Why is it so hard to be happy? Despite the great wealth and relative freedom that many in the Western world enjoy, happiness is elusive. Watch any channel on t.v. and one is bombarded with all kinds of discontent; advertising that seeks to bring attention to unmet “needs”, people searching and competing for fame and wealth and attention, a continual news cycle that amplifies human selfishness as one abuses another. In this age of “enlightenment”, the ultimate human enlightenment of simple happiness is elusive.
In the quest to quell the pain of discontent, people turn to psychologists who offer all kinds of “treatments” to cure, or at least alleviate, discouragement and depression. These psychological treatments include approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy and the prescribing of anti-depressants. TV “psychologists” and pop-gurus of all sorts diagnose and assert all kinds of advice to help the forlorn. Despite man’s best efforts to treat the pain of being human, depression, suicide, substance abuse and other addictive behaviors are at epidemic levels. Why can’t we all just be happy?
In today’s Gospel from the Mass (John 15:9-17), Jesus, the Divine Psychologist, gives Man the keys to true joy (more…)