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...The Search for Happiness...

            Each and every human searches for Happiness.  The other life long human enterprise is the search for Truth.

            The United States Declaration of Independence, a document that explains a Truth, declares that humans are created with certain inalienable rights, three of which are identified: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

            The pursuit of happiness is foremost on everyone’s mind, everyday of their life.  One’s happiness search rests upon a ‘truth:’ A new car will make me happy.  A bigger house will make me happy.  Marriage will make me happy.  Children will make me happy.  Being single and unattached will make me happy.  Exploring the world will make me happy.

            And, for sure, each of these conclusions may for a time bring happiness.  But never complete happiness, never lifelong happiness.   The problem is that none of these things are consistent, or everlasting, or perfect – they deal with only a portion of one’s life and needs.

The lack of lasting happiness, in every case, is because we are looking in the wrong places for Happiness and Truth.   

Every human searches for Truth and Happiness because we are created by God to search for Him; God is Truth and Happiness.

God created mankind out of goodness and love; in all things and places God draws close to man, and He calls out individually to each human to seek Him, to know Him, to love Him.  This Truth is what gives humankind Dignity – worthiness – above all other creatures and things. 

God loves and wants each human being to share in His life.

It is only in God that each of us will find the Truth and lifelong Happiness that we seek.  When we finally understand that God is the true object of our longing, that, in fact, that longing is God calling us to Him, then we begin living our true life. 

When we commune with God on these terms, we become an infant beginning a new life, learning a new way to live, and to think and act.  We discover our true self, and eventually come to understand why God created us as the unique individual that everyone of us is. 

As we mature in our new life we understand that we are exactly what we are so that we may successfully live the specific life that God created us to live.  When we finally accept that life and the tasks inherent in it, we become a whole, complete, and successful being.  When you are living the life that God created you to live, you will stand tall and unafraid, facing any adversity filled with hope and peace. 

The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.

In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.

Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.

You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.  (Psalm 23 of David)

You will be fulfilled, living in the hands of God.  Living, maybe for the first time, the life you were made to live.

The great intellect, Saint Augustine of Hippo, said of God, “when I am completely united to you (God), there will be no more sorrow or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete.”   

Feeling follows action.

Here is a truth of human behavior: feeling follows action.  When you act a certain way, you eventually feel that way.  Put a smile on your face and pretend that you’re a happy person, and you will become a happy person.  Mother Teresa said it this way, “Let us always greet each other with a smile for the smile is the beginning of love.”

It’s a wonderful way to start being the person you were created to be. 

Once you understand who God wants you to be, start being that person, act as that person should act, and your new life will unfold before you.

Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find.

‘I asked for a new car, but when I got up this morning the same old clunker was in my driveway.  Hey, maybe this is not what God wanted me to ask for.’

While God answers prayers and gives us things we want and need, it is those things that are important to our lives that He wants us to pray for.  It is important to develop a personal relationship with God through prayer, and to pray for the understanding of His will for you.  Then have faith and He will give you what you need in your life.

“My life started changing when I started praying for understanding and guidance,” a friend told me.  He said that a priest had told him to pray for the understanding of what God created him to be; the knowledge of what God wanted of him; and the ability to do God’s will. 

“After a short time, things started opening up to me.  People were asking things of me, and when I was doing those things, I felt great.  I felt purely wonderful. 

“Then a friend recommended some reading to me, and when I read it, I found out something about myself that I hadn’t paid attention to before.  I keep moving forward, and everything feels so right. 

“It is the same old me, but I am looking at myself in a different light and new possibilities keep presenting themselves to me. 

“I’m much happier now; and I’m busy, busy in a good way.  I feel great about my life.” 

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

In his monumental work, Thomas Jefferson indicated these three most important human rights, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, as having been endowed in all humans by their Creator. 

The Great Creator, God, can be seen in His wonderful creations.  He is visible in the wonder and the complexity of all creatures.  But, He created Humans in His likeness giving us intellect and Free Will – the ability to discern and decide.

It is God that we are supposed to pursue. 

You will fight to save your life, you may go to war to preserve your liberty, but all you have to do to find Happiness is go to Him who calls you; open your heart to Him who loves you, and just follow the path to Happiness that He lays before you.

A Place to Start

Here is a simple prayer that you may use as a starting point.  Prayers like this are a personal communication between you and God; therefore you may want adjust it or change it to suit your personal quest.

Dear God, in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, please hear and answer my prayers.

I want to know Your will for me; I want to live Your will.  Open my heart, my mind and my spirit to Your will and give me Your guidance.  Help me to understand what You want me to do, and how to use the tools You have given me to do it. 

Guide me to be the person You created me to be and to live the life that You want me to live. 

I have not found my way by myself; so I give my life over to You; Lord, show me the path You want me to take.  Let Your will be done. 

I love You God.  Amen.

 

by Joseph De Matteo

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