Monday, April 2, 2012

What Makes Us Happy

History cannot be detached from God and then run smoothly on purely material lines. If man’s heart is not good, then nothing else can turn out good, either. And the goodness of the human heart can ultimately come only from the One who is goodness, who is the Good itself.

Jesus of Nazareth 1, 34

Reflection – ‘If man’s heart is not good then nothing else can turn out good, either.’ What a profound and simple insight this is. And I think we have all seen this over and over again in our lives, not to mention the lives of nations and societies. The most favorable external circumstances do not make for happy outcomes. We all know this, I think. Where there is selfishness of any kind, where pride, anger, lust, envy, laziness, possessiveness, or gluttony rule the day, we know things will not end well, even if there are great assets and tremendous goods of all description surrounding the person.

It is the heart and what is in the heart that determines human happiness. And because we are a fatally flawed race, because our hearts are corrupted one way or another, and because our hearts are made by God to be filled with God, the one who is Goodness Itself must come to us to make us happy.

Lent has been a season of striving (or lack thereof, perhaps!), a time to try really hard to be good and resist evil. Holy Week is the time when we confront the reality that we cannot get there by our own power. We need this One to come and help us, to do in us what we cannot do ourselves.

And so, here we are. And here is Jesus, and there He is crucified, and then He rises. And His life is given to us, permanently, to be a constantly new source of goodness and love flowing into us through the sacramental life of the Church.

Yesterday’s blog post was quite long, so I think I’ll leave this one quite short. Holy Week is, perhaps, not a time for many words. Our hearts meet His Heart, and the healing of the world occurs. And this is our hope and our salvation.


  1. Father Dennis,

    Just stopped to read... And caught up the past few days. God bless you, thank you for your words and prayers.

    Yes, the conscience stuff was hard and yes, I had to stop reading for awhile. But, I never stopped praying for you and thanking Gid for your faithfulness to him.

    1. God bless you, Catherine - and a happy Easter to you!


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