Sep 27, 2006

Are you happy?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Am I happy? Happy with my life? Sometimes, my answer is yes; sometimes, no. As I look back, I realized that it wasn't wealth or material possession, nor is it accademic qualifications, that made me happy. There were times when I told the Lord, "Lord, I need more money, more of this and more of that." But when I've got all that I've requested for, I would desire and ask for even more! No... anything worldly has failed to satisfy my soul and my every desire, let alone giving me happiness.

Happiness is not determined by external circumstances, but by internal circumstances. How true it is! Personally, I found happiness
in making sacrifices for family and friends. I love helping out in church even though my contribution is considered small and unnoticed. I like giving compliments to people I meet, if this little act can bring a smile on their faces. I willingly give a hand, even though I know that my help is not appreciated, only God sees it all! I like to utter "I love you" to God at any moments I feel like to, because I clearly know that He loves me even more... every second of everyday.

What about you? Are you happy?

Thoughts inspired by the story below...

What are you waiting for?

Most people are waiting for something -- something "special" that will make their life great, so they can be happy.

Ask yourself: have others had this, and are they all happy? No, they're not, and it won't give you lasting happiness, either.

Happiness is not determined by external circumstances, but by internal circumstances.

Everyone chooses how happy they are by what they choose to think about.

Your attitude is determined by your perspective, which is determined by what you think about -- your focus. You choose your focus, so ultimately, you are the one who chooses whether to be happy, or not.

Perspective is what the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) are about. Seeing a bigger picture than just this one small moment of time. (The Beatitudes are where Jesus explained how some are blessed, or happy -- even in difficult situations.)

(The word we translate as "happy" in the New Testament is usually translated as "blessed.")

You won't get happiness by chasing what the world has to offer. It has already been tried and found wanting.

And, you will never be happy as long as you are self-centered. A focus on self is guaranteed to prevent happiness.

Right after Jesus performed the menial task of washing his disciple's feet -- akin to cleaning toilets today -- He told

JOHN 13:15,17 ICB
15 I did this as an example for you. So you should do as I have done for you. 17 If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.

You will be happy if you help others. If you take your focus off yourself. That's what Jesus taught.


Jude said...

Are you happy? I hardly ask myself that question. But I know that I am. As you rightly said, happiness cannot be found in externalities, neither can it be found at the "self-level." It is transcendental. It is in lifting up the heart above materialism and self-centredness that happiness can be found. It is a "contemplative" disposition--a God-given quality. Therefore, the first step in acquiring happiness is to keep the commandments...

Externalities can bring excitement, not happiness. But when such excitment is ordered in accordance to the will of God, it brings happiness.

Aud, I share the same thoughts with you. What great insights you have!

Audrey said...

Hi Jude!
Yeah, you're right. THe first step of acquiring true happiness is to keep the commandments. BUT... this is not so for those who do not understand the purpose of the commandments.

Let us continue to make our lives pleasing in His eyes!

God bless!

Anonymous said...

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God Bless


Audrey said...

Hi Nic,

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope that it helped you, one way or another. Thank you for your comment too! ;)

God bless!

Jude said...

Dear Audrey,
About "those who do not understand the purpose of the Commandments," maybe you mean people of other religions. First, the law of the Lord is written in the hearts of us all. And it is rational. Reason itself impels everyone to act in accordance with the commandment. So, one may not know the "letters" of the commandments, but such a one cannot deny being impelled, as a rational being, to act in accordance with reason.

However, reason alone is not enough. Reason guided my grace is what every Catholic, every Christian needs. So, the Divine Commandments guide our steps in the path of life ( 119)--the path of happiness. Nevertheless, LOVE is the culmination of all that we strive for. Therefore, anyone who observes the new commandment of love, has a hope of beatific vision, where happiness is unending.

Audrey said...

Dear Jude,

Nope. I meant Catholics (and other Christians alike). I understand what you mean, but I have personally met Catholics who complained that the Commandments are too much and too difficult to follow. From what I observed, in the world today, reason itself impels everyone NOT to act in accordance with the Commandments. Or in other words, the Law of the Lord is NOT written in the hearts of every Christian. If it was, there would not be complaints that a life lived in accordance with the Commandments is burdensome. Isn't it?

Only those who saw the beauty of the Commandments are able to follow it, with the love and grace from above.

These are just my thoughts, and they may be wrong. Pls. kindly let me know if I am. Thank you so much for sharing.

God bless!

Jude said...


I quite understand what you mean. You have a point there. Yeah! The complaint that the commandments are burdensome does not imply that reason doesn't impell us to art accordingly. There are THREE distinguishable powerful principles in us: REASON, WILL and MEMORY. Reason directs us to act rationally. But our will (desire) yearns for what appears pleasant, which at times may be contrary to reason. This indicates that while reason commands, the will may not obey reason. Thus, the individual sees reason's command as burdensome, since it may not be pleasant to the will. The struggle here is to direct the will in accordance with reason. For example, reason tells a young girl that she OUGHT to obey her parents. But her will inclines her to diobey them and attend a party, for this is pleasant. So, she may perceive the commandment that says "obey your father and Mother" as burdensome. If we do not bear this burden of directing our desires in accordance with reason, we will become moving bundles of sensation...and not rational beings.

Audrey, happiness is the product of a virtuous life...

Obeying the commandments is the first step in the journey towards happiness. The journey itself is a "graced" one--which we journey together with Christ in faith.

Audrey said...

Hi Jude,

I'm not even sure if I totally understand what you're talking about, but I do know something... that God gave me a free will to choose whether to obey Him or not to, and I've chosen the path to holiness!

Thanks for sharing!