How can the pursuit of peace become not just a noble idea, but a radical act of courage? In this episode, we dive into the heart of peacemaking, inspired by the beautiful paradox of the seventh beatitude:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
Explore what it truly means to make peace — not just to avoid conflict, but to actively create harmony in every sphere of our lives. We take you on a journey from the bystander’s chair to the frontline of reconciliation, with powerful insights from one of the most impactful voices of the modern peacemaking movement, Martin Luther King Jr
This episode invites you not only to “believe in peace”, but to actively pursue it. This might just be what we need to take that monumental step toward peace — and in doing so, perhaps find that we are the ones most profoundly transformed.
Welcome back to the Holy Rebels Podcast. I’m so happy you’re here and I can’t wait for our conversation today. We’re exploring a series about The Beatitudes. These are 8 Keys to Happiness. Each key is an invitation to invoke divine wisdom and ground it in your life so you can experience more joy, purpose, and fulfillment.This is a 9-part series and I recommend listening in order. The introduction to the Beatitudes is episode #8. You can scroll back and find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you’re listening to this show right now.
Before we begin, I want to thank those of you who are leaving 5-star reviews. It helps other spiritual seekers find this podcast, and for this I’m grateful because it means I can keep making these for you. I’d like to read one of the reviews. This one’s from Maddy in Australia. Maddy says, “I am really enjoying the interchange between spirituality, intelligence and heart. You offer wisdom so profound in its gentleness, authenticity and honesty to bring about our surrender in prayer. I could feel fleetingly the soothing of my soul. That sweet surrender. I want more!” Ah, Maddy, that’s so lovely. Thank you!
The Beatitudes are the very heart of spirituality. They’re the guiding principles of the spiritual life, the pinnacle of what it means to be a good human, wrapped up in 8 simple yet incredibly layered teachings. They seem basic, but this is a lifelong challenge to implement them as a ‘way of life’. The Beatitudes are a lifestyle of happiness, joy, peace, and love.
Today, we’re discussing the seventh Beatitude: “Blessed are peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
I love the seventh Beatitude. It is about having a cosmic perspective. The seventh key to happiness is the culmination of spiritual growth. It’s the outcome of embodying the essence of the first 6 keys to happiness into our lives.
What is a cosmic perspective? It’s the ability to see beyond ourselves and to see our lives from a broader, universal standpoint. It’s about understanding that we are all interconnected and part of something much greater than ourselves.
As peacemakers, we are called to bring harmony and unity to our relationships and surroundings. We understand that peace begins with us, within our own hearts. When we have inner peace, we radiate that peace outwards and can positively impact those around us.
Speaking of cosmic perspective, Edgar Mitchell was a pilot in the historic 1971 Apollo 14 mission to the moon. He was the sixth man to ever walk on the Moon. In his book Earthrise, he writes about a fascinating moment that reminds me of what it means to have a cosmic perspective.
He writes, “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics looks so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag them a quarter million miles out and say, look at that!”
So he was feeling the cosmic perspective. When you’re that high up, you don’t see the national borders. You’re up there on a spaceship earth alone. It changes you.
Carl Sagan also wrote eloquently about this experience too, of looking back at the tiny blue dot that is Earth. He wrote, “Look at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
And this is the cosmic perspective. This vantage point instantly changes our thinking. We realize that so much of what we argue about is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. When you see yourself from a universal perspective, you understand that you’re part of a massive tapestry of life, every thread interwoven with another. Perceived differences become trivial.
You gain a sense of unity. A discovery of our interconnectedness, and an understanding that peace is not just about avoiding conflict, but about fostering understanding, tolerance, and respect for one another.
This is what it truly means to be a peacemaker, to cultivate peace within ourselves and to promote peace within our communities. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God”
The seventh key to happiness is the culmination of spiritual growth. Becoming a peacemaker is the fruit of mastering the other 6 beatitudes. Let’s review each of the keys to happiness together as a reminder of how we got here. As we go through these, pay attention to the seamless progression from one to the next. The Beatitudes are the essential building blocks that lay the foundation for a life filled with joy and spiritual fulfillment.
The first key to happiness is:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven means…
The true measure of richness doesn’t lie in worldly possessions but in your soul. If your focus is not on material wealth, but rather on the people and activities that bring you joy, then you’re not only free from the trap of materialism, but you are also inclined to use whatever resources you have for the greater good. This perspective allows you to be in harmony with the spiritual essence of life.
The second key to happiness is:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted means…
If you experience profound sadness or loss and you allow yourself to feel your sorrow deeply, you are better off. Mourning is a natural and necessary part of life, a process which leads to healing and growth. The comfort promised isn’t about erasing your pain. It offers solace and strength to face hardship. This beatitude is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, you’re not alone and consolation will come.
The third key to happiness is:
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth means…
The meek are those who possess a gentle strength, those who are humble and patient, even in the face of adversity. It’s not about being weak, but rather, showing restraint and not resorting to aggression or dominance to get your way. The reward mentioned, ‘they shall inherit the earth’, symbolizes a deep fulfillment. If you are practice patience, humility, and gentleness, you will find a rich, meaningful life. You’ll be repelling the destructive influences of selfishness and aggression.
The fourth key to happiness is:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled means…
If you’re feeling upset about the state of our world, channel your outrage into action instead of becoming numb from overwhelm. Embrace the vision that’s possible rather than being complacent with what is. The phrase ‘hunger and thirst’ symbolizes the intense desire for justice, as basic as the need for food and water. The promise ‘you will be filled’ assures that your pursuit of right-relationship is not in vain.
The fifth key to happiness is:
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy means…
Forgiveness is one of the most powerful acts of love. It brings healing to both the giver and receiver. Being merciful means being compassionate and showing kindness, even when others may not deserve it. The reward is twofold: being shown mercy yourself and creating a more compassionate world with your actions.
The sixth key to happiness is:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God means…
Purity of heart refers to having honest intentions and being sincere in your actions. It also means being free from distractions or ulterior motives. When you are truly pure of heart, you will have a clearer understanding of who you are and what truly matters in life. This is about living authentically, in a way that’s true to who you are. If you do this, you’ll begin to see magic everywhere.
And here we are at the seventh key to happiness:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
Have you ever met someone who effortlessly exudes an aura of peace? It’s not just a fleeting sense of calm, but a profound and unshakeable tranquility that seems to permeate their very being. Their eyes sparkle with the wisdom of inner serenity, their demeanor is poised, and their energy is grounded. They carry no pretenses about their spirituality, nor do they seek to flaunt it. Instead, they embody peace in a way that is both unassuming and deeply powerful. This serene quality is the essence of the seventh key to happiness.
Peace is the mark of a great saint. Peace is the energy of a bodhisattva. Peace is what makes us relax around a wise elder. A peacemaker is someone whose integrity awakens integrity in others, just by being around that person. Their presence makes peace in the world. Have you ever met someone who has this quality? You can’t help but notice. That’s why saints are depicted with halos. It’s illustrating this quality of spiritual maturity. These are people who have a light about them. They make you a better person for just being around them.
They are so themselves and so authentic in how they show up, and look at you. That you can’t help but look in the mirror. And feel like you can be yourself too. And this causes you to reflect more deeply on what’s important to you, on who you are, on who you would like to be. And that’s how the peacemakers make peace.
They embody such authenticity and sincerity that their true selves shine through in all they do. They’re unapologetic and genuine. Powerful in its simplicity and inspiring in its boldness. Their authenticity invites others to embrace their own individuality too.
By contrast, there are people whose presence is draining. You get home from lunch with them and you feel like you need a nap! Or, just a constant stream of negativity, defensiveness or superficial connections. Have you ever noticed this about some people? Choosing the right company is so crucial. We’re inevitably influenced by those we surround ourselves with.
Be a peacemaker. Be someone who makes peace. Peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather an active effort to create harmony. Peacemakers bridge divides and promote reconciliation instead of division.
Here’s an example. Have you ever had the experience of getting together with a group of friends and someone mentions another person’s name, and it sparks a circle of criticism? The conversation descends into a whirlwind of negativity. Everyone chimes in, adding their own disparaging comments. Often, it’s prefaced with a statement like, “I don’t mean to speak badly about anyone, BUT…” and then the speaker proceeds to do exactly that.
This is your opportunity to be a peacemaker. Not in a shaming way. Just subtly steer the conversation towards kindness! Quell the rising tide of criticism!
Make an effort to create harmony. Say something kind or change the subject. All of a sudden everyone looks in the mirror real quick. They see what they’re doing and almost always, they stop.
Peacemakers are the ones who break the cycle and stop the escalation. The one who offers grace and gives the benefit of the doubt—not because this is the right thing to do—but because it creates peace within you, and that peace undoubtedly touches everyone in your vicinity. Peace-Making.
Blessed are the peacemakers for, they shall be called the children of God. It means you’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are… a child of the Divine.
There’s a beautiful translation of this Beatitude from Aramaic to English. “Integrated are those who joyfully knit themselves together within, for they shall be stamped with the seal of cosmic identity.”
Did you know that this Beatitude was the driving force behind Martin Luther King’s freedom movement?
With this concept of nonviolence, Martin Luther king took to the streets and we all know the story. His strategy was nonviolent resistance. He believed it was not a sign of weakness, but a demonstration of incredible strength.
He promoted a commitment to enduring physical brutality and verbal abuse in the face of systemic oppression. But his committed was guided by the belief that responding to hatred and violence with peace would eventually lead to change.
However, the path was not easy. The African American community, battered and bruised from the incessant violence and discrimination, began to question the effectiveness of nonviolence. Some felt that their peaceful protests were merely met with more aggression, with no signs of progress.
Some people began to lean towards the idea of ‘Black Power’, advocating for the use of force if necessary, to achieve their rights. And, of course, that’s completely understandable. Responding to violence with non-violence counters our most basic survival instincts.
But Martin Luther King never changed his stance. Riots began to breakout everywhere—from Los Angeles, to Chicago, to New York… And he kept calling out for love. While others were crying out for revenge, he was calling out for love.
The great truth finally came in southern Alabama, when African-Americans were marching across a bridge, singing and praying and just praising God, creating a joyful, peaceful protest.
Tensions had reached a critical point, escalating to such a degree that it felt like a volatile storm was brewing. The atmosphere was thick with anticipation. Everyone was on edge, waiting for the slightest trigger to explode into chaos.
And so, the police chief, caught up in the turmoil of the moment, made a decision that would forever change the course of history. He authorized the use of force against the peaceful protesters crossing the bridge. Batons swung and tear gas filled the air. But the remarkable thing is that the protestors did not retaliate. None of them retaliated.
Their disciplined adherence to the principles of nonviolence, even in the face of such brutal aggression, was a potent symbol of moral strength and resilience.
The whole thing was caught on camera and aired on National Television. This shocking display of violence against peaceful demonstrators was wake-up call to the nation, revealing the ugly truth of systemic racial discrimination and paving the way for new laws of equal rights being established in the United States of America today.
Martin Luther King spoke openly about it. He said that the goal of the movement was not to defeat the white man. That’s not the goal. But to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor and challenge is all sense of superiority. Reconciliation Redemption. The creation of a loving community.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. We are never more like God than when we make peace. We are never more ourselves than when we choose love over hate, and understanding over judgment.
Peace-making is not easy. It takes courage, strength and resilience. But it is the most powerful tool we have for creating positive change in our world. And when we actively strive to be peacemakers, we become true children of the Divine—living examples of love in a world that desperately needs it.
Shalom. Peace. God is peace. God is the creative force of life itself. It creates. It makes. It produces the world as a creative non-violent act.
That’s why one of the great marks of a saint or bodisatva is the ability to make peace. Not suppressing some rival power. But in forgiving love. Try it sometime. If you find yourself unhappy, ask yourself: How much time did I spend today making peace?
Not ignoring conflict, not tolerating meanness, not looking the other way and walking away, but entering mercifully into it. And making peace.
Trust me. It’ll make you happy in the deepest way possible.
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See you next week for the eighth and final key to happiness. I’m excited for our conversation. Have an amazing week> make peace everywhere you go. It will make you happy in the deepest way possible. You deserve happiness. Trust the mystic within you.