Friday, July 10, 2009

Saving Your Breath

Some years ... after I came to the US, a young, cradle Catholic relative of my husband’s who was visiting us made the following statement: “I know that you go to church and read the Bible. I follow the Satanic bible. The only difference between your Bible and mine is that mine is based on pleasure and yours on sacrifice.” I just looked at her. If she could see no difference between a life based on self-sacrifice and one based on pleasure, I’d follow an old Italian advice: “Save your breath for when you die.”

... As the years go by, I notice that the attacks against the Church are becoming more vicious, more widespread, and more intolerant. Why? Why would a Church that preaches charity, love of neighbor, forgiveness of enemies, and help to those who need it, be so hated? Why does the media seem to rejoice every time that Christians, and especially priests, fall into sin (aren’t we all sinners)?

[ ... ]

We have daily example of the futility of following our own definition of “happiness,” but it seems that few realize it. The news are always full of celebrities, with good looks, money, prestige, fame etc. who commit suicide, or fall addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex or become mentally ill. Pleasure did not fulfill their needs. As Fr. Hilton says: “Trying to fill our hearts with anything other than God is like trying to fill the Grand Canyon with pebbles, one at a time.”

Read all of Life, Liberty and the Relentless Pursuit of… Pleasure

1 comment:

David Nybakke said...

What a great article, thank you Ath for sharing. My folks, though both grew up in the Christian foundation have abandoned it to embrace 'happiness', going around wishing ..., "All we want for you is 'happiness'." And time and time again 'happiness' has been interpreted as 'pleasure' with absolutely no association to a Christian context. The fruits from this 'happiness' have been all sorts of hurt.

I thank the Lord everyday for my wake-up call providing me with the grace to try to live the rest of my life in line with what is outlined so masterfully in A Little Guide for Your Last Days. I recommend to eveyone that they pick up a copy today - setting yourself free of all of this worldly baggage on your journey towards Heaven. (What you find in this book is the true meaning of happiness.)