How does God guide us to happiness?


#1

For the past 3 years, I’ve been living with the expectation that I would find happiness, but each year passes and I don’t feel any more capable of bringing joy into the world. I hope that I bring joy to those that are close to me, but I don’t do anything for anyone else. I don’t feel capable of spreading God’s love, because I don’t have enough of it in me. I’ve gained experience and some wisdom, but not the happiness that allows it to be put to use. What use is the existence of God’s teachings in my mind, without joy?

I’ve spent my life trying to find where I fit in the world, because I believed that once I found that place I would understand what God expects from me in my life. Once there, I could learn how to love people and myself no matter where I was and despite any lack of love in return. I would give myself to that goal entirely. Wholly.

But I just find myself feeling bitter, resentful, angry, and being completely unloving of others because of perceived rejection, my inability to meet their expectations, and anticipation of better future goals. I can feel that God means for me to do something else, and I’ve never been able to let go of that and enjoy the journey.

With gratitude,

Kate
I’m a junior (supposed to be senior) in college, and I’m trying to be more serious about my search, because everything I’ve done hasn’t worked. I can only give this selfish love to a select few people in my life who either love me unconditionally or have shown themselves trustworthy.

I know that God will protect me. And I know that its slightly inappropriate to ask what kind of signs he sends, because I shouldn’t need signs.

This is all very vague. But the general bottom line for catholics seems to be the importance of the freely given, freely chosen covenant. I know that God is guiding me towards a freedom that will make his path clear.
Can someone tell me what that freedom feels like? How do I distinguish it from slothful freedom?


#2

Perhaps todays reading will help: from Psalm 131
*"… I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me. Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child, like a weaned child on its mother’s lap."
*
We will all love with a selfish love until we are united with God who is perfect selfless love. Don’t worry about lofty aspirations to find out God’s will or love with a perfect love and it is always prudent to be a bit on guard with ones self with regard to trusting (“be as cunning as snakes and as innocent as doves” Jesus). The important thing is that HE LOVES US FIRST. Relax, live a Christian Catholic spiritual life as best you can in the setting you are in with the people you know… and that is enough! Happiness is not the same as the joy of knowing God. The first is a mood and is variable depending on lots of things. The second is not a mood or an emotion. It is the good fortune of being given the gift of faith. God’s will for us evolves with life and is often seen in retrospect anyway.


#3

Hello my friend.I want to ask you a question…what is happiness? We all perceive happiness in different ways and through different things.We are all different,with our different ideas,concepts moral values etc.What makes one person happy may not necessarily make another happy.Helping others in any way I can makes me very happy…it’s what God wants us to do.My sister enjoys going to bingo,it makes her happy,and she likes the idea of winning money it makes her happy.I,on the other hand do not enjoy gambling type things and money does not interest me, as long as we have our home, my children have their needs met,we have enough food etc…then I am happy.Or am I content!!!It’s the little things in life that make me happy.A nice long bath,read a book,play with my grandchildren,going to the cinema,spending time relaxing with my husband.
Sometimes we don’t know what we have until its gone!
I am so grateful for the wonderful world we live in for the sky,trees,animals,flowers etc and most of all for the opportunity to live and make the most of our lives.I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and have learnt.The good and bad times in my life made me ME! God loves each and every one of us unconditionally! Thats really something…God loves YOU!
I’m sorry I’m not really addressing your problems but I just thought it would be good to look at it from a different perspective.I’m sure you will get some good responses.God bless


#4

A good guide to happiness;

Philippians 3 : 8

…(read onwards from there too).


#5

I can commiserate with you. I also struggle with wanting to do great things for God and then agonize over seeing myself do little things badly. Yet Mother Teresa said: “We can do no great things, only little things with great love.” I think there is wisdom for us there. I think that, on the one hand, we are destined for greatness, but we may never perceive that greatness in this life. We can only see a few feet in front of us, seeing just enough to do God’s will the best we can. What is God’s will? I think this is all the things and people that God sends into your life at any given time. It is the dull, daily routines, it is struggling with and loving one’s family, it is doing your job with patience and care and offering this up. It is accepting who you are and where you are, and leaving the big picture in God’s hands. We may never know the lives that we have touched simply by lending a hand, smiling at that person in the drive-through whose spirits were low, being merciful to someone who has wronged us. I think that these little things, even hastily said prayers or kind thoughts, can cause a ripple effect that only God can see in its entirety. Keep the faith…God is with you. Everything happens for a reason.

Peace and Blessings,
Terrysa


#6

Amen.


#7

Hey, I just thought of a book: The Saints’ Guide to Happiness by Robert Ellsberg. good book! :thumbsup:


#8

Amen!

I, too, in my younger days, wanted to do great things for God. By being so much on the look out for ‘great things’, I missed those seemingly small, insignificant opportunities to be a witness for Christ. I never realized how being faithful in the small, daily things could bring so much glory to God. It is that quiet, daily witness of obedience that people notice. ‘Big things’ are comensurate with this age. We all want to be noticed - some, if not all, of the attention being focused on us. That is not godliness - it’s selfishness. Did not Jesus flee situations when he felt that the people would exalt him beyond what he was called to do in his earthly ministry? He was a servant even though he was God. He proved how through humility, your life points to one greater than yourself. He always pointed to the Father - he never sought after attention that would elevate himself over his Father.


#9

Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I found them to be really helpful.

However, I did want to clarify that it is not glory or greatness that I was asking about. I do look for the little things. I suppose the situation is a lot more complicated than I presented it as.

When I say that God might want me to be doing something else with my life, I mean that this incompatibility I feel in my day to day might be him sending me a message. Though, I know that the incompatibility I feel is also the result of my own weaknesses.

I, too, feel God’s presence when I’m with my friends and family, but I have neither of those things up at college. That’s the problem. But, really, I think my question isn’t coherent, because its something that can only be explained by describing my whole life.

I simply feel that I am unable to touch people. I don’t know how to find that ability. I’m not asking to do anything great. I’m merely saying that those simple things that people do to touch one another’s lives (those things I witness and love in others) are things I cannot do anymore. I would give up the notion of greatness entirely if I thought I could bring at least a little bit of joy into the lives. Because when I try it gets misinterpreted. Perhaps its because when I look inside myself I don’t see beauty. And I know that until that changes, bringing love to others will be difficult.


#10

I know a way you can touch other peoples lives and help them doing Gods will.Go to the prayer intentions forum and pray for people who desperately need prayers for their intentions.I have made a lot of friends on this forum.Believe me,you will definitely be helping others.Godd luck and God bless


closed #11

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