Saturday, February 14, 2009

Gospel Values: Mourners

In continuing this deeper look at the Beatitudes which I started here, I turn to the second in the list: Happy are those who mourn. Or, as Jesus put it, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Mt. 5:4)

My worksheet asks these questions:

  • Are you able to show your emotions?
  • Are you able to express your feelings?
  • Can you cry without embarrassment?
  • Are you able to feel deeply your own and others' needs?
  • Do you "release" others to show their emotions?
At first glance, I would not have considered mourning in quite this way. I suppose my view of "mourning" was closed and compartmentalized: mourning is something reserved for the death of a loved one. But these questions challenge me to see mourning in a more open way; this Beatitude is about owning and sharing the hurt and brokenness within each of us.

And, using this view, I would give myself high marks for this Beatitude. I am very capable of showing emotion and expressing my feelings. I always have been. I was the kid in 4th grade whose teacher sent a note home because I was disturbing the class by reading a book. (Yes, disturbing the class by reading to myself!) My teacher allowed me to read quietly if I finished assignments before the rest of the class. Fourth grade was when I met (and became instant friends with) Anne Shirley. As I read my way through Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and the rest of the series, I would laugh out loud, or suddenly weep in deepest sadness. Hence the note, requesting that I read less emotional material during class time.

So, am I emotional? Am I able to share my feelings? Yes. Do I "release" others to show their emotions with me? I hope so. I've always been able to sense when someone needed to talk, and have been able to provide that compassionate ear. I know that I am frequently distracted these days, so I hope that I am not losing that sense.

But overall, I would rank this Beatitude as "have really grown," though of course, with room to continue growing.

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