COMMUNIO 1-2: The Beatitudes
Vojtěch Brož: Ježíš a blahoslavenství / Jesus and the Beatitudes
The opening text of the current issue is a summary of the overall meaning of the Beatitudes of the New Testament (Matthew 5: 3–12), actually outlining the program of the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes are to be understood in a mature biblical sense, i.e. as the joy in God. They involve the eschatological aspect that the future begins in the present, and describe the fulfillment, which, however, has already entered this earthly time. The Beatitudes have begun to fulfill our history. All eight Beatitudes can only be understood and accepted when they are interpreted from the Christological viewpoint as sharing the life of God, which is Jesus himself.
Tomáš Machula: Výklad blahoslavenství u Tomáše Akvinského / On the Beatitudes by Thomas Aquinas
The paper analyses commentaries on the Beatitudes by Thomas Aquinas. The close relationship between theory and practice, typical of the Dominican theology, is also stressed. The text starts with Thomas’ commentary on the Gospel of Matthew and with his Summa theologica. Thomas mainly concerned himself with Matthew’s version of the Beatitudes. He regards the first seven Beatitudes together as a whole, while he sees the eighth Beatitude as a summary of all of the previous ones. Once all of the connections between the Beatitudes and blessedness are laid out, each of the Beatitudes is then interpreted. Both Thomas’ differentiation of the Beatitudes and the way in which he matches them to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are taken into account.
Mistr Eckhart: LXXXVII. Beati pauperes spiritu, quia ipsorum est regnum caelorum (Mt 5, 3) / Meister Eckhart: Sermon – LXXXVII – Beati pauperes spiritu, quia ipsorum est regnum caelorum (Matthew 5:3)
First of all, in his famous sermon, Meister Eckhart mentions that there are two kinds of poverty: the outer, and the inner, while the word of the Lord deals with inner poverty (cf. Matthew 5:3). M. Eckhart defines a poor man as a man who wills nothing, knows nothing, and has nothing. In the following theological and philosophical reflections, a detailed explanation of the definition is given. The poverty of spirit means that a person is ready to accept everything from God, as well as emptiness, so that He can freely work in the human soul. Such a person is a pure God-bearer in his works. The poor in spirit offer themselves to God completely, so that He can work in them.
Michael Figura: Duch svatý Těšitel / The Holy Spirit as Comforter
This paper presents the Holy Spirit as Paraclete, systematically in the context of the second Beatitude: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Firstly, a couple of significant texts in the Christian tradition illustrate that it is correct to speak about the Holy Spirit as a comforter, following which can be found brief remarks on elements of spiritual consolation. The theme of spiritual consolation and suffering is presented, with particular examples being Diadochos of Photiki and Ignatius of Loyola. Biblical passages about the Holy Spirit as a Comforter are analysed, particularly the utterances in the Gospel According to John and in Epistles of Paul. This short study is accompanied by numerous quotations and references to further sources.
Vojtěch Novotný: Blaze tichým, neboť oni dostanou zemi za dědictví / “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”
This paper discusses the Beatitude of the meek. It is concerned with the Biblical utterance and explains each word of the verse, its origin in the Old Testament (cf. Psalm 37: motif of a country as heritage), and connections with utterances in the New Testament (the meek Jesus, heir – heirs – heritage). The meek are all those, both Jewish and Gentile, who have been justified by divine mercy and the charity of God, the Father of the crucified and resurrected Jesus. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, they became God’s children, and heirs together with Jesus Christ. In the earthly life, their inheritance comprises participation in Christ’s suffering in His meekness and humility, so they learn how to be and how to act if they want to take part in the life of the incarnated Son of God and the Trinity. They share their lives with the life of the Crucified, and furthermore, with the resurrected Christ in heaven. Their inheritance includes divine glory and eternal life. Those who are meek by the power of the Holy Spirit are meek together with Christ, and they are blessed like Him, because they receive in Him the “Promised and Holy Land”, the “space” where God meets man in eternity, and where a human being finds his or her eternal home, God’s face, and a filial relationship with Him.
Hlad a žízeň po spravedlnosti. Antologii z patristické exegeze čtvrtého blahoslavenství sestavil David Vopřada / Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness – Anthology of Patristic Exegesis of the Fourth Beatitude – By David Vopřada
The anthology of patristic exegesis of the fourth Beatitude – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6) – provides a selection of significant texts written by the following Latin and Greek Church Fathers: Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Cyprian, Hilary of Poitiers, Ambrose, Chromatius of Aquileja, Gaudentius of Brescia, Jerome, John Chrysostom, Augustine, Leo the Great, Venerable Bede, and an anonymous Arian author. A short description of each Church Father and his commentary are added.
Jan Ambaum: Milosrdenství a odpuštění hříchů / Mercy and Forgiveness of Sins
The author’s personal reflection on mercy inspired by the utterance: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7), is an attempt to illustrate the relationship between morality and mercy in the church today. The subsequent text is based on the question of whether a level of rigidity prevails in the church and in its proclamation – a rigidity that narrows the view of mercy. The answer to this question is ultimately derived from the Christological deepening of the concept of “mercy”.
Stefaan Van Calster: Buďte milosrdní jako je milosrdný váš Otec / “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful”
The purpose of this paper, which is based on the Encyclical by Pope John Paul II Dives in misericordia, is to characterize the inner essence of Christian mercy from a pastoral viewpoint. The crucial idea is that Christian mercy is a form of mercy corresponding to divine mercy, and to the Acting of God the Father and Christ as the Good Shepherd. God’s behaviour is an example for every Christian.
Vojtěch Janšta: Blahoslavenství čistého srdce v teologii a spiritualitě Hugo Rahnera / Beatitude of the Pure Heart in Theology and Spirituality of Hugo Rahner
This comprehensive systematic study on the Beatitude of the pure in heart – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8) – focuses on the standpoint of Hugo Rahner, one of the major German theologians of the 20th century. Rahner reflects on the mystery of the Lord’s Heart, pure in its fullness, and on Jesus’ earthly life. The reflection culminates in a view of the pure heart of Jesus pierced on the cross. This is an example for every disciple of Jesus, and a model of how to be pure in heart, and how to see God in pivotal events in world history. This study contains a number of valuable points.
Joachim Gnilka: Blahoslavení tvůrci pokoje / Blessed are the Peacemakers
This paper is a biblical reflection on the seventh Beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). The actual interpretation of the Beatitude takes into account the other Gospel texts and the historical situation of Jesus. It is preceded by remarks on the terms “war” and “peace” in the Old Testament, in Greco-Roman literature, and the New Testament.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: Role náboženství vzhledem k současné krizi míru a spravedlnosti / Role of Religion in the Recent Crisis of Peace and Justice
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger presents in this text how religion can contribute to a solution to the recent crisis of peace and justice. He starts with the presupposition that peace and justice are closely linked. The crisis of peace is to be seen in relation to the crisis of justice, and vice versa. In the first part of the text, four examples are presented of how peace can at the present time be endangered. On the basis of the first part and of the phenomena, the second part defines what peace is, what justice means, and how both of them are intertwined. In addition, the connection between peace and justice is followed by the theme of law, of its contents, and by the theme of injustice. The third part of the text discusses the ethical role of religion. The author concentrates on a specific manifestation of religion, Catholicism. He describes how religious belief could and should support peace, what our belief can do in order to answer such questions, and what it can’t and mustn’t do if it wants to stand up for its essence faithfully.
Hans Urs von Balthasar: Je ukřižovanému „blaze“? / Is the Crucified “Blessed”?
Hans Urs von Balthasar asks in his short, but lapidary contribution whether the Lord was feeling blessed while being crucified, and in connection with that, the author discusses whether those who are giving testimony for Jesus in various forms of suffering, hardship and distress, with martyrdom included, are feeling blessed.
Adrienne von Speyr: Odměna lásky / A Reward of Love
This article presents a short extract from the book The Sermon on the Mount. A Meditation on Matthew 5–7. It is an interpretation of the following biblical verses: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you, and persecute you, and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10–12). The interpretation is not an academic paper in the modern sense, but rather a spiritual text that invites contemplation.
Jan Hojda: Putování k domovu. extáze, exodus a exitus Juraje Hordubala / On the way Home. Ecstasy, Exodus and Exitus of Juraj Hordubal
This paper deals with theological and anthropological interpretation of the novel Hordubal, a work by the Czech writer Karel Čapek. It primarily focuses on the topic of life journey of the protagonist of the novel. It especially points out that the symbolically portrayed personal journey in the novel is inextricably linked with the theme of dying. Thus the themes of ecstasy, exodus and exitus are closely connected with participation in human reciprocity, selfless love and fidelity. The article emphasizes that a novel can show how the dynamics of a human person is anchored in participation in the communio of Trinitarian love. Based on existential participation in the life of the Incarnate Son, the dying of a human being can also become a way out of oneself towards God the Father and the eternal home.