Monday, July 28, 2014

To find happiness stop looking for it

Though the Gospels don't cite this, in Acts 20:35 St. Paul draws from the oral, Christian tradition when He quotes Jesus as saying "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

This makes me think of the prayer of St. Francis which has it that "It is in giving that we receive."

Or how about the old adage "Virtue is its own reward?"

I think each of these phrases sheds light on the truth that love is a very generous thing.  It doesn't just give to the receiver but it even gives to the giver!  

What do I mean?

When we pour ourselves out in authentic love we are mysteriously filled up by the very act of pouring ourselves out.  To give love is to receive the joy of loving. To give ourselves away in love is to find our authentic selves.

We were made for love and we were made to love.

I've seen studies that note that Catholic Priests have the most fulfilling jobs and I think that's because they give so much of themselves away.  They typically dont have all the normal consolations which others have in life yet they're happier than most.  Why?

It is because they give away so much of themselves in love that they are just as often filled with the joy of having loved.

That's the secret to finding happiness.  Don't look for it.  

The secret of happiness for anyone - whether a Priest, a businessman, a mom, a student... - is to find out (and live out!) how you are to love.  

Because ultimately we're not only looking for happiness.  We're looking for love and true happiness will only come to the door when we've welcomed in love.  Happiness is the fruit of love.  So don't just look for happiness.  Look for love and, when you find how to love, happiness will find you.

"Where you do not find love put love and there you will find love." St John of the Cross