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Pattie Jean Griffin, MTh

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:..." (Mt. 5:1-12a).

Today, Jesus preaches The Beatitudes, Blessed are they who mourn, Blessed are the meek, and so forth. Growing up, I always looked at THOSE people as having tough times, but the good news is that it all works out in the end. Thank God! Theirs is the kingdom of God, They shall be comforted, They shall inherit the land… it is all good news.

But how do they get to the other side? Who is helping them? What am I doing? I think they are not feeling so blessed as they live through the various struggles they find themselves in. We are their Brothers and Sisters, looking in; where are we along their journey? Is our encounter a brief “God Bless You,” or giving money to the man on the corner, donating to charities, or are we knee-deep or up to our necks in the day-to-day service of these folks? Their state of mental health and our ability or inability to create [h2] change can create a slippery slope along the scale of effecting positive change or losing the battle to improve the situation. In this reading of the Beatitudes, I wanted to focus on the caregivers living and working with the “Blessed are they

I personally seek to help others, and I have done that throughout my life. What do they say, charity begins at home? During high school, my sons were injured at different times. Their pain, anger, and especially depression went on for months. They couldn’t play the sports they loved. There was NO quick fix, it was difficult to live with, but it did pass. It made me appreciate those caregivers who live with those in a recurring state of depression, anxiety, and or pain. Where is your light at the end of the tunnel? How do you find a balance? Can you find the grace in the Beatitudes?

Now I live with a person who goes through a wide range of emotions in the span of a day. So quite often, six out of seven days a week, there is planning and projecting how best to get her through the day. There is so much improvement, I see it, and others tell me they see it, but it is a constant juggle to be supportive, plan ahead, but also remain sane and not give up on her or myself.

1 Cor. 1: 26 - 31 speaks to how I and maybe others have felt.

  • “Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.”

  • “God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong”

  • “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise”

  • “God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who (think) they are something.”

The Beatitudes encourage people to focus on their inner qualities and relationships with others rather than external success or material possessions.

I just saw a cartoon a young boy is riding a horse and asks the horse, “What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” The horse replies, “HELP” “Asking for help isn’t giving up, it’s refusing to give up.

Author: Pattie Jean Griffin, MTh, graduated from the Institute of Black Catholic Studies.

Griffin retired after 39 years of teaching children who are deaf. She is a member of St Ann Catholic church in Fayetteville, NC. In 2020 she joined her father’s business at Cape Fear Real Estate.

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1 Comment

Marla Sanders
Marla Sanders
Jan 26, 2023

The Beatitudes and Mental Health blog reminds me that it is truly a blessing when one finds a caregiver who is compassionate, patient and loving in the daily care of their patients. Such a person, anointed by God, has the ability to bring a smile and joy to their patient's face as they tend to their every need, while keeping them pampered and smelling like a newborn baby or a freshly cut bouquet of roses in the midst of unspeakable physical pain and/or mental anguish.

Although, God called my Mother home on February 2, 2020. I thank Him everyday for sending my Mother such a caregiver once I physically was not able to be her caregiver.

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