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Archive for July, 2011

Desire to be happy 

Do you want to be happy?   Doesn’t everyone desires to be happy? Have you ever met anyone who wishes to be sad? Nobody wants to be unhappy.  Even those who inflict pain to themselves such as  in extreme cases of suicide,  are looking for something that they feel is good such as to escape  an intolerable life.  Some try to find happiness through material wealth and success, having a good family life and relationships, recognition from peers, and a better health in order to be happy.

Paradox              

But there is a paradox:  our craving for happiness clashes with life’s temporariness and limits. Yet, human beings have the faculty for truth and goodness which cannot be   fully fulfilled by anything finite or limited. Even our ability to love is not exhausted by the reality of the world. Thus, the human aspiration for happiness also includes the desire to live forever—to be immortal.  By faith and reason we can accept as true and recognize that immortality as part of Christian truth.

Only an unbounded and eternal good could assure our yearning to be happy. The knowledge of God and of the immortality of the soul make life meaningful, Without God and immortality human life may be futile.  The most crucial questions for humans are the existence of God and immortality of the soul.

Knowledge and existence of God

By reason alone, man cannot know God.  The Holy Scripture states that “no one has at any time seen God” (1 John 4:12).  So how do we know God exists?   We know from what we see in the world the certainty and the wonders of creation, of life, laws and harmony, and the universe. The understanding of God’s creation allows us to comprehend that God is greater than the world, infinitely intelligent, wise, powerful and good.


Is God a myth?  An idea made by man to explain events not yet explained by science?  

The more we know the world; it becomes clearer to us that the world does not hold the basis for its own existence.  Let’s look at this: Christian faith assures us the fallacy of atheism. It is also logically inconsistent.  No one will be capable to show the non-existence of God. If we have relativism, it could not be possible to speak of an objective good and evil. Good may be deduced to something pleasurable and evil reduced to suffering. The danger is that it would lead us to selfishness and the struggle against everyone else. Without God, the very notion of human rights would have no meaning.  The Holy Scriptures says, “Only the fool says in his heart, there is no God” (Ps 14, 1).

Natural virtues, human perfection and the knowledge of God

Man is born and, in a sense, makes himself.  We can decide our path of life through our action. Through repetition of good acts, we obtain virtues which perfect us. For example, we can strive to be more loyal, more sincere, and more hardworking.  If one practices loyalty the result is that it makes that person more secure and stable. His words will have value and his commitments will be firmer. Loyalty could be reflected in his faithfulness to his family and friends and to his professional and social duties.

Virtues are acquired through sacrifice. It could be said of all human virtues.  Hardiness, resistance to pain, effort, fatigue, and difficulty require numerous little steps and efforts so as to keep away from sliding into a more comfortable condition.  Sincerity demands the continuous rejection of little lies, exaggeration and deceit.  Industriousness, the habit of work which is constant and well done, also requires frequent repetition of acts in order to take root and grow. Same goes with boldness which is needed in order to carry out great tasks and in overcoming small mindedness and timidity.

We ought to strive to be virtuous. An upright person is more in control of himself, freer to seek the truth in an honest way, and more courageous to commit himself for the truth. A virtuous person is someone who is better able to know and to recognize God, rather than someone who is disloyal, weak, false, lazy, or cowardly, and who will only be skilful in reasoning shrewdly like a fox.

Ultimate Purpose of Life is to Glorify God

All the things in the world manifest God’s supremacy and goodness (dominion and mercy).  They offer him glory.    At the end the day, the ultimate purpose of human life is to glorify God. This is consistent with man’s happiness and perfection since only the “infinite truth and good” can absolutely satisfy the mind and heart.  The secret to happiness is that in every action, for it to be perfect and for many to be happy in it, man must seek the glory of God.  This does not contradict the importance of the things of this world; on the contrary, it bestows on them their higher value: that of being the way whereby man gains knowledge and loves—is unified to-the Supreme Good and as a result becomes happy.

 

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