Sunday, November 18, 2012

Full and Lasting Happiness

Last year the church gifted us with the long awaited new translation of the Roman Missal.  At Bethlehem monastery we have often reflected together and commented on the riches of the prayers that are now directly available to us.  This Sunday’s opening prayer for Holy Mass is no exception.  “Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God, the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy the author of all that is good.”  Here we ask God to give us constant gladness and are reminded of the true source of all joy.  We spend much of our time seeking happiness in the wrong places-physical or emotional comforts, the esteem or admiration of others, power and self assertion.  Even Poor Clares, although our resources for such vain pursuits are by our own free choice more limited, can also fall into the trap of seeking superficial rather than lasting joy.  It takes a deep faith to see that full and lasting happiness is found only in God, the author of all that is good.  In Him is ALL the good we are seeking in those other seemingly more attainable “goods”.  Someone has said, “God is enough, God is enough, and everything else is not enough”.  It is only in loving and serving Him, not sporadically but with constancy, that we will find that fulfillment which will at last quiet the longing of our hearts.  The paradox here is that in the Kingdom, to serve is to reign, to die is to live and losing is so much gain.

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