Question from a reader: commentaries on the beatitudes

Let’s get everyone in on this.

Here is a question from a reader:

Do you know of any particular good commentaries on the beatitudes, especially what is means to be poor in spirit? 

I imagine that in your lenten reading, some of you found good material on this.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Maureen says:

    Biblia Clerus has a ton of references. Look under Biblical Commentary, at the relevant Gospel and passage, and then press the “Comment” button. Links to commentaries in various patristic and magisterial documents will appear in the left sidebar.

    I know this isn’t what the poster wants, but at least it’s a pointer to look for it.

  2. Petrus Wilkinson says:

    The Pursuit of Happiness-God’s Way:Living the Beatitudes – by Servais Pinckaers, OP. He is the author of ‘The Sources of Catholic Ethics’. Father teaches/taught moral theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. At the end of the book he has a chapter on the commentaries of St Augustine and St Thomas on the Beatitudes. It is a small book of 204 pages. It is published by Alba House, St Paul’s

  3. gsk says:

    Benedict XVI’s book “Jesus of Nazareth” has excellent commentary on the beatitudes.

  4. There’s always St Augustine’s work on the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, which contains an excellent commentary on the Beatitudes, connecting them with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    You can find it on NewAdvent.

  5. Patrick S says:

    The Seven Last Words by Fulton Sheen is actually an excellent commentary on the beatitudes. It ties them together with the seven last words spoken by Jesus on the cross. He shows how those 7 last phrases are the fulfillment of the beatitudes spoken at the beginning of His ministry. I struggled with that beatitude as well and found this book very helpful. It is short, easy to read but you can meditate on the many insights provided for years to come.

    God Bless you in your journey

  6. Fr. Brian Stanley says:

    I second the recommendation of the Holy Father’s commentary in “Jesus of Nazareth.” I just gave a presentation on his commentary on the Beatitudes.

  7. John Paul says:

    Father John Hardon taught extensively about The Beatitudes. Some of his
    teaching can be found at the Real Presence Association link:

  8. Aric says:

    Simon Tugwell’s book on the Beatitudes is striking. He does go off into bit of speculation at one point (in the direction of “dare we hope that all men be saved?”), but for the most part very solid.

  9. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I once heard a rather unorthodox commentary on the Beatitudes by Fr. John Cusick (of Chicago Youth Ministry fame). He gave a really negative spin on “blessed are the poor in spirit” that ran counter to everything I’d learned about what “poor in spirit” means.

  10. Brian Mershon says:

    Dom Gueranger’s Liturgical year. Best liturgical, Biblical, spiritual commentary, bar none, I have ever read.

  11. Clayton says:

    Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa has a great collection of reflections on poverty entitled, shockingly, Poverty (Alba House).

  12. LCB says:

    Fr. Benedict Groeschel has an excellent book on the subject.

  13. mariadevotee says:

    Ditto Fr Pinckaers book –a fine read.

  14. Fr Leon OP says:

    The Divine Pity, by Gerald Vann OP. It’s now republished under the rather banal title ‘The Seven Sweet Blessings of Christ: And How to Make Them Yours’. Possibly the most beautiful ‘spiritual’ book I’ve ever read.

    I utterly, thoroughly recommend it.

  15. Joel says:

    I agree that B16’s commentary in “Jesus of Nazareth” is a great reflection on the Beatitudes.

Comments are closed.