Pope Francis tells Christians to memorise the beatitudes

Christians should memorise the beatitudes which Jesus taught as the path to true happiness, Pope Francis has said.

Speaking at his weekly audience at the Vatican on August 6, the Pope linked the beatitudes, the Ten Commandments and the Last Judgement.

Some 6000 people heard the Pope tell them he was so serious about Christians knowing Matthew 5:3-12, that he would read each beatitude out loud and then have them repeat it.

But one repetition of the text is not enough to “remember them and impress them on our hearts”, the Pope said.

So he gave the crowd “homework”, asking them to spend time in the coming days reading the text again, from the Bible “you always should have with you”.

The beatitudes are “the path God indicates as his response to the desire for happiness present in each person and the perfection of the (Ten) Commandments”, Francis explained.

But more than this, they are “a portrait of Jesus and his way of life”.

But learning the beatitudes wasn’t the only homework task the Pope handed out.

Alongside reading the fifth chapter of Matthew, Francis requested the crowd also study the Last Judgement in Matthew 25.

In addition to showing people the path to true happiness, the Pope said, Jesus gave “us the protocol according to which we will be judged”.

No one, he said, is so important or has done so many other virtuous things that he or she can escape being asked the questions in Matthew 25.

“The Lord will recognise us if we have recognised his face in the face of the hungry, the poor, the marginalised, the sick and the lonely.

“These are fundamental criteria for verifying our Christian life,” Francis continued.

The Pope said he uses the beatitudes and the questions from the Last Judgement in his own reflection on his actions at the end of each day.

He recommended this “simple” practice to others.

Living according to the beatitudes and the criteria listed in Matthew 25, he said, should fill each Christian with joy because together “they make our Christian life a beautiful and credible witness to the love of God for all the brothers and sisters we meet each day”.


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