The next time I hear someone say, “As long as you’re happy…” I might just fall over and cry. Happiness is not why we’re here. We’re here to gain happiness for eternity. Which is better? A fleeting, inconsistent, temporary happiness now, or a perfect, unending and never-diminishing happiness in eternity? In other words, I don’t particularly care if I’m happy or not. So long as I am doing the will of God, I will have the peace that surpasses all understanding. It is more than enough. Whatever pleases God, may it please me to accept it. To purchase temporal happiness at the price of God is never, ever, in any way, shape, or form, worth it. But gaining God at the price of being resigned to God’s will, at the price of loving Him and keeping His commandments (which are for our GOOD, not our MISERY, by the way), is ALWAYS worth it. “For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.” (St. Matthew 16:25, DRA) May I never say, “As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters,” ever again. In many circumstances, those are words that kill, words that encourage people to sin, words that show a dire lack of charity on the part of the speaker. In other words, they mean this: “I don’t care if you’re offending God. I don’t care that sin cuts you off from the friendship of God, which is the greatest good anyone can possess. I would rather you have this temporary good, which in reality is an evil, because it separates you from God. It also does me the benefit of not having to correct you, because who likes being corrected? You would just not like me, and I can’t deal with that. So yeah. Do whatever you want. Go to hell. I don’t care. As long as we can still be buddies and exchange happy sentiments (which by the way, can only last as long as we’re alive, which isn’t very long, relatively speaking).”
This is honestly what people mean when they say these words. I know this, because I’ve said them myself. Some, granted, say it with an ounce of sincerity–they truly do wish happiness to the other person. But they are wishing them a lesser good, one that will ultimately lead to an evil, the worst evil that can befall any man–the loss of God. And for those who do not believe in eternity (it’s real, either way you believe), this is the only good they can wish someone. A fleeting, temporary, unsatisfying happiness that may or may not even happen. That’s the best they can do for someone. Just sort of, in a disinterested way, hope that their life is happy, because hey, life is meaningless anyway, so you might as well have the semblance of joy while you’re here. Wicked or just, suffering befalls all humanity. No atheist, however sincere, can do their neighbor an ounce of real charity, because they cannot alleviate the spiritual suffering of their neighbor. Sure, they can perform works of mercy. But as for the supernatural virtue of charity, the queen of all virtues, they cannot possess it or use it. It is the love of God, and the love of our neighbor for the love of God. And the only way to comfort the suffering is to remind them that God sees and knows all, that He ordains suffering only to bring them closer to Him, and that Our Lord has instructed us to carry our crosses with Him, that we may gain the eternal reward once our work is faithfully completed. What meaning, what purpose do those who do not believe in eternity assign to suffering? An inconvenience, a misfortune…but without meaning, without purpose and therefore, without consolation. If I knew that typing this blog post was purposeless, what reason would I have to continue it? Those that believe life and suffering have no purpose….what reason do they have to put up with life and its ‘misfortunes’ and ‘inconveniences’? The love we feel for other human beings, the affection we feel for our pets, the fierce love parents have for their children…how can anyone say that is purposeless?
And knowing that God is our only and greatest Good, how can we, who KNOW better, say that we are performing actual charity when we say “As long as you’re happy” to someone who’s about to commit some grave sin that will sever their friendship with God?
Just a few pointed questions for the day.
P.S. I apologize for the delay between posts. I’ve been kept busy with my novel (which is a good thing, but it does cut into my blogging time…). I hope you will forgive me, dear reader.
+Deo Gratias! Maria Gratias!+