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LIFE MATTERS: Constantly Aiming For Happiness

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By Dr. Dencio S. Acop

In our search for meaning, three thoughts come to mind. First, we find ourselves constantly aiming for happiness. Second, we find comfort and meaning when we finally discover love of God and neighbor. And third, the final event in our earthly life which is death makes us realize how ordered and connected we are to God and to one another. In the first thought, don’t we realize that after all are said and done our life on earth is a series of the happiest moments we can create the best way we could? As Bishop Robert Barron elucidated, no matter how much we aim for and attain the highest good in our lives, it only lasts for a moment each time. It could be minutes, hours, days, years, or even seconds that we have each of those happy moments. But no matter how much we hold on to them even refusing to let go at times, the best moments in our lives do not last in their earthly existence. Thus, human life becomes an incessantly constant struggle for happiness. We create a series of lasting memories to the point that even if they no longer exist in reality, at least they exist in our minds and hearts. I think this is the first hint that makes us agree with St Augustine when he said that indeed ‘our hearts were made for God and so every heart is restless until it rests in Him’.

The second thought is that we finally find comfort and meaning when we discover love of God and neighbor in this life. For all the bountiful gifts given us by the Creator, the one true blessing that gives meaning to our earthly existence is God who opens up everything else pointing to our fellowmen as the rightful ‘avatar’ (if I may just use the term to illustrate) of Him on planet Earth. Once we discover love in its truest sense which is God Himself, manifested in our charity to those in His image and likeness, then we begin to experience the fullness of life. That life is meant to be lived fully with other human beings from cradle to grave guided by the sacraments of Christ’s life. It cannot but be secular love because this kind of love leaves out God who is the Author and Source of Love. For God is Love. Who makes all things new. And promises everlasting love to finite creatures who reciprocate His love.

Thirdly, there is the thought of the final event in our earthly life which is death making us realize how ordered and connected we are to God and to one another. Christianity has always echoed divine revelation’s message that we are indeed creatures of God and that being so, we can only find fulfillment and true happiness when we subordinate ourselves to God. We do so by ordering our lives to Him and follow His will; that is, to live our lives according to the moral law. Selflessness more than selfishness. In return, we live in harmony with one another and become heirs to the glory of heaven. Heaven may be utopian but earth is not. Which is why God has gone through the trouble of prosecuting salvation history through His prophets, saints, and even His only begotten Son to give man a fighting chance against the demons and principalities who roam the world seeking the ruin of souls. So that in his life, man may have faith in God’s salvific plan. And in his death, man may have the hope of everlasting life. But most of all, that man may already know the love of God which gives him the confidence to endure his earthly pilgrimage with courage and strength.

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