The sun shines on the rich and poor alike without distinction. In the same way, the grass remains uncomplaining even when it is trampled upon. The heart of the ‘poor in spirit’ is like the yielding tree, the radiance of the sun, and the simplicity of the trampled grass.”
Junior: “I have heard it said, father, that children are poor in spirit. Is that true?”
Wise one: “Well, my children, they do not have developed minds, and display the innocence, sweetness and sincerity of the saints. That is why our Lord has said:
‘Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” St. Matthew 19:14.
Junior: “Thank you, father. Thank you.”
Wise one: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Ibid. 5:4.
Kanya: “Why do they mourn, dad?”
Wise one: “My daughter, life is full of trials and temptations. Sometimes we mourn or cry with unhappiness for various reasons. Pain is essentially the result of our wrong-doings, but this is a complicated matter, as we can mourn for many reasons. One of the reasons, is that our Lord Himself may find it necessary for our progress. His suffering on the Cross is an ideal example. He did nothing wrong, but His sacrifice was necessary in order that we might believe and hasten our God-centred life.
Still, our Lord promises that we shall be comforted. No child of God shall ever be abandoned; neither shall he receive more than he can bear. We simply need to rely on our Lord’s messages of comfort and requests:
The Sermon on The Mount
‘Come unto me. All ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Ibid. 11:28 -30.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Ibid. 7:7.
Wise one: (continues). “So as soon as we recognise the need for God, and turn to Him, He helps us considerably, and continues to grant us graces until we become His once more.”
Junior: (reading from his bible). “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Ibid. 5:5.
Wise one: “Like the first beatitude, my son, the truly humble see God everywhere and in all things. It is they who truly inherit the earth.”
Junior: “Father, your patience and very clear explanations, are enlightening to me.”
Wise one: (smiling) “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” Ibid. 5:6.
Kanya: “Should we become hungry and thirsty for God?”
Wise one: “Certainly, my daughter. It is necessary that we feel a yearning, longing or earnestness for the Divine. The child cries, and its mother comes running with a bottle of milk. The child then drinks, is satisfied, and its mother is most pleased. Our heavenly Father wishes that we look for Him, and so He plays a divine game of hide and seek. If He is pleased with our cry to love Him, serve Him and to be good people, then like the mother, He will reveal Himself to us and bring us heavenly milk.
Children: “Thank You, father. How nice of God to do this!”
Wise one continues: “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Ibid. 5:7
Kanya: “What a beautiful statement, Daddy.”
Wise one: “Yes. My daughter. It is called a maxim, a principle or saying that is full of meaning or truth. Many great men and women of God spoke like this. Another English equivalent is the word ‘aphorism’. When a Saviour such as the Christ utters these maxims, they are rather like heavenly blessings and if followed, do lead to happiness.”
Kanya: “Wonderful, father. Wonderful. Can you tell Junior and me the simple meaning of this maxim?”
Wise one: “My children. Some say that the heart of the Christ’s teaching is mercy. Others say its love and yet a third group say its compassion and forgiveness.”
Kanya: “Which is the greatest?”
Wise one: “They are all important, my children. The stem is a part of the flower and the fragrance comes from it also. In the same way, God’s compassion and forgiveness, love and mercy, all go together. They are given at different times or all together, in the same or different ways, according to our needs and self-offering. Those that are merciful – that is to say – those that show kindness and concern for others - will in time have it shown unto them. This is an inescapable law of Spirit or God.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Ibid. 7:12.
“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."
Confucius: Analects XV. 24, tr. David Hinton.
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“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap … let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:7, 9.
“Our Lord has shown us this spirit of service, of love, in the parable of the good Samaritan.” St Luke, 9:29-37.
“Also a father to his son, in the parable of the prodigal son. St. Luke, chpt. 15:11-32.
Both show tremendous joy, self-giving, and the spirit of love and forgiveness.”
Junior: “What is a parable, daddy?”
Wise one: “It is a story told in a simple way, to illustrate some spiritual quality. It was used by our Lord, to make simple, the important truths of scripture. Sometimes he spoke to ordinary people and fishermen, and so he tried – with the use of parables – to help them understand. Parables convey the spirit of what God’s favourite messengers are trying to say. At the same time, do bear in mind, that it is the spirit of the message that is needed.
Like the man who fails to eat the meat on the bone, but opens the bone to see what’s inside, we also worry about what is not useful and should be passed over. This can create a desire to show off our mental learning, and is the root of unnecessary arguments.
“Vanity of vanities’ says the great son of David. ‘All is vanity.” Ecclesiastes, 1:2.
This is a most important message repeated by the well-loved son of Christ, Thomas A Kempis.
‘Of what use is it to discourse learnedly on the trinity, if you lack humility and therefore displease the trinity? Lofty words do not make a man just or holy; but a good life makes him dear to God. I would rather feel contrition than to be able to define it. If you knew the whole Bible by heart, and all the teachings of the philosophers, how would this help you without the grace and love of God? ‘Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone.’ The Imitation of Christ, Page 27, by Thomas A Kempis. Penguin Books. Trnl. by Leo Sherley-Price, (1952).
Wise one continues: “So my children, you are quite young, and you may find it useful to remember all this as you grow older. God speed!”
All together: “Thank you, father. Our deepest gratitude.”
© 2014 manatita44