Some points to ponder from the booklet “A Thought A Day” assembled by a Father of the Society of St. Paul.
Heaven on Earth
Happiness or blessedness is a condition of our lives especially suited to Christ’s kingdom on earth. Christ’s Beatitudes fit the soul to live as a child of God here and hereafter. If we have the qualities of blessedness here in the present life on earth, we shall outfit ourselves to associate with God and His blessed Mother in the life to come.
These qualities of blessed happiness are of little value in the eyes of worldlings, but they are, as Christ proclaimed, distinguishing “trademarks” of His true followers.
I realize that at the very beginning of His public life, Christ tried to sell these “happiness-goods” on the Mount of the Beatitudes — and did not undertake to explain strange paradoxes: happy you poor, happy all you humble, happy you meek sufferers, happy you merciful, blessed you pure of heart, happy persecuted ones for My sake, happy peace makers, happy all you hungering after God’s Justice and Christian perfection. Be glad and rejoice — for your reward is great in heaven. You will be happy both here and hereafter.
The truth is that whatever degree of real happiness to be found in this life can come only from surrendering oneself to the will of God and consciously directing one’s whole being toward union with Him. This holds equally for people in all walks of life.
History and everyday experience are filled with proofs of this, from such admissions are that of the apostate and successful writer, Anatole France, who said shortly before he died: “I have not known one single day, nor one single hour, of real happiness and peace,” down to the latest despairing note penned by the most recent of America’s 30,000 suicides per year. It is as simple as this, that if health and activity could bring happiness, there would be no suicides among the healthy, no quarrels among the activities, no moanings among the married, no wars among the nations.
Among those whose lives are directed toward union with God, the circumstances of living are of little moment. One can fulfill that condition of happiness in a factory, in an office, in a household of children and on a sick bed, too. The place and the conditions do not matter.
Learn to stop complaining. If you cannot see any good in the world, keep the bad to yourself.
Learn to hide your aches and pain under a pleasant smile. No one cares to hear whether you have headaches, earaches or rheumatism.
Learn to meet your friends with a smile; a good-humored person is always welcome.
Above all, give pleasure; lose a chance of giving pleasure. You will pass through this world but once.
Any good things, therefore, that you can do, or any kindness that you can show to any human being, you had better do it now. Do not defer or neglect it; for you will not pass this way again.
A Recipe For a Happy Life
Take a large quantity of cheerfulness and let it simmer without stopping. Put with it a brimming basinful of kindness, then add a full measure of thoughtfulness for other people. Mix into these a heaping tablespoon of sympathy. Flavor with the essence of charity. Stir well together and then carefully strain off any particles of selfishness. Let the whole be served with love sauce.
God grant that I may see the joke of things.
The little things that bother now and then;
God grant my sense of humor may be strong.
To weep a bit — and yet to smile again. God grant there be a chuckle in each tear,
To every trial God grant a funny half; And when I’m to be judged perhaps He’ll say,
“Are you the soul who always tried to laugh?” And when I nod and answer “Yes, I am — I tried to kill my troubles with a grin.”
Perhaps He’ll smile and say, “That was a task,
But here’s the gate of heaven, enter in.”
April 04, 2023
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