Trails and Happiness; A spiritual perspective
Since evil is inevitable in this world, it is inevitable also in one’s destiny; being necessary in the economy of the objective reality surrounding us, it is no less necessary in the experience of the subject-witness; the imperfections of the world are coupled with the trials of life. First of all one has to answer the question of why the painful experiences that we must undergo are called “trials”. I would reply that these experiences are trials in relation to our faith, which indicate that with regard to troubling or painful experiences we have duties resulting from our human vocation. In other words, we must prove our faith in relation to God and in relation to ourselves; in relation to God, by our intelligence, our sense of absoluteness, and thus our sense of relativities and proportions; and in relation to ourselves, by our character, our own resignation to destiny , our gratitude. There are in fact two ways to conquer the traces that evil, or more precisely suffering, lives in the soul. These are, firstly; our awareness of the Sovereign Good, which coincides with our hope to the extent that this awareness penetrates us; and secondly ; our acceptance of what, in religious language is called the “will of God” and assuredly it is a great victory over oneself to accept a destiny because it is God’s will and for no other reason.
On the Idea of Happiness
One of the first conditions of happiness is the renunciation of the superficial and habitual need to feel happy. But this renunciation cannot spring from the void; it must have a meaning, and this meaning cannot but come from above, from what constitutes our reason for being. In fact, for too many people, the criterion of the value of life is a passive feeling of happiness which priori is determined by the outer world; when this feeling does not occur or when it fades….which may have a subjective as well as objective causes—people become alarmed, and are as if possessed by the question; “why am I not happy as I was before?” and by the awaiting of something that could give them the feeling of being happy. All this, it is unnecessary to stress, is a perfectly worldly attitude, hence incompatible with the least of spiritual perspectives. To become enclosed in an earthly happiness is to create a barrier between humans and Heaven, and it is to forget that on earth man is in exile; the very fact of death proves it.
One has to be able to find happiness in the spiritual act, the gift of self, rather than in the passive and narcissistic enjoyment of a well-being that the world is supposed to offer us “it is more blessed to give than to receive “ as Christ has said.
Happiness is religion and character; faith and virtue. It is a fact that man cannot find happiness within his own limits; his very nature condemns him to surpass himself, and in surpassing himself, to free himself.
I love because I love……….