We can often think that chastity is a vow which curtails possible loving experience, without exploring what kinds of loving experiences can be made possible by taking a vow of celibacy. Rather than limiting our ability to love others, these states of life open up the possibility of loving other people more radically than other forms of life.
Jesus had been able to bring the best out of people, like Peter who became the first Pope, like Zacchaus who became a generous philanthropist, like a narrow minded nationalist, Saul, who became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. Jesus shows us how we can try and see the best in people, when our natural tendency is to see the worst.
The first of the Beatitudes may well be the best rule for all of us in living our everyday life. While being poor in spirit may seem a very bad thing, poverty of spirit is, in fact a reflection of everyday reality: we are often powerless to change things. It means accepting that we can’t do everything at home, at work or in our church. It saves us from being a ‘human doing’ instead of a human being.
Many people would say that while intellectually they believe that God loves each one of us, personally, eternally, they find it hard to feel this deeply. We may be helped by reflecting on St Ignatius’ conclusion to his Spiritual Exercises, a ‘Contemplation to Attain Divine Love’. While we may not be able to say that all we need is God's Love, the desire for that freedom is enough.