Thursday, April 03, 2008

We do not know to believe, but we believe so we can know

What is the source of unhappiness? What will give us happiness? In our own experience, does attaining these things which hold the promise out to us, actually give us happiness? Once we have these things, why are we not happy, why does the initial happiness wear off and disappear? So, once one thing attained doesn’t do it for us, we set our sights on attaining the next goal, the next thing, expecting what? Perhaps we no longer even expect to attain to happiness, rather we cannot live without a goal so we set one and settle for the journey instead of the end? Yet, our heart is made for happiness, else, why would we be unhappy, why would we struggle within ourselves, aware that there is something more and better that we lack? Perhaps we sink into blaming ourselves, or blaming others, or blaming “forces operating against us,” but in any case, the key to unlock this is missing, and we are depressed, or angry, or confused, unhappy in our desire to be happy.

Certain philosophers have said that we have this desire because it can be attained; now most of us have little use for the philosophers of this or any other stripe, but we live what they believe, because the quest for happiness is a road that every man travels (while the philosophers study the pebbles and try and figure out the missing map). The destination of this travel journey (towards happiness), which every man makes by uncertain road, increasingly becomes clear to him that as each apparent destination is reached, he discovers that it is not the end he seeks at all, and another road is enjoined. This confusion of endless roads to dead end destinations eventually may lead to only two conclusions: that the end sought doesn’t exist, or that the end sought doesn’t exist in the finite, but still does exist, it exists in the infinite. The first conclusion is partly true, but partial truth can lead to disastrous results, it is the fullness of Truth which is the Way to that Life which we all seek. There in our heart will rest, satisfied, secure, fulfilled, happy.

From yesterday's Office of Readings, a bit of wisdom from St. Leo the Great:

My dear brethren, there is no doubt that the Son of God took our human nature into so close a union with himself that one and the same Christ is present, not only in the firstborn of all creation, but in all his saints as well. The head cannot be separated from the members, nor the members separated from the head. Not in this life, it is true, but only in eternity will God be all in all, yet even now he dwells, whole and undivided, in his temple the Church. Such was his promise to us when he said; See, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.

And so all that the Son of God did and taught for the world’s reconciliation is not for us simply a matter of past history. Here and now we experience his power at work among us. Born of a virgin mother by the action of the Holy Spirit, Christ keeps his Church spotless and makes her fruitful by the inspiration of the same Spirit. In baptismal regeneration she brings forth children for God beyond all numbering. These are the sons of whom is its written: They are born not of blood, nor of the desire of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

As we struggle in this darkness, squinting in the glare of His Light, may He ever show us the Way of Truth that leads to Life.

1 comment:

  1. The only real happiness, even in the midst of great suffering, is the experience, and in the absence of the experience, the knowledge that, even if God is not present to us, we are always present to him.