The latest tweet of Pope Francis gives food for thought:
When one lives attached to money, pride or power, it is impossible to be truly happy.
PopeWatch could not agree more. The idiot bumper sticker, “He who dies with the most ties wins” underlines why so many people spend their lives pursuing happiness down dead ends, mystified why they are miserable. The secret of happiness is no secret: Love God and love your neighbor. Emulate the sacrificial love of God for those you love, and the happiness you receive is simply unbelievable.
There is a brilliant scene in the movie Becket (1964) where Becket after his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury is shown giving his property away to beggars. He prays before a crucifix:
I wish there was something
I really regretted parting with
so that I might offer it to you.
But forgive me, Lord.
It’s like going on a holiday.
I’ve never enjoyed myself
so much in my whole life.
are you sure you’re not
laughing at me?
It all seems far too easy.
Chesterton, as usual, in the Ballad of the White Horse got to the heart of the question of happiness in comparing the Danish pagan invaders of England to Christian monks:
Our monks go robed in rain and snow,
But the heart of flame therein,
But you go clothed in feasts and flames,
When all is ice within;
Nor shall all iron dooms make dumb
Men wondering ceaselessly,
If it be not better to fast for joy
Than feast for misery.
Only the love that passes understanding taught to us by Christ can make Man happy, and the Pope proclaims this.