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From My Prayer Book, Father Lasance

The Quest of Happiness

The human heart craves and seeks unceasingly for happiness in this life. Many find but a small measure of happiness because they lose sight of their eternal destiny — the object of their creation — which is to know God, to love Him, to serve Him, and to be happy with Him.

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself ” (Matt. xxii. 37, 39).

The whole law depends on these two commandments; so Our Lord Himself assures us. The fullest measure of happiness even here on earth is attained by harmonizing one’s conduct with the commandments of God, by doing well one’s duties to God and man; for this means the possession of a peaceful conscience, a clean heart, a sinless soul; and this is essential to happiness; hence, St. Ignatius prays: “Give me, Lord, only Thy love and Thy grace; with these I shall be rich enough; there is nothing more that I desire.”

To be in the state of grace — to have God’s love — that is essentially necessary to true happiness.

“Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos?” “If God be for us, who is against us?” (Rom. viii. 31.) The end of man’s creation is to glorify God. But in promoting God’s glory we are at the same time promoting our own things and makes all that is bitter sweet and savory.” – St. Teresa

The perfection of charity is attained by self-renunciation, by entire mortification, by purity of heart and total abandonment to God.

Our Lord says: “Learn of Me”; “He that followeth Me walketh not in darkness”; “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. viii. 34.

Father Buckler, speaking of charity, the essence of perfection, asks: “How are we to follow Christ?” And he replies: “The answer is that Our Lord’s way is the way of perfect love.

He is the divine Lover of God and of men. For the love of God and of men He became incarnate, lived on earth, taught the law of love and the life of love, suffered for love and died for love; sent down the Spirit of His love upon the Church, to be the ruling power of our lives and actions, by the charity of God poured forth into our hearts (Rom. v. 5), and left us the marvelous gift of Himself, to the end of the world, in the mystery of love on the altar, wherein He dwells as the divine Lover in the midst of those He loves — working with us, nourishing and perfecting His life of love in the souls of men. ‘Be ye followers of God,’ says St. Paul, ‘and walk in love, as most dear children’ (Eph. v. 2).”

It is by charity that we follow Our Lord in the way of perfection.

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Fraternal Charity

Our happiness depends to a great extent on our observance of the law of fraternal charity: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” and of the golden rule announced by our blessed Savior: “As you would that men should do to you, do you also to them- in like manner” {Luke vi. 31). In doing good to others we become like to Christ, of whom we read in the Gospel that “He went about doing good to all.”

“This commandment we have from God,” says the disciple, whom Jesus loved, “that he, who loveth God, loves also his brother” (1 John iv. 21). And St. Paul observes. “He, who loveth his neighbor, hath fulfilled the law” (Rem. xiii. 8).

What Shakespeare says of mercy, pertains also to charity and kindness: “It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven; it is twice blessed; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” We reap what we sow.

Kindness begets kindness.

Man can scarcely enjoy a sweeter satisfaction than that which results from good deeds generously performed or a kind word unselfishly spoken. “Happy is he, who has charity for everyone,” says the Blessed Egidius of Assisi; “Happy is he, who performs great services for his neighbor, yet does not trouble about receiving anything in return.”

Our deeds of disinterested charity are recorded in the Book of Life. On the great day of recompense, our blessed Savior will say: “Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me to drink; was a stranger and you took Me in; naked, and you covered Me; sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me; . . . As long as you did it to one of these little children you did it to Me” (Matt. xxv. 34-36).

“In charity,” says St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, “we must be cheerful and prompt, knowing that by serving our fellow-creatures, we serve God in His members, and that He regards a service done to our neighbor as done to Himself.”

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quote for the day44

“Lord, Help me to be a good wife. I fully realize that I don’t have what it takes to be one without Your help. Take my selfishness, impatience, and irritability and turn them into kindness, long-suffering, and the willingness to bear all things. Take my old emotional habits, mindsets, automatic reactions, rude assumptions, and self-protective stance, and make me patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Take the hardness of my heart and break down the walls with Your battering ram of revelation. Give me a new heart and work in me Your love, peace, and joy. I am not able to rise above who I am at this moment. Only You can transform me.” -The Power of a Praying Wife

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