In the Gospels of Luke and Matthew there is a description of the sermon of the mountain.
Matthew teach to us the 8 beatitudes (Matthew 5) but in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 6) there is a difference: he teach us the "ventures": there are 4 beatitudes and 4 misfortunes.
Remember that in the Gospel of Luke we have the teaching of the Parable of the Good Samaritan, this parable teaches us that we sin, like the Levite who passes by or we live righteously as the Samaritan, we all have to choose between good and evil. That is why there are blessings and misfortunes.
Luke speaks of "ventures" and with this begins the revelation of the mystery of the Kingdom of God. The beatitudes express to us the promises of the kingdom of God and base of all hope. In the misadventures there is a warning: the danger of wealth and the false happiness.
The misfortunes explain to us that there is a false happiness, an opinion of happiness and this happens because we follow the false good, the idolatry of money. Remember the triple division of man: body, soul and spirit; the beatitudes are referred to the spiritual man (the spirit prevails) instead the misfortunes to the natural man (the body prevails). We have to follow the dictates of the spirit or the flesh.
Christ calls us to follow the good happiness, not the happiness of appearances.
The true good of man is the eternal life, not happiness. The gospel of Luke is a fundamentally an ethical gospel, which calls us to a change: from the sin to the righteous life (spiritual gift of righteousness), the life in grace of God.
The concept of happiness according to classical authors:
Aristotle begins his work with his book "About the soul", in which he explains that the soul is the perfection of the body and the first mobile motor. From then all his books are developed from this study of the soul. In Nicomaquean Ethics he affirm: "happiness is a certain activity of the soul", "happiness is the most perfect good", "happiness is the reward of virtue", then in Rhetoric says: "happiness is the wellness accompanied by virtue".
Thomas Aquinas, father of the scholastic school, start his studies with God, not from the soul and affirms in the Summa Theologica: "God is the happiness of man", "eternal happiness consists in the vision of God", "the happiness is what everyone wants unanimously". The scholastic philosophy places happiness in relation with God and fundamentally in the contemplation of God.
In the Bible the ecclesiastes teach to us: "Happiness is for those who fear God". The old testament lays happiness in the hands of the devotees, remember that the fear of God as a spiritual gift is devotion.
In the New Testament, in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, Christ focus his teachings on the Beatitudes and places happiness in the hope of the blessed life and the realization of the kingdom of God.
The concepts of happiness are many and vary, according to the differents classic authors. Each reader chooses with which concept of happiness stays.
The theological virtue of hope is a virtue infused by the holy spirit according to the Thomistic school (scholastic philosophy) and one of the seven Christian virtues that are: temperance, fortitude, justice, prudence, faith, Charity and hope. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews teaches us that this virtue completes and perfects Charity ( love for the good or love perfected by the nature of the good) and Faith. Continuing this idea the hope is a spiritual gift (teological concept).
Faith is accepting the creed and the hope is the trust in receiving the good of the eternal life and the blessings of the beatitudes. The virtue of hope in practice is a virtue that assists us in the concrete difficulties of life.
In the letter the author talks about hope and teach us that hope implies zeal and patience to achieve the promises of the Beatitudes. Let us remember that the beatitudes besides being the description of God' s plan are promises of blessing, hope seeks the long term, not the short one.
The virtue of hope, although it is understood to orders man to the divine, depends on the life in grace, that is to say, the righteous life, in essence there is no hope for those who practice error. There is no equivalent to the scholastic concept of hope in classical Greek philosophy.
The latest version of the tractate in spanish retired from Editorial Dunken on July 11, 2014
You can buy the lastest version of the tractate more complete than the free version in the web in Editorial Dunken, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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