Waiting on Happiness

The things that make us happy are rarely of our own achieving; for many of us, the lives we now live are radically different than the ones we envisioned for ourselves in our late teens. For me, a middle-aged family man surrounded by as boisterous (and rewarding) a pack of boys as one could imagine, the "dreams" of my youth are a distant memory. Yet I find myself happy in deeper and more meaningful ways that I could ever have imagined. Rather than achieving happiness through the dint of my own efforts, I have had it thrust upon me by the only One who knows what I truly need.

Despite the insistent clamoring of Modernity, happiness is not something to be grasped at; paradoxically, the more we pursue it, the less of it we actually have. A failure to recognize our own powerlessness will leave many more sorrowful than they were when they first began this pursuit, for we humans will never succeed in "capturing" the peace and contentment we so ardently desire. We must embrace it as it comes to us, recognizing that its presence is not through any actions of our own, but through a proper ordering of our wills and desires to that which we have received.

True happiness is not won; it is given.

(Both Blackthorn and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are available through Netflix's Streaming Instantly.)

2/7/2012 5:00:00 AM
  • Catholic
  • Through a Lens Darkly
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Blackthorn
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  • Joseph Susanka
    About Joseph Susanka
    Joseph Susanka has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since his graduation from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. He blogs at Crisis Magazine, where he also contributes feature articles on a variety of topics.