I am grateful to all who replied to me.
A priest in our parish said that for every difficult question there is a simple answer and it is usually wrong, and for me the query I had is difficult. So I appreciate the replies and they merit much reflection. I feel I am making progress, but I would appreciate more replies, as I am still not fully clear.
Thanks for your reply. I do not fully agree with you, but I almost do. Jesus Christ is not a good example for me as he was God, as well as man. He did not gain union with God through his life, as he was God. I reject adoptionism
You wrote “Your own personal happiness can and will result from your union with God, but it ought not be your reason for seeking Him.”
This awakens memories of what I learned in school over 60 years ago - the difference between perfect and imperfect love of God. But most of us cannot achieve perfect love, as we love God for our happiness, not for his glory.
So in conclusion I think we should aim at loving God for his own sake.
I read in pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/thomas-aquinas/
“His (Thomas Aquinas’) ultimate answer is that perfect happiness (beatitudo) is not possible on earth, but an imperfect happiness (felicitas) is. This puts Aquinas midway between those like Aristotle, who believed complete happiness was possible in this lifetime, and another Christian thinker, St. Augustine, who taught that happiness was impossible and that our main pleasure consists merely in the anticipation of the heavenly afterlife.”
Your answer is brief, but very sound.
God is the means and the end. We can only attain the end for which we were created if we are united to God. Union with God and happiness are one and the same.
I was at a talk recently by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, the American Charles Brown, who said we belong to an “et… et” church, which sounds better that “both… and”. But it leaves the problem still not fully resolved. Our happiness is still our end, and union with God is the way to attain this.
*Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great * (1Tim 3:16 NRS).