A portion of a recent daily reading reminded me of some words spoken at Mass this past Sunday. Now I will admit, I don’t remember the exact words – but – they went something like this; “Happiness is not for earth, we are to look to finding our happiness in heaven”. Again, that is not the exact quote, but it is the sentiment that was stated. This is a dangerous statement. This makes the general population afraid they are bad (sinful) for being happy, wanting to be happy – Catholic Guilt? Is this being said because it is what our clergy are being taught?
That infamous phrase (this is not only a Catholic issue). Let’s be careful about scaring people away from church and scaring people away from God – and look at some facts ♥
God does want us to be happy human beings right here on earth. When we take the time to read scriptures, we can discern the meaning behind what information St. Paul is passing on to us. This article is based upon scriptures only, not Catechism teachings.
The below readings are taken from a letter of St. Paul to the Galatians. The Galatians, written to here are said to be recent converts, possibly Celts who had invaded Asia Minor (etc.). They were being woo’d by other missionaries who wanted them to added Jewish laws to (i.e. circumcision) as a means to the salvation of the Cross.
Also, we can reflect upon the words of Jesus here in St. John 14:
St. John 14: 15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, 17 the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you.
18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.
What a gift indeed! The Holy Spirit is generous and gifts us with much.
Mid-morning reading (Terse) Galatians 5:13-14
My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence. Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarised in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself.
Noon reading (Sext) Galatians 5:16-17
Let me put it like this: if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions.
Afternoon reading (None) Galatians 5:22,23,25
What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.
The last verse lists the Fruits of the Spirit. In reading this, in conjunction with above scriptures we can see more clearly how our Father has blessed us!
If we truly believe and keep our overall focus on God – who is goodness and Love, the Holy Spirit within will guide us in His goodness and love. Jesus “I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.”
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Trustfulness, Gentleness & Self-control.
Catholic “tradition” lists additional “fruits” that I am not going to list here. The biblical listing above is taken directly from the current version of the (NAB) Bible which the Roman Catholic Church uses here in the United States.
There tends to be a leaning toward denying self of the true gifts given from God, when they become translated in the church. Long after Jesus and St. Paul, and long before today. A balance needs to be found and can be found in honoring the seven fruits of the spirit as listed above.
These gifts are to be used along with honoring the Laws we have been asked to follow;
#1 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and all your strength” God First!
#2 “Love your neighbor as yourself” #2 Do not put yourself above anyone.
#3 The Ten Commandants and
#4 The Beatitudes should also be honored.
– In giving of self, we receive.
With this knowledge:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Trustfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control
Everything listed as a Fruit of the Spirit; emotions, actions, attributes that bring about happiness in our lives right here on earth. Living following the rules and guidelines provided to us as living for in, for and with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – God has provided us with true ways to live to honor He and each other.
You may hear at Sunday service, or from a well meaning person that we’re not to look for happiness here on earth – that happiness is after our earthly life – to be found in the Kingdom of Heaven above. Jesus stated the Kingdom of God is at hand. Today. We can have both. What is true that we are told the above gifts will be multiplied in a magnificent way when the time comes that we are called Home to our Lord.
Live ~ Love ~ Laugh With Our Lord ♥
Our loving & Generous Father is pleased when His children are happy living in Him.