The Ladder of the Beatitudes
By: Jim Forest
Forest, a convert to the Russian Orthodox Church and general secretary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, has written a short volume of reflections on the Beatitudes of Jesus. They are sermons in the original sense of the word, informal chats with historical, personal, and homely examples and comparisons. They are certain to offer comfort, knowledge, and inspiration to Christians seeking sources for meditation on the words of Jesus. For most collections strong in Christian spirituality."-- Library Journal,
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Drawing on stories from the lives of the saints, scripture, and everyday life, Jim Forest opens up the mysteries of the beatitudes. These ancient blessings, with which Christ began his Sermon on the Mount, are all aspects of communion with God. As Forest shows, they are like rungs on a ladder, each one leading to the next. They appear at the doorway of the New Testament to provide an easily memorized summary of everything that follows, right down to the crucifixion (“Blessed are you who are persecuted”) and the resurrection (“Rejoice and be glad”).
Jim Forest served for twelve years as General Secretary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. His many books include Praying with Icons, All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day, Living with Wisdom: A Life of Thomas Merton, Loving Our Enemies, and The Root of War Is Fear: Thomas Merton's Advice to Peacemakers. He lives in Alkmaar, the Netherlands.