If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series on the beatitudes, click the category “Beatitudes” and start from the beginning! No repeated info. One beatitude builds on the others!
Anyone who has loved anyone who has passed away knows that grieving comes from love. It is the experience of the loved one seeming to have ripped one’s heart right out of one’s chest so as to bring it with them on their rather momentous journey. But doesn’t this manifest the depth of the love that is there, with the one so devastated on this earth looking to the one who has done all the heart ripping out of the chest thing?
Grieving is very much a present tense thing. It’s all right here, right now. Time doesn’t necessarily heal all things, does it? The scars of the heart being ripped out of the chest thing can be reopened at any time, right?
Our Lord is very, very present to those who grieve, for they love, which is why they are grieving. And Jesus is love. He is with them.
The second part of this sentence, the explanation — “for they shall be visited” — is frequently translated as comforted, helped, aided, and so on. The word in Greek, which is used for the Holy Spirit, comes from paraclete, that is, to be called next to [someone]. The Holy Spirit is called upon us by the Father and the Son. In this case of the beatitudes, the visitor is not specified.
Note that this second part is in the future tense. We can seem a bit unconsolable here upon this earth at times, can’t we? Grieving can be pretty intense, much like the truest love. Are not all the members of the Mystical Body of Christ of whatever time and place with us, grieving with those who grieve and rejoicing with those who rejoice? We must not forget that we, who belong to the Church Militant, fighting to keep our faith amidst a perverse generation, also have the Church Suffering in purgatory and the Church Triumphant in heaven with us, visiting us. This truth sinks in only slowly, however, for the wounds of the heart-being-ripped-out-of-one’s-chest experience can be rather raw. Yet, the truth, the life of the family of faith does take hold of us all the more deeply.
Jesus spoke these words also to Mary, His Immaculate Mother, for she would see her Son be tortured to death and buried.
But then she was visited, consoled, comforted. Very. Awesome. That. Such depth of grieving. Such depth of love. Such a visitation! Jesus is risen. He is truly risen!