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Father Muench Says...

No. 2...Blessed are those who mourn

Sept. 10, 2014

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

The Beatitudes. Have you memorized the first – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Now for the second, “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

The first thing I think of is the grief that comes from the death of a loved one.  This is definitely a time of mourning – of loss – of the personal loss of an important person.  Here Jesus promises that we will be comforted by God’s love in such a moment.  In such situations, there is the danger that in grief some may do something negative.  Such losses are times to seek the comforting love of God that keeps us from giving up – from stopping to live.

The Beatitude tells us that we will find happiness and peace in such difficult times when we turn to the God who loves us so much.  Here, I would like to suggest to you other times of real mourning – times when we all need the Lord’s comforting, strengthening help, not to give up, not to stop trying. 

Consider the many personal times when we mourn.  There is the moment when you learn that you have health problems – maybe serious health problems.  These are times when we need the comforting strength of our God to face this new challenge in life.  There is a time of peace, a comforting time, because we know the Lord with us.

Again, there are also the times of mourning when we have to deal with our own personal mistakes, our own failings.  These are times of grief that may cause a person to want to quit, to stop trying.  The comforting strength from God can make the difference.  We can find a new and stronger faith from the strength of God’s love that will help us to recover and to get back into the swing of things.

There are other times when we mourn also.  Think of the times when someone in your family fails, sins – it may be a father or mother, a sister or brother.  This is truly a time of grief and unhappiness, a time of mourning. 

Again, this is a time to turn to the Lord Jesus.  Jesus makes it very clear he wants to be part of our lives – especially, in these difficult times – to give us his comforting strength, helping us in such difficult times.  With the Lord, it can be a time to make things better, keeping us from giving up, giving us the strength to somehow make a difference.

There is a time of mourning when someone becomes disturbed, upset, with our own country – with our country’s leaders.  Again, these are time of mourning.  I think each of us has hopes and dreams for our own country.  I know only too well that there are times that we may be filled with grief when we believe that our country has failed, that our country should have done better.  These are time of personal mourning – unhappy times – times when we need the understanding help and the strength of will of the Lord.  Jesus promises us comfort, comfort that will bring strength to lead us find the correct path to follow, a path to try and understand better and strength to do something good ourselves.

Let me add one more situation of mourning.  I am thinking here of the times of grief when our Church – our Church leaders – have failed, even sinned.  It may just be a simple slight or it may be a very major failing.  These are times of personal mourning.  For many, such times have resulted in quitting – in rejecting the Church completely.  I want to say that these are times when we truly need the Lord. We need the comforting strength of the Lord so that we can do what we should to bring God’s love into our lives and into the life of our parishes, our church.  This may demand the strength of love and forgiveness in the spirit of Jesus.  With Jesus, we can find faith and hope for the future that can only come from the Lord.  With Jesus, we can make a difference.

So – one more personal note.  I don’t know about you but I have times I just can’t forget – times of real grief – maybe not hugely important however, at the time, it seemed so important.

I was twelve years old and still can see the ground ball go through my legs into the outfield.  I am still mourning that moment.

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