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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (3 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570752451
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570752452
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.6 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 599,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Even in a culture in which the Bible is a dark and unmapped continent to millions of people, if you say "Blessed are . . . ," someone is likely to add the next few words of the first beatitude, "the poor in spirit." Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ladder of the Beastitudes 25 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was recommended at a Retreat Day at Downside Abbey, when we spent quiet time considering the Beatitudes. I have found it most helpful to keep me focussed on the central parts of my life that I must prioritise. Unable to do it but to aim for quieter time to be humble, obedient, giving to the poor and needy, and moderate in my living, opening myself to being a conduit/mouthpiece of God's will.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear, crisp, relevant, and holy look at the Beatitudes 16 Aug 1999
By Jeff Kiernan - Published on
Jim Forest takes the reader on a thought-provoking journey by exploring the Beatidues as a whole and individually. Using examples from such diverse sources as the Desert Mothers and Fathers, Russian Orthodox saints, and contemorary peace and justice activists, he opens the Beatitudes in ways which allow readers to see their connection to our own times and lives. He does an especially good job delineating the meaning of words as they are used in the Beatitudes. A good resource for teachers, preachers, and anyone who wants a "new-old" way of looking at these basic teachings of Christ.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent commentary 6 Oct 2005
By William J. Murphy - Published on
For anyone, like me, whose ever read the Sermon on the Mount and thought, "wow, this sounds really beautiful, but what does Jesus really mean by this?", Forest provides an amazing discussion of these beatitudes, translating them from the eloquence of their Biblical language to the meat and potatoes of everyday life. This could can be read straight through, or one beatitude at a time, it's simple to read, yet challenging to live. I first read it in high school and read it years later and found I got even more out of it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure worthy of exploration... 4 Jun 2009
By Ser from Alaska - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven... (Mt. 5:3-10)

How often we Orthodox sing these eight verses during Divine Liturgy during the first procession, when the Gospel book is carried out of the sanctuary into the nave and then back into the sanctuary to be placed on the altar. And why? They are beautiful verses; and yes, the Church undoubtedly hopes they will sink deeply into our hearts; but again, why these particular verses? Why so frequently? And why during this procession? They are preceded by the familiar words of the thief who was crucified with the Lord, "Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom..." We recall that Jesus is not only our destination in the house of the Father, but that He is also our way of getting there. Another liturgical procession will follow shortly, when we, with all our concerns and all of creation symbolized in loaves of bread, will follow the same path to the same altar as the Church shows us what life is like for us, what it is about.

There are eight beatitudes--or perhaps only one revealed in eight aspects--telling what it means to live in the kingdom of God and how to do it. Forest presents it as a spiritual ladder that we ascend in order, rung by rung--a series of steps we make, none skipped--in company with the Holy Spirit: in a word, our deification. It is a preparation and a process that we must do. Without God, it would be impossible. In this teaching, Jesus shows us what to expect in the world--a true reality check. And He not only tells us how to deal with it, but how to be blessed--indeed, refashioned--by it. The Lord teaches in an economy of words how to live dynamically with Him so that we do not simply endure passively whatever happens to and around us, but that we join ourselves to His co-suffering love now--here and now--in concert with all the events of our lives, and thus prepare ourselves for God's eternal kingdom. We are on a journey, and, in a sense, we are mystically already there.

In an extended look at these eight verses, Forest brings a wide and delightful variety of stories, wisdom from the saints, and scripture to focus on the way our new humanity is fashioned by means of our collaboration (co-laboring) with God in this challenging ascent.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for Christians 27 Sep 2010
By Staci126 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a must-read for Christians. The author takes the reader through the Beatitudes, short prayers, and connects them to the icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent. I love how Jim Forest connects the Beatitudes to modern life. The book gives you so much to think about. It is personal, reflective, and interesting. It is a book I will read often for the rest of my life.
4.0 out of 5 stars great study 26 May 2014
By Meruss2 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very thorough look at the beatitudes. Forest blends unique insights and historical accounts from the saints
To give a fresh look at this well known teaching of Christ.
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