61: The Beatitudes: Healing the Emotional Programs, Part 1

Hyatt Moore, The Beatitudes

“Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”
Matthew 5:12

In the last few sessions, we covered the models of the Christian path as described by Teresa of Ávila through the stages of prayer and John of the Cross through the dark night of the soul. In today’s session Fr. Thomas continues exploring the Christian path side by side with the models of the human condition through the beatitudes. In Invitation to Love, Fr. Thomas says, “The beatitudes are wisdom sayings that express the disposition appropriate to each level of consciousness. They highlight both the goodness and the limitations of each stage of development.” In this session’s video Fr. Thomas covers the first four beatitudes, which address the levels of consciousness related to the three energy centers and our cultural conditioning.

In the Mystery of Christ, Fr. Thomas refers to the beatitudes as affirmations that summarize Jesus’ teaching about the true meaning of happiness. We usually think of affirmations as statements that are true or that we aspire to. “The beatitudes came out of the heart of Jesus when he looked at the multitudes that were following him and realized with infinite compassion that ‘they were like sheep without a shepherd,’ all going their own way – that is, nowhere, at a great rate.” Fr. Thomas reminds us how often Jesus proclaims “repent,” which means change the direction in which you are looking for happiness. In the beatitudes, Jesus gives us a formula for dismantling our emotional programs for happiness.

“Notice how the beatitudes are all directed to one project – inner freedom: freeing us from the fascination of programs for happiness that are doomed to failure; freeing us from an over- dependency on unquestioning values, what might be called pre-packaged values, preconceived ideas.”

-Thomas Keating, from this session’s video

A Meditation

The Beatitudes
Matthew 5:3-10

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.

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

Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.

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

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

To Practice
  • View the video excerpt “The Beatitudes: Healing the Emotional Programs, Part 1” which is about 27 minutes in length.
  • In Part 2 on the Human Condition, we introduced the beatitudes at the same time we introduced the energy centers and asked you to reflect slowly and prayerfully with each beatitude. In this session’s video, Fr. Thomas provides a more thorough explanation of how each beatitude highlights both the goodness and limitation of each stage of development. Focusing on the first four beatitudes, reflect on how this might be true for you in your life today. How has your understanding of the beatitudes opened up with this teaching? Has your sense of inner freedom changed?


“The Beatitudes: Healing the Emotional Programs, Part 1” excerpted from The Spiritual Journey Series Part 4, 27 mins.
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Audio for this Narrative

“The Beatitudes: Healing the Emotional Programs, Part 1” excerpted from The Spiritual Journey Series Part 4, 27 mins.
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Resources for Further Study:
You may wish to read Chapter 18 in Invitation to Love (20th anniversary edition, Chapter 17 in older editions.

Additional Resources