As we prepare for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I thought I would share with you some insightful words from Archbishop Robert Carlson latest blog:
Complacency is an obstacle to the genuine happiness Jesus teaches
It's easy to confuse happiness with comfort. Our sinful human nature — encouraged by advertising and the entertainment media — urges us to seek comfort for its own sake. Happiness as the world defines it is self-centered. It focuses our attention, first and foremost, on taking care of our own individual needs and desires.
Happiness, we're told, is doing as we please. It means living a certain lifestyle, being liberated sexually and being indifferent in our views about moral issues. We're told we'll be happy if we buy the latest fashions or a new car or the latest electronic gadget. Happiness can be gained, we're told, if only we acquire enough of the material things the world offers as distractions from the pain and difficulty of daily living.
Our culture tells us that happiness is the result of freedom from obligation or responsibility. It is disengagement from the burdens and challenges of life. Happiness, according to the world's values, comes from being in a kind of bubble — isolated and insulated from the suffering and sorrow that surround us every day.
This is not the happiness Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount. It is not the happiness He gave witness to in His daily life or in His passion, death and resurrection. For our Lord, happiness (a blessed life or beatitude) comes not by pursuing a life of comfort, pleasure or prestige. It comes by living for others, by giving away all the material things we cling to for comfort and security and by seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
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