From Holiness and Happiness by Fr. Lasance
Conformity to the will of God is the secret of happiness even here upon earth. Outside it there is only unhappiness.
When we receive all things as being sent by Providence, and when we live in a state of entire abandonment to all that this adorable Providence wills, we never meet with any vexations.
As we have no other will and no other desire but the will of God, and see this most amiable will in all that happens to us, we have always all that we will and all that we desire.
Imitating the example set us by the holy king David, we joyously give our hand to the good pleasure of God, Who leads us from one action to another, from a second to a third, and thus our whole life passes sweetly, joyously, holily.
No accident has power to disturb or trouble us, because we know that all comes from God, and that His will, which is a thousand times amiable, presides over all.
This thought changes sufferings and troubles into joy, bitterness into sweetness; and things that plunge other souls into desolation, console the soul which is united to the good pleasure of God.
Hence there is in it a tranquility and a peace which nothing can ruffle, a constant serenity, a calmness in acting and speaking which proves how truly the Apostle and the sage had spoken when they said, the Apostle in affirming that “To them that love God all things work together unto good” (Rom. viii. 28), and the sage in declaring that “Whatsoever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad” (Prov. xii. 21).
He may be tried by God, as was the holy man Job, but, like him, he will say to God: Thou triest me in a manner which ravishes me (Job x. 16) ; and neither his interior peace will be troubled nor his exterior allow a word or a gesture of sadness, of anger, or of impatience to escape it, and it may be said of him, as of Tobias, “He repined not, because the evil had befallen him” (Tob. ii. 13).
Every man, says St. Augustine, desires happiness, but all do not seek it where it is to be found. We seek it elsewhere than in the good pleasure of God, and from that time we condemn ourselves to an unhappy life.
We find nothing but deceptions in the things, the persons, or the places to which we attach ourselves. because everything changes here below. Even if all were not to change, we ourselves change, and what gave us pleasure yesterday, displeases us today.
Israel liked the manna at the beginning, and thought it had a marvelous taste; but a little while afterward it was disgusted with it. It was glad to be delivered from the tyranny of Pharaoh, but a little while afterward it wearied of the liberty of the desert, and wanted to return to Egypt.
Now, with these variations of taste, how could it be possible not to be unhappy. He who seeks contentment in himself, says St. Augustine, shall be afflicted; he alone is always happy who puts his joy in God alone, because God is always the same.
Filled with this truth, a holy Religious, a witness to the extremes of joy and sorrow, and to the variations of temper in which men allow themselves to indulge, according to the variety of the things to which they attach themselves, exclaimed: “As for me, nothing can take away my joy, because nothing can take from me Jesus Christ, Who is all my happiness”; and St. Augustine addressed God in these beautiful words: “Thou hast made us for Thyself, 0 Lord, and our hearts are restless, until they rest in Thee.”
Let us resolve:
(1) To attach ourselves solely to the good pleasure of God, to cherish it in all events, whether they be joyful or sorrowful, and never to allow ourselves to be troubled by anything, whatever.
(2) To place our whole joy in being led in all things by the divine will, like a child by the hand of its mother. Our spiritual nosegay will be the words of the Psalmist: “Thou hast held me by my right hand, 0 Lord, and by Thy will Thou hast conducted me” (Ps. lxxii. 24).
To Catholics marriage is a sacrament, symbolizing beautifully in the love of husband and wife the tenderness with which Christ regarded His spouse, the Church. While to others marriage may become a mere civil contract as prosaic as the making of a will or the taking of a partner into one’s grocery business, to Catholics it is a holy thing, a contract that Christ has transformed into a channel of untold grace for mankind. The Catholic Church believes firmly in the possibilities of so sacred an institution. -Fr. Daniel A. Lord, 1950’s
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