How to be Happy in Life

August 20, 2012 under Syllabus 2012-2013

Summary

God wants us to be happy.

Objective

While researching this subject it became clear that true happiness comes from the continued study of the word of God. By studying the bible, reading it daily, discussing it openly with Christian brothers and putting his word into action, we can move closer to the abundant and happy life that Christ wants to give us.

The Greek word translated “blessed” means “blissfully happy”. The Lord Jesus promises that real, lasting happiness, along with God’s provision of all our essential needs, will be ours, if we “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”, Matthew 6-33. That search is through reading God’s word and earnest prayer to Him.

Bible Readings

1. Phil 4:11-12

For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

2. Romans 15:13-14

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. John 13-17

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you… If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.

4. Job 36:11

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.

5. Psalm 118:24

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Catechism Readings

1. Paragraph 2548

Desire for true happiness frees man from his immoderate attachment to the goods of this world so that he can find his fulfillment in the vision and beatitude of God. “The promise [of seeing God] surpasses all beatitude. . . . In Scripture, to see is to possess. . . . Whoever sees God has obtained all the goods of which he can conceive.”

2. Paragraph 1818

The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.

3. Paragraph 45

Man is made to live in communion with God in whom he finds happiness: When I am completely united to you, there will be no more sorrow or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete (St. Augustine, Conf. 10, 28, 39: PL 32, 795}.

Small Group Questions

  1. What are some ways to be happy today?
  2. What are some things that we can control that will make us happy?
  3. How can we better prepare our children for a life of happiness?
  4. Share your thoughts on happiness amongst the group.

Recommended Resources

  1. http://www.googlesyndicatedsearch.com/u/catholicity?s=happiness&q=happiness+site%3Awww.catholicity.com%2Fcatechism%2F
  2. http://www.bibleed.com/bibleteachings/christianlife/happiness.asp
  3. Our Happiness by Matthew Kelly
    http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2010/09/our-happiness/
  4. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=+Romans+15%3A13-14&version=NIV
  5. The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly
    http://www.matthewkelly.org/bookstore/the-rhythm-of-life
  6. The Four Levels of Happiness REV. ROBERT SPITZER, S.J.

Accountability

  1. Make a commitment to study the bible on a regular basis and grow closer to Christ.
  2. Make a commitment to serve others within and outside of your family and live the life of “doing unto others”.
  3. Study the 5 steps in attached article.

Author(s)

Dave Karsten and Michael Copfer

Included Resources

1. Five Steps to Better Mental Health – According to St. Paul by Msgr. Charles Pope
http://blog.adw.org/2012/07/five-steps-to-better-mental-health-according-to-st-paul/

Step I. Rejoice in the Presence of the Lord – The text says, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your moderateness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Step II. Rely on the Power of the Lord – The text says – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition…present your requests to God.

Step III. Remember the Provision of the Lord – The text says, with thanksgiving,

Step IV. Rest in the Peace of the Lord And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Step V. Reflect on the Plan of the Lord – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.

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