What Does it Mean to be Happy?

There will be great signs in the heavens when the Son of Man comes in his glory. Will you be ready? It isn’t likely that the end of the world will happen during our lifetime so we shouldn’t be too worried, should we? Wrong! God will come for everyone of us at a time we do not know, and we will receive our first judgment at that time and that time will be within a year for some of us. Are we ready?

Of course, we hope we all will be ready when the Lord comes for us, but our real desire should be to live in a faithful relationship with Him right now because our lives are different when we try to remain close to God. We should ask ourselves this question; do I truly want to be faithful to God? If I try to live my life close to God, being faithful to what He has revealed through the Scriptures and the Church will I be more happy or less happy? I guess we should ask the question, what does it mean to be happy?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this about happiness;

“The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement- however beneficial it may be- such as science, technology, and art, or in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and all love” (CCC, no. 1723).

Love God Above All Else

A friend of ours, Fr. Bruce Nieli, who used to live in Austin told us that if he was ever feeling a little discouraged, he would visit a friend of his who was a quadriplegic. He said this man was always filled with great joy because of his love of God. No matter what we have to go through on the worst day of our life, there will always be someone who has it much worse and yet is filled with peace because of their relationship with God. If we have the capacity to think clearly, we have the capacity to be faithful to God.

God loves us so much that He commands us to be happy. He has given us the commandment that we must love Him with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength because He created us to discover our happiness in Him. He is the source of all Love and all that is good, and we can only reach our potential to love others by loving God above everything else. Of course, we don’t just naturally love God above everything else.

Our temptation is to look at ourselves first and what we need or want. However, we have not been created for ourselves. God’s plan draws us out of ourselves, not only for our own good, but for the good of others. Jesus tells us,

“Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew. 16:25).

In other words, if we just live for ourselves and what we want, we are lost and bound to be unhappy.

The way to be prepared for Christ when he comes for us is to live everyday close to him; being faithful to what he has revealed to us through the Scriptures and the Church and to be intimately connected to him in our prayer and in the sacraments. We will not only be ready, but we will also be happy.

Deacon Tom FoxK.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with his wife, Mary Jane Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Deacon Tom is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

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