1. Blessed, are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
We must overcome our pride and become humble. Learn to not to put our priority in the pleasure we derive from the material things of this world but aim for a life of virtue. Gregory of Nyssa says the one who is poor of spirit is He who is given the riches of the soul in exchange for material wealth, who is poor for the sake of the spirit. He has shaken off earthly riches like a burden so that he may be lightly lifted into the air and be borne upwards…
2. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
To become meek we need to develop self-discipline so we can control our passions and remain calm even in the face of wrath. This requires the humility gained from the first Beatitude.
3. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
We are to mourn after the Goodness we do not yet know, the joy of eternal life with God. This gives us the desire to seek to perfect ourselves. As we mourn for what we do not yet have, God will comfort us and help us to become worthy.
4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill.
The justice we must hunger for is our salvation, which is available equally to all. This requires a keen discernment of God’s will coupled with the discipline to act on it instead of our earthly passions. We hunger for all the virtues.
5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
To become merciful we need to have a voluntary sorrow that joins itself to the suffering of others. Our own mercy may come at the time of our Final Judgment.
6. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
When we purify our heart from all evil thoughts, we find the inner light of God within. Gregory says, you wash off by a good life the filth that has been stuck on your heart like plaster, the Divine Beauty will again shine forth in you. With a pure heart we are able to choose what is virtuous and the light which is within will shine brightly becoming a beacon of goodness for others.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Peace is essential for a good life. A peacemaker is one who gives peace to others. This involves having a loving disposition to others. To become a peacemaker, we must first have peace within ourselves and a clean heart. Saint Gregory says, I think that man is called a peacemaker par excellence who pacifies perfectly the discord between flesh and spirit in himself and the war that is inherent in nature, so that the law of the body no longer wars against the law of the mind, but is subjected to the higher rule and becomes a servant of the Divine ordinance.
8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Once mastering the above, we will be able to endure pain and suffering from those who persecute us for upholding God’s goodness. This leads us to a greater Goodness. God’s grace will transform us and give us strength in such situations helping us see the wisdom in what is not visible. The martyrs of the Church give us vivid examples of this.