La chronique de la semaine Is happiness really possible ?
Chronicle to 5 february 1998
Letter to a Young Person

We are all looking for happiness but how can we find it? Happiness means inner peace, or contentedness, joy, friendship, love... all this, and more. But it seems so difficult to find happiness in our world. Is it just an illusion? No, it can't be! The more I think about it, the more I become convinced that true happiness must exist. If I have such a deep desire within me for happiness, then there must be a reason for it.

« In all his actions, Man strives for happiness. » (Aristotle)

It must be possible to feel at ease and good about myself and to feel that there is a sense to my life.

« The deepst happiness in life is to be truly convinced that we are loved just as we are, yes, even despite what we are. » (Victor Hugo)

But who is the one who loves me just as I am? Sometimes I doubt if the people around me do. I hear them saying : 'If only you were so and so, or did this and that.' or even 'Why couldn't you be just a bit more like your brother, sister or father...? Sometimes I feel like I'm not good enough. I judge myself, and say'.

I'm not smart, or popular enough, I'm too fat or too thin, you name it. Who is able to love me then, just as I am?

« Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.» (Words of Jesus Christ from the Gospel of Matthew 11:28-30)

If there is anyone who can love us just as we are, even with our weak points, it is the One who gives us Life. God loved us and called us into existence, otherwise we wouldn't be here.

But maybe you're asking yourself if God still loves you now, after you've failed in so many ways :

"You don't really know me. I've made lots of mistakes in my life, I've hurt so many people, even the ones that I love."

The best proof that God always loves us, no matter what we've done, is the fact that He has sent his only Son to take this weight from our shoulders, and bear it for us. We can come to Him with all our pain, cares and sorrows, with all our mistakes, refusals and even with our sin.God is our Father. He loves us. He forgives us and gives us the gift of being new again.

« Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. » (St. Paul, letter to the Romans 8,39)

We can ask God to show us his love. If you want, you can ask God right now if He exists. Just say, 'God, if You really exist, and if You love me, show me. Let me experience your Love.' What do you have to lose? Jesus gave us a special prayer so that we might discover the depth of God's love for us. He alone can grant us real Happiness. This is the happiness of knowing that we are loved for eternity by God. This is the happiness of the children of God.

Our Father

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.,
Thy kingdom comethy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day
Our daily breadand,
Forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive,
Those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

If you have questions or would like further information, please write Father Marc Timmermans, a priest in Holland at the parish of Maria Geboorte.