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Blessed Are the Meek – But Who Are the Meek? Cornelius A Lapide Tells Us March 22, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I’ve been reading – slowly – The Great Commentary by Cornelius a’ Lapide, in the Loreto Press version with the introduction by none other than Charles Coulombe.  It’s an excellent if exhaustive biblical commentary.  I can see why it is so often used by traditional priests – there are insights to Scripture I’ve never seen anywhere else, though a few are dated (like the medical references to the latest 16th century medicine).

Nevertheless, it’s an excellent if expensive biblical commentary. I strongly recommend it.

As I said, it’s an exhaustive commentary, a’ Lapide does not manage to cover all of St. Matthew’s Gospel in a single 600 page volume (not including a ~130 page introduction).  In fact, he doesn’t even make it halfway.  Sometimes it does get a bit draggy into really minute detail.  Overall, however, it’s the best Catholic biblical commentary available in English, at least until someone finishes translating Bellarmine, which hopefully Ryan Grant is working on (Mediatrix Press, by the way, has a 10% off sale for Lent. It’s a good time to save).

I haven’t done enough Lenten content this year due to circumstances, but here’s a nice exegesis on Saint Matthew Chapter V verse 4, Blessed are the Meek.  But who is meek, and what is meekness?  Aside from Christ’s exhortation to be meek, what role does meekness play in God’s plan for our salvation?  Divine Intimacy certainly provides many answers, but these from a’ Lapide are quite worth sharing, as well. I pray you find this useful:

Fittingly are the meek conjoined to the poor in spirit, because the poor and lowly are wont to be meek, as vice versa, the rich and the proud are often impatient and quarrelsome.  Poverty and meekness are neighbors, and related virtues………For “the meek,” says Chromatius, are “those who are gentle, humble, modest, simple in faith, patient under all injury, who set themselves to follow the precepts of the Gospel and imitate the Lord’s example of meekness.  Therefore, the meek are those who rule over impatience, anger, envy, vengefulness, and other disturbances and troubled movements of the soul, and do not murmur against God when He permits adversity, nor become indignant at injuries caused by neighbors, nor seek revenge upon those who harm them, but bear all things placidly in God’s providence, who orders all these things to His glory and for their salvation, when they practice resignation and acquiesce in them. This is why the meek, by the sweetness of their manners, reconcile to themselves the souls of all.

Christ alludes to what David says in Psalm xxxvi:11, The meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight in abundance of peace.

Meekness, therefore, makes us 1. pleasing to God and men 2. like Christ, Who says, Learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble in heart (Matt xi:29), 3. apt for wisdom and gaining celestial goods. For capable of receiving these is the heart which is meek, placid, and tranquil, as Psalm xxiv:9 says: He will guide the mild in judgment: He will teach the meek His ways.

The grades of meekness and the beatitude consequent upon it are these: 1. To converse with all with a meek heart and lips. 2. To break the anger of others by a meek reply. 3. To bear with gentleness all injuries and wrongs. 4. To rejoice in being injured and wronged. 5. By our meekness and kindness to overcome the malevolence of our enemies and those who are angry with us, and win them to be our friends. [This is very hard to do, especially in our proud and selfish age, where we are taught in ways subtle and gross to always exalt the self, to always get what we want, when we want it, and to take great offense if we do not. But this is not the way of Christ, or of the great Christendom that existed for many centuries. I count myself at the head of the list of those who fail in meekness.] 

Finally, Climacus gives the reason, indeed several reasons, why the meek are blessed when he says: “Meekness is the helpmate of obedience, the leader of religious community, a curb to those who steal, a power that expels the wrathful, the teacher of joy, the imitator of Christ, the property of the heavenly, fetters and bonds of demons, a shield against bitterness and harshness of spirit. The Lord rests in the hearts of the meek.  The turbulent soul is the nest of the devil.  The meek shall inherit the earth, or better, shall rule the lands, while the furious shall be driven our out of their lands……….

[This last bit is not entirely related, but it was so good i had to include it]……..Moses promised earthly goods to the Jews, but Christ promised heavenly goods to Christians.

Better and fuller with St. Jerome – by earth in this place, understand Heaven, which is the land of the living, since this earth is the land of the dying, as it is said in Psalm xxvi: “I believe to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.” [so meekness is a necessary to be with God in Heaven]

————End Quote———–

I think that’s it for today. I’m sure enjoying a Lapide – I only wish I had more time to read, to soak up this glorious Faith of ours, which always seems, providentially, to provide an answer to one’s yearnings, even if those yearnings were unrecognized.  Sometimes you don’t know what you need, or what really hurts, until God shows it to you.  May He be forever praised!

God bless you!

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Comments

1. skeinster - March 22, 2018

Tantum,
may I use the comments to request prayers for the repose of my dad, Wootten, who died this afternoon at age 90?
We knew he was failing, but this was sooner than expected.

Many thanks.

Tim - March 24, 2018

Prayers just offered. God bless you.

2. Canon212 Update: You Don’t Lay the Gospel at the ‘Common Good’ Feet of China. You Take Your Dirty Hands Off It – The Stumbling Block - March 23, 2018

[…] BUT WHO ARE THE MEEK? […]

3. Tim - March 24, 2018
4. Margaret Costello - March 24, 2018

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

And yes, love Ann Barnhardt’s post on meekness…and her definition too: power under control.

God bless~


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