Skip to main content

The Teachings of Jesus No. 3

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.


There it is plain and clear: the earth ultimately belongs to the meek. Which doesn’t mean the pushover, or the timid, or the spineless; the coward or the weak-kneed. Jesus cared about those frightened souls but here he’s talking about the humble, the tolerant, the thoughtful; about people who think before they act; people with a gentle spirit and a kind heart; people of intellect, soul, and substance. The earth is theirs. They know how to care for it, how to cherish and appreciate it, and how to live responsibly in it. Carl Sandburg, the remarkable poet, philosopher and biographer of Abraham Lincoln, described the 16th president in these words: “Not often in the story of mankind does a man arrive on earth who is both steel and velvet, who is hard as a rock and soft as a drifting fog, who holds in his heart and mind the paradox of terrible storm and peace unspeakable and perfect.” That’s the meekness Jesus was talking about. This is dangerous living, as we know from Lincoln. It is living that threatens the bullies of life, the rude and the cruel, the coldly arrogant who believe everything is theirs for the taking. Not so. The earth is not theirs. It belongs to the meek. In the end the earth is not shaped by demigods and despots, by the crude and the loathsome, or the fanatics of this belief or that. The real influence in the earth comes from the courageous and the stalwart; from the thinker with a conscience oak strong and from the loving with hearts as durable as brick walls. Do not underestimate the meek. Ultimately, planet Earth is theirs. ~ TM


Popular posts from this blog

Our National Lack of Self-esteem

There is a brokenness in our society, a pervasive moral collapse, a reckless disregard for community, neighborliness, courtesy, and compassion.
Our government leads by this example. Both parties are incompetent to guide us into a more responsible living, into a serviceable structure of humanity. Our leaders are dominated by greedy oligarchs who don’t just want more, they want everything, even if it costs our society its dignity, its soul, even its future.
What is on display here daily is a wretched lack of self-esteem. The loss now influences all of us. We’re all affected in ways that keep us shamed by our actions.
When we feel powerless, aimless, without any higher goals than the accumulation of things and the momentary thrill, we then mute our intelligence. We live by raw emotions—anger, appetite, urges. We don’t think, we don’t consider, we merely react. We push. We disregard. We threaten. We act out. And we fail.
Self-esteem is a learned process. It builds on genuine successes that ar…

Is the Soul Solid, like Iron?

Mary Oliver has a beautiful little poem in which she asks:

“Is the soul solid, like iron?
or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?”

It is both.

The soul, we are told by philosophers, theologians, and mystics, is our essence, the permanence of our true self. It is that part of us that lives beyond death. Or so we are taught by religion. Where exactly the soul exists beyond that, has of course, been long debated.

There are times in life when something deep within us is, as Mary Oliver says, solid as iron and we operate out of some sense of aliveness, confidence, and inner strength. It may be fleeting, but there when needed; or it may carry us through long periods of endurance when we build a sturdy self, confident and capable of our abilities and talents.

This is the work of the soul. This is a part of our spiritual development. This is what enables us to believe there are forces in life, loving and generous and mystical, that nurture and compel us tow…

The Light in the Faces of Our Incredible Human Family

National Geographic Journalist Paul Salopek is walking across the world on foot to trace the pathways of the first humans who wandered out of Africa in the Stone Age to claim the earth as theirs. His journey will cover 21,000 miles and is estimated to take 10 years. He is four years into his massive expedition and already he has discovered that humanity is mostly kind and generous, welcoming and caring, hard-working and disciplined.
I watched a brief piece about Salopek’s journey on the PBS News Hour this week. I have included a link below.
What is extraordinary about his adventure is his realization that in spite of all the wars and turmoil across the globe, he has learned that “The world is an incredibly hospitable place.” In following the ancient trade route called “The Silk Road,” Salopek has gotten to know a variety of people young and old. And though he has so far encountered a few dangerous situations where he had his water supply stolen, was once ambushed by raiders, and was sho…