Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Little Something Extra...Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

How to Be Happy

Every human being on the face of this earth wants to be happy. It's what we long for, what we seek, what we work so hard to achieve. Yet we are often unhappy, even miserable, because we aren't looking for happiness in the right place.

Today's Psalm, number 34, offers us some advice about achieving true happiness.

1. Bless the Lord all the times, and praise Him constantly. Kneeling before Him, we worship and adore His majesty, remembering that He is the Almighty, the Creator, the Blessed One, the All-Knowing God. We recall His great works and His great love. We remember what He has done for us and for our salvation, and in doing so, we are happy, for we know Him, Who is the Source of all happiness.

2. Glory in the Lord. We must not focus on this world and boast of our own achievements and possessions but instead glory in the Lord, extolling His greatness.

3. Be lowly in order to hear God. If we are proud and full of ourselves, we often cannot hear God's still, small voice, for we drown Him out with our own chatter. The humble are able to listen to God, for, in their smallness, they quiet themselves before Him. Then they are glad and rejoice in their closeness to their Lord.

4. Seek the Lord. If we seek the Lord, we will find Him. He will answer us, as the Psalm says, and deliver us from all our fears, fears that prevent us from being happy. If we look to God in all our needs and troubles, He will respond to us, and we will be radiant with joy.

5. Call out to the Lord in all affliction. In prayer, we bring before God all our stress, all our problems, all our trials, and He saves us from them. He may not solve them all in the way we might wish, but He will bring good from everything we experience, and we will find peace.

6. Fear the Lord. We need to remember that God is God, and we must hold Him in the highest reverence. While we understand that God loves us and cares for us tenderly, we also know that He is the Holy One, Whom we must not offend by sin. When we maintain this proper attitude toward God, the Psalm assures us that He sends His angels to protect us and that He delivers us, strengthening us, rescuing us, and setting us free.

7. Taste and see that the Lord is good. When we receive our Lord in the Eucharist, we taste and see Him in a most intimate way, for He enters into our bodies and our hearts. If we are open to Him and ready to greet Him, He fills us with His love and joy and peace, and we taste and see that He is very, very good.

8. Take refuge in God. Trusting in God, we run to His protection and fall into His loving arms. He holds us close to Him and pours His blessings out upon us.

The key to true happiness, then, is living in right relationship with God, loving Him, worshiping Him, relying on Him for all things at all times, and most of all searching for happiness in the right Him.

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