St. Chromatius of Aquileia (ad 340–408), preached something about these Beatitudes that I had never heard, but which was understood by many of the early Doctors of the Church. In a sermon on Matthew, Chromatius wrote:
Our Lord, our savior, establishes extremely solid steps of precious stones, by which saintly souls and faithful can climb, can rise to this supreme good, which is the kingdom of heaven…. Brethren, before your eyes are the eight rungs of the gospel, constructed, as I have said, with precious stones. Behold Jacob’s ladder which starts on earth and whose top touches heaven. He who climbs it finds the gate of heaven, and having entered it, will have endless joy in the presence of the Lord, eternally praising Him with the holy angels.