Linking the Beatitudes

The poor in spirit, those detached from the desire for worldly goods, must necessarily also be the pure in heart, since their heart is not split and set on many things of this world, but purely on the “one thing necessary”. They love God and therefore they shall see God. These pure in heart, in turn, are meek, the holy and harmless and humble, because that is the character of the God their hearts are set on. The meek, in turn, are persecuted by the world and made to mourn; they are taken advantage of. Yet by their very act of suffering persecution, they are peacemakers. They make peace by the same method Christ did on the Cross: by draining off the bloody mess of human history into their own broken hearts. The peacemakers are also the merciful, for war is caused by the insistence on justice almost as much as by injustice. The cure for war and the way to peace is not justice but mercy, forgiveness. Yet the merciful hunger and thirst for justice even as they go beyond it to mercy, for they realize that…the only way to justice is not from below, from force, from something less than justice (like bombs), but from above, from something more than justice, from mercy, from the character of God himself as revealed in Christ. It is Christ’s mercy in dying for us that satisfies justice.

— Peter Kreeft, Back to Virtue  <link>