Happiness

Happiness

Br. Christopher shares on Happiness:  “Question: If happiness is missing from your life, with what can you replace it?
It doesn’t take too much reflection to realize that if happiness is missing, there is NOTHING with which you can replace it. In fact, any particular activity, possession or pursuit one may seek, be it travel, fame, wealth, entertainment, etc., are to be sought only as a means to happiness, and without happiness the one who possessed all these in abundance, and the whole world besides, would hardly be envied.  How sad it is to speak of the one who has everything except happiness!  The human race seems to have an innate sense that happiness is not an optional part of our make-up, but an essential part of our nature: We are motivated to seek happiness.    
Though difficult to pin down in words, Happiness may be defined as a sense of well-being, peace and contentment.  So what brings a person to true happiness?  Obviously, once again, it is NOT by adding anything to our external condition.  This path has been tried a billion times throughout the history of the world and never works: it has a proven 100% failure rate.  
I would like to share only one little idea:, let’s recognize that the very fact that we can attempt to ‘add’ something to ourselves that we hope will make us happy shows that we, as creatures, are inherently limited, partial and incomplete.  How then can we ever attain complete happiness when we, on our own, are only partial, incomplete?  I suggest then that a radical conversion and change of perspective is required: to go from making an inherently partial, limited self and self-happiness our goal to instead make God and His utterly Unlimited, Complete Happiness, the center of our universe.  God is Happiness: the Fullness of Being, Peace, Satisfaction and Wholeness; and God invites us to share in His Joy: the Supreme Joy God has in being God.  In other words, our happiness must be according to the Whole, not the part; only when God is our ALL and EVERTHING can we know the state of peace, contentment and security for which we all long.” 
God bless you!
Your brothers of New Clairvaux
#happiness #God #trappist #monks

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Prayer

Cistercian monastic life gives primary place of chanting the Opus Dei or Divine Office in community as well as personal time spent in sacred reading which fulfill the monk's sacred duty of seeking God.

Hospitality

Cistercian monastic life allows rooms for guests because all guests are to be received as Christ.  We never know if we have entertained angels.

Life in Common

Cistercian monastic life is communal:  We share all things in common as did the early Christian community so as to live in greater charity and union with Christ.