The next Beatitude found in Matthew 5:4 is:
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
~ King James Version
Or in the New American Standard Bible version:
4: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
I’ve always associated the word “mourning” with the death of a loved
one, and the ensuing emotional pain or grief caused by that loss.
However, I have come to expand my definition of “mourning” from the
personal to the sadness felt in empathy with others that I have never
met – both human and other animal.
Most people will respond emotionally to the news or photographs of
human children starving in a far off land, or to the occasional news
item of the suffering of an animal such as a horse or a dog.
But I think that God calls us to expand our empathy, opening our eyes
to the suffering hidden away, not only of those humans who are at the
mercy of cruel caretakers, but of the billions of other animals –
sentient beings who feel joy and pain as we do, whose lives are
routinely destroyed in the most horrendous ways imaginable.
And for what? For the fleeting, dubious pleasure of a meal or the
erroneous nutritional propaganda kept before the public by those
industries that callously exploit both – the humans and the other
animals: keeping humans fearful of not getting proper nutrients unless
they consume the very animal products that are most likely to give them
A truly spiritual mourning is not a selfish or personal indulgence.
If a person doesn’t mourn for the whole of creation, they really don’t
receive the blessing.
To be continued.
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