Growing up, perhaps more than any other thing in the modern world, is the difference between us (me) and the saints. If we look at the beatitudes, we see a collection of simple and mysterious blessings. We see Jesus raising up very particular states of life as makarios. This is hard to translate but we generally say blessed or fortunate. The word suggests those who possess these beatitudes possess something others desire but cannot, for whatever reason, attain. It is not some psychological state but a state of being.
It’s a subtle thing, a rising tide that fascinates us until it overwhelms us. Because again, we may grow in worldly respect, outward success, and education, yet we are nonetheless slaves to the world. What are we to do? What did the saints do? Soren Keirkergaard, the great father of Existentialism, when speaking to the beatitudes, said the saint is the one with a pure heart, and “purity of heart is to will one thing.”