YOUR mantra for the week: “I am undaunted about all obstacles. I overcome them easily.”
In Matthew 5:3-10 of the Bible, Jesus of Nazareth, in his Sermon on the Mount, gave eight instructions called Beatitudes. People are probably wondering why eight, and not 10 or 12.
In numerology, eight stands for regeneration. The Chinese consider it the number of prosperity, and often use the octagonal form as a charm to attract abundance.
The first four of the eight Beatitudes are:
1) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
In metaphysics, poor in spirit does not mean poor-spirited, but rather implies putting aside prejudices, present negative and destructive habits of thought, including old religious beliefs that stand in the way of discovering the God within. This Beatitude is often ordinarily quoted and referred to as “Blessed are the poor,” which is strange because I do not see anything blessed about being poor. Furthermore,
it only succeeds in encouraging people to be poor to earn a visa to heaven.
2) “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
In my teaching, the word “mourning” refers not only to grief but also to all difficulties or losses, whether physical, financial or emotional. I assume that Jesus gave this instruction because he realized that when we are deeply in grief, we look for answers from a Power and Intelligence greater than we are, and that is where we get what this Beatitude calls comfort.
3) “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Metaphysically, earth means the whole of our outer experience which comes from our inner states of mind and heart, as in the adage, “As within, so without.” The word “meek” refers to our being teachable, open-minded and ready to learn new ways of thinking and working, just like Moses, who accomplished great works and was often described as meek, and which explains the phrase “as meek as Moses.”
4) “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Righteousness, metaphysically speaking, goes beyond right conduct. It begins with right thinking, right feeling, right speaking and constantly being aware of the Power of the Spoken Word. Hungering-and-thirsting plainly means to persevere when progress toward our desires seems slow or nothing appears to be happening. Righteous in the Beatitude sense promises to bring forth satisfaction, and it emphasizes that one shall be fully filled to the brim.
Next week, we will discuss the last four Beatitudes. And if space allows, I will include my own 8 Be-attitudes that promise to help you build a happy and fulfilling life.
Sociocivic leader, philanthropist and entrancing speaker Loida Nicolas-Lewis tendered a luncheon for a hundred of her friends on Bonifacio Day at the Luna room of Rockwell. She went on to rally them to support Mar-Leni with probably the same passion that Andres Bonifacio summoned when he called on the KKK members to fight for freedom from oppression.
Loida started her talk by recalling the oppression we suffered under Marcos’ 21-year rule.
“For the period of 21 years, the Philippines underwent its longest, darkest period in its history,” she said.
That meant the loss of human and civil rights; the loss of our reputation as a country that leads its Asian neighbors in literacy, economic ascendancy, democratic system of government; the loss of lives of those who opposed Marcos; and the martyrdom of Ninoy Aquino. Most of all, during those 21 years, the culture of corruption began to take root in our psyche.
When destiny carried P-Noy to the presidency, he succeeded in moving the country from the bottom third in the world to the middle third in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index. Not to mention the improvement of our credit standing to investment grade by the Big 3 credit ratings agencies.
In her PowerPoint presentation, Loida underscored why Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo should be the next president and vice president of the Philippines. Their integrity is beyond question, she stressed. Walang bahid, walang scandal. Mar’s educational background is solid—a graduate of Ateneo de Manila and the Wharton School of Economics.
His work experience as investment banker at Allen and Company in New York adds to his impressive curriculum vitae.
Add his involvement in government service as congressman, senator and trade secretary under the Erap and GMA administrations. Erap even acknowledges that Mar was his best Cabinet member and could truly be a good president.
Loida further said that we need at least 18 years to get rid of the culture of corruption that has taken root in the country. Six years of P-Noy, six years of Mar and six years of Leni would surely turn things around.
The indefatigable Loida concluded: “Twenty one years of President Marcos produced a corrupt nation. Eighteen years of good governance will make the Philippines a head nation and no longer the tail in the family of nations. Then the Philippines will truly be the Pearl of the Orient. It will then truly become a noble race, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, God’s own people— and this transformation can start from here after this forum.”
If Mar and Leni have a hundred Loidas, they would be catapulted to the presidency and vice presidency of this country by a landslide.