The Path to Happiness
Every human being is created in the Image of God and is therefore imbued with value and dignity that can be neither removed nor diminished. God’s act of creation is one of complete love. God lacks nothing and has chosen to communicate His perfect glory with us for our own sake. Just as God has loved us, the only appropriate response to Him is love.
We are often confused about the true meaning of love. We spend our time trying to fan the flame of emotion and when the emotions change or fade, we are no longer “in love”. The love of God is a love of the will. It is the love that wills the good of the other for the other’s sake. This is the kind of love that is commanded when Jesus tells us to love God and love neighbor.
Human beings have a natural end toward happiness, and this charity leads us toward that end. First, we are blessed when following the words Jesus gave us on the sermon of the mount. Second, we are guided toward love of greater goods over lesser goods by the moral law. Finally, we are encouraged to make a habit of the good by practicing virtue and avoiding vice.
Left to our natural means we would not succeed in any of these endeavors. We rely on the grace of God so we might be pleasing to the Father. Jesus gave us Sacraments as an ordinary channel of His grace. We are adopted as children of God through our Baptism, but this is the beginning of the journey and not the end.
We are often weak and need to reconcile with the Father. Jesus provided us with the sacrament of Reconciliation so we might repair the relationship we have damaged. The Lord beckons us to return to Him. He desires that we seek Him with a contrite heart. Thus, we respond to Him by acknowledging our sins and receiving His grace to help us go and sin no more.
God created us with innate worth that obligates us to treat each other with charity.
Equipped with the grace of the sacraments, we are capable of self-giving love. Following the path of Grace and love leads us closer to God. Communion with God is the only way toward lasting happiness and is the ultimate end of persons.