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An age-old desire

How can I be happy? Where can I find happiness? …. We have ourselves already not once asked this question? Sooner or later, sometimes or often, here or elsewhere, any man is ever confronted this issue, because it is linked to the meaning of life itself. St. Augustine was already concluded in the fourth century that man is a true adventurer. as he writes in his Confessions:

“Is not life just that happy life that is wanted and that no one not entirely desired by all?” He was even the philosophical question par excellence. “Man philosophize simply for no other reason than to be happy and just the end of the good is what makes him happy. There is therefore no reason to philosophize than the good “end point.

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(Front) values ​​of happiness

The happiness to which everyone is looking to be found anywhere. If you give people the question, which (for) values ​​are important in life to be happy, you will get a variety of answers. One sees it in good health, the others a good job. One is looking at the material, such as a good income and a roof over your head, another will turn into a good (marriage) relationship the building blocks of a happy life. One sees itself be lucky if he can extend his life in the line of his desires, a different feel but happy as he can be useful if the service can ask of others.

Oh, there are so many things that seem to make a person happy. But they are the proper and safe basis of a happy life? The St. Augustine hit this thinking. He stated that two conditions must be met in order to find happiness. The first condition is that man must not only strive for the ultimate good that will make him happy, but he must also be in possession of the ultimate good.

If you think wealth will make you happy, then you must first acquire wealth. Or hoping lucky to have a good health, you must first be healthy.

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The second condition is that you can only build happiness on something immutable and incorruptible. You can not build your happiness on something that can be tomorrow already different or what tomorrow might not will be more. Suppose that you seek happiness in fine food and drink, you’ll soon come to the conclusion that your happiness is granted a fragile existence. Because what you ate is gone and you will be left with nothing.

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What you drunk is gone: you do not have an inexhaustible source of your favorite beverage. The feature food and drink depends on your ability to purchase it and also the potential to produce it. Your income is uncertain, as the course of the seasons. You feel it: a lot of guarantees lucky you do not have when you’re looking at things that are changeable and impermanent.

Food and drink is a trivial example. But we can reason in a similar way to other and more valuable ‘fundamentals’ of happiness. My health may deteriorate suddenly. A good job can I lose games. A partner may become ill or even die. I may lose friends. Money can diminish in value and assets can be stolen. Home and may lose well as severe weather affects me. As much as we put our trust in these “fundamentals” of happiness, we have to conclude that they can not give us lasting happiness and that our happiness will always be fragile and vulnerable.

Is there something or someone in this world that do comply with Augustine’s conditions? Not really. Of all the things in our existence in creation, we must recognize that they are mutable (tomorrow they may be different) and deciduous (tomorrow they may not be there) and that they therefore can not be a good basis for my happiness. “Those with the earthly deal should not go there, because the world we see, is over,” said the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 7.29).

And in the same sense, the apostle John wrote: “Lose your heart to the world or the things in the world! … This world is passing said with all her lust “.Otherwise (1 John 2.17.): Happiness can only build on what is stable and always remains the same (not so changeable) and what is permanent and does not perish (which is imperishable). Stable, so you know the basis of your happiness always is the same in the future. Permanent, so you know the basis of your happiness there will still be in the future. Only these two provide a reliable and secure foundation for your happiness. Logically, then reads the next question: what reality or meets these criteria?

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Only in God do I find my happiness

We arrived to an interim conclusion: in this world satisfies the two conditions necessary for happiness. No inner-worldly reality is both immutable and onvergankelijk.Maar God though. Psalm 102.27-28 connects both properties to God: “Everything perishes, but You remain [imperishable], it will be like a garment wear out once; then it changed as a garment, but You remain the same [immutability], your time know no end. ”

And also writes the apostle James: In God “there is no variation or darkness” (James 1.17.). God is still God. He is the eternal which always was, which is always and will always be. “Before the mountains were born, before the earth was brought forth art thou, O God, from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps. 90.2). God does not change. He is not fickle. He is permanent. And therefore we can trust Him. “Who is God but the Lord alone, who is our rock except God? (Ps. 103.32) “” The faith of Mr. keeps ever made “(Ps. 117.2)

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But that is not enough. To be happy, we should be able to get hold of that which makes us happy. we are in the possession of God? Can we get hold of God? Here on earth we can know God and we may already have partially God. But the full possession of God we reach but in life after death. Then (only) we will be with God in Him may enjoy fully and completely share in the divine life. The ‘happy life’, therefore, coincides with the “eternal life”. Here on earth is our happiness in the desire for God in heaven in the ‘owning’ of God.

Says St. Augustine, “This is now the happy life: rejoice for you, from you and because of you: it is that and nothing else. But those who believe that it is something different, on a different joy and not for the one true “Psalm 37 expresses as follows:”. Find your happiness in the Lord, He will give whatever your heart desires. ”

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Another conclusion we can draw from it is that only those who believe in God therefore can be truly happy. For those who do not believe in God can only live with a temporary, fragile and vulnerable happiness. What does this cause we can see in every society from which God is banished. People look for the daily thrill of their lives should impart a bit of luck. People lose themselves in the desire for money and lust. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Cor. 15.32). At the same time, the number of people with mental health problems, burnout, depression, loneliness … They desire for euthanasia Do we need suicide figures to substantiate this?

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People work to death for an uncertain future. They have everything and feel unsatisfied. They are constantly looking for something different and something new because the luck profit of old has been milked: new clothes, new toys, new job, new phone, new house, new car, new partner, a new challenge, so sometimes end up sometimes whole new life. ‘New’ seems so hip and trendy, but it actually betrays but a restless search, an unsatisfied desire and lost happiness. Augustine had also understood this when he writes in his Confessions: “Restless is our heart until it finds rest in you.”

An escape responsibility?

Happiness is not of this world, but of heaven. It is from God. It is with God. It lies in eternal life after death.

But, will detect the reader awake, we do not averted our gaze from the world in this way? We avoid this way is not our responsibility to make a better place in the world for everyone? Better yet, we should feel guilty if we pursue a degree of happiness and well-being in this temporal life that is not true?. We are looking beyond the encounter between Jesus and the rich young man (Mt 19.16 to 30). This suggested to Jesus the question: “Teacher, what good must I do to inherit eternal life” From the foregoing it has become clear that under the ‘eternal life’ “eternal happiness” should be understood. The question of the rich young man is actually the question with which we are here concerned.

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The answer of Jesus: “If you would enter life, keep then the commandments.” This shows that there is a link between the acquisition of eternal life – and therefore happiness – and God’s commandments that have an impact in our concrete way of life here and now. The way we spend our earthly existence is determined to acquire eternal life. And vice versa: our eternal happiness in the hereafter can not be separated from our actions here on earth. Pursuit of eternal life is not contradictory to working towards a better world. On the contrary, precisely by working to create a better world by obeying God’s commandments that we “earn” our sky.

Longing for eternal life, the happiness with God in the afterlife can not be played off against the commitment to a better world. The latter is a rather good investment in order to achieve the first.

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