Bread of Life

BREAD OF LIFE
 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (john 6: 50)
I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood; you have no life in you. (John 6: 53)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

MY CATHOLIC FAITH

It was the archangel Michael who led the good angels: "And there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in heaven" (Ap. 12:7,8).


The Devils; Temptation

What happened to the angels who did not remain faithful to God?

The angels who did not remain faithful to God were cast into hell, and these are called bad angels, or devils.

"Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41).

1. We also call them demons or fallen angels. Led by the most excellent of the angels created by God, Lucifer or Satan, the bad angels refused to obey God when He tested them. God did not give them a chance to repent, but cast them at once into hell.

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer. ... Thou saidst in thy heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, ... I will be like the Most High,'" (Is. 14:12-14). Jesus said, "I was watching Satan fall as lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18).

2. God did not create devils, but glorious angels. The rebel angels turned themselves into devils by their sin.

By one grave sin against God these angels of light became vile demons, and were condemned to hell for all eternity. We should draw a lesson from this and determine never to sin.

What is the chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us?

The chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us is by tempting us to sin.

1. The bad angels tempt man and try to draw him away from God. Often the devil appears as an angel of light, and we are tempted by evil which appears good. Under this guise the devil is most dangerous.

"Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour" (1 Pet 5:8-9).

2. Without God's permission, the devil can do us no harm. God sometimes permits the devil to tempt just men, to cleanse them from imperfections.

Our Lord Himself was tempted by the devil. God permitted Job to be harmed bodily by the devil. Saint Anthony, Saint Teresa, and many other saints suffered from the temptations of the evil one. But these temptations only drive the just to greater love of God. “The life of man is a warfare” (Job. 7:1).

3. Sometimes devils are permitted to enter the body of a man, exercising power over his faculties; this is called diabolic "possession". At other times devils torment one from without; and this state is called diabolic "obsession".

When God permits diabolic obsession or possession, it is to show in some way His glory, or to punish sin, convert sinners, or provide some means for the practice of virtue.

4. In cases of diabolic possession or obsession, the aid of the Church should be sought; for the Church received from Christ the power of exorcism. This is the act of driving out or warding off evil spirits. It is only with the permission of his bishop that a priest is permitted to exorcise evil spirits.

5. The Church forbids Catholics to have anything to do with spiritism. This is calling up the spirits of the dead.

Some manifestations are spirit-rapping, table-lifting, slate-writing, apparitions, communications through mediums in a state of trance. Most of the spiritist seances are fraudulent, but sometimes the devil manifests himself. God can permit the souls of the dead to return to earth. But there is no indication that He permits Himself to obey mediums. The devil may sometimes impersonate the spirits of the dead. Satan is old and skillful in deceit, and can assume the appearance of an angel of light.

Do all temptations come from the bad angels?

Some temptations come from the bad angels; but other temptations come from ourselves and from the persons and things about us.

1. This is what we mean when we say that temptations come to us from the flesh, the world, and the devil.

The evil inclinations of our weak and corrupted nature tempt us to sin. The world, with its sinful wants and vanities, tempts us to sin. The devil goes about continually tempting us, making use of both our nature and the world for his evil purposes.

2. In itself, temptation is not a sin. It becomes sinful only when: (a) we bring it upon ourselves by carelessness or overconfidence; (b) we play with, take pleasure in, or yield to it.

The greatest saints have often been most strongly tempted. Our Lord even permitted Himself to be tempted. Thus we see that temptation is not a sin, because we are not responsible for it.

3. God permits us to be tempted in order to try us, to let us win an eternal reward.

God subjected the angels to a test. Those who passed it are now enjoying Him in heaven, their reward. "Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee" (Tob. 12:13).

God permitted the devil to tempt our first parents. Temptations serve to keep us humble. God permits all mankind to have temptations but never temptation beyond their strength to resist. "God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength" (1 Cor. 10:13).

4. The stronger the temptation, the greater the graces God gives for its conquest.

The conquest by the saints of wicked temptations have made them greater saints. Christ Himself was tempted by the devil, to gluttony, to avarice, and to pride. He wanted to show us that by resisting we may rise to greater love of God. Good men who art worried because so many temptations assail them should remember that ants quickly gather over a jar of honey; the devil strives to catch the good, because he is already sure of the wicked.

Can we always resist temptations?

We can always resist temptations, because no temptation can force us into Sin, and God will always help us if we ask Him. The length of time during which a temptation persists does not make it sinful, if we continue resisting it. A temptation may attack us all our lives, but as long as we fight it, or pay no attention to it, as long as we do not yield, we commit no sin. We have not been conquered, and God will reward us for the good fight.

1. No temptation can do us harm if we obey God's laws and keep away from sin. If we resist, temptation will flee from us.

Our lot for all eternity depends entirely on ourselves. God votes for heaven; the devil votes for hell. The deciding vote is ours. Shall we vote for heaven or for hell? "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

2. When assailed by temptation, one must at once resist. It is easier to conquer temptation at the beginning than later on, just as a fire is easier to put out at the outset.

Since nothing can be done without divine grace, one must pray. One must imitate the Apostles who had recourse to Jesus when a storm arose. Let him say at once, "Lord, make haste to help me!"

3. Some remedies against temptation are:

a. Watchfulness and prayer.

"Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation" (Matt. 26:41). Avoid idleness, keeping always occupied, either by work, or by wholesome recreation. If evil thoughts enter the mind, think of other things, in this way ignoring the temptation.

b. Frequent confession and Holy Communion.

c. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Guardian Angels.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

PRO - LIFE PHYSICIANS

The Vision of the Association of Pro-Life Physicians (APP

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.

-Original Hippocratic oath, circa 400 B.C.

Hippocrates was a physician who practiced medicine about four hundred years before Christ. He is known as the father of medicine and most well-known for his Hippocratic Oath. Although the principle elements of the Oath have long been abandoned by medical schools, for hundreds of years medical students on the day of graduation took an oath modeled after the Hippocratic Oath. It was an oath to practice medicine ethically.

The original oath embodied several ideals, one of which included an acknowledgement of Trancendance. The notion that there is a Supreme Being who will hold the strong accountable for how they treat the weak is critical to the ethical ideals of the Hippocratic oath. Divine law is higher than the laws of men. Even if it is legal for the strong to abuse the weak, even if it is politically popular for the rich to exploit the poor, even if it is convenient for the privileged to abort the defenseless, the God who made all creatures will judge us by His absolute ethical standard: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Another ideal embodied in the Hippocratic oath is a vow not to commit abortions. One translation of the Oath reads:

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.”
Imagine a culture where patients were filled with worry that someone was paying their physician more to end their life than they were paying to keep them alive. That was the Greek culture of Hippocrates day. Doctors were ending the lives of their patients through physician-assisted suicide and abortion Hippocrates drew an ethical line in the proverbial sand. On one side he called all physicians who would not end the lives of patients; on the other, he left those who would. Patients voted with their dollars, and in time, physicians either adopted the Hippocratic oath or they lost business. Ending the lives of patients through medical services was re-stigmatized.

The restoration of the pro-life plank of the Hippocratic oath to a remnant of physicians in our communities is the vision of the Association of Pro-life Physicians (APP).

Happily, we have entered an era in which the fetus can be rightfully considered and treated as our second patient. Who would have dreamed – even a few years ago – that we could serve the fetus as a physician.”
-Williams Obstetrics, 16th edition (from the Preface)

Sadly, there are physicians in America who defy this Hippocratic ideal and violate God’s standard for governing our treatment of others. As of 2007, almost million innocent human beings have been aborted by medical professionals since the Supreme Court permitted abortion throughout all fifty states in 1973. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the largest group of physicians that provide healthcare to women, officially endorses abortion, including late-term abortions on healthy babies that can survive outside the womb. Most physicians’ groups are either complicit with the Abortion Holocaust or are apathetically silent about the plight of the pr - born. Widespread abortion has corrupted our profession.

The vision of the Association of Pro-life Physicians (APP) is being successfully implemented one doctor at a time, one patient at a time, one county at a time. When we have a list of pro-life physicians in a community, we work to educate the community on who the local pro-life physicians are so that patients can make educated choices to prefer like-minded, pro-life doctors.

We invite pro-lifers in communities around the nation to join with us in creating a list of physicians who prescribe to the pro-life plank of the Hippocratic oath. Through letter-writing, phone calls, and word-of-mouth, you can easily discover which physicians in your community are convinced that life begins at conception, who will not commit nor refer for abortions. Once you have a list, you can begin to educate your communities—pastors, priests, churches, civic leagues, friends and family—on which physicians share their values about life. In time, we will re-stigmatize the abortionists in our communities and lives will be saved.

Patients have a right to know whether their doctor commits abortions or refers patients for abortions. We want to give those who share our beliefs about the humanity of the pre - born child an educated choice so they can choose a physician with similar values and discriminate against non-Hippocratic physicians. We also want physicians who commit abortions to feel shame and community pressure for their role in the exploitation of the pre - born. It is our hope that, in time, the majority of physicians in the United States will have adopted our Oath, and the majority of patients in every city will prefer doctors who won’t commit abortions or refer for abortions.

The APP also seeks to employ our medical expertise and influence in our communities to educate the public and political leaders on the humanity and viability of the pre - born child, and to encourage alternative, more compassionate responses to a crisis pregnancy than abortion.

To learn if there are any APP doctors in your community, please visit our database of Pro-life Physicians here. We have articles on the website which detail our positions on abortion in cases of rape and incest and for the health of the mother. You will find us consistent with our premise that life begins at fertilization, and there are no exceptions to the divine ordinance against taking the lives of innocent human beings (Exodus 20:13).

All gifts to the APP will be used solely towards our mission. Physicians are available for speaking engagements.

The Association of Pro-life Physicians

5063 Dresden Court

Zanesville, Ohio 43701

Saving lives | Saving medicine The APP | prolifephysicians.org

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ARE YOU GOOD ENOUGH TO GO TO HEAVEN?

Of all the questions you will ask yourself in life, probably the most important is, Am I good enough to go to Heaven?

The way to find this out is to ask yourself if you have obeyed the Ten Commandments.

Most would answer the question, 'Well, I've broken one or two, but nothing too serious, like murder, etc.' So let's go through them and see how you do:

1. 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

Is God first in your life? Do you love God above all else? Many years ago, I purchased a TV. for our children, but the first evening we had it, I arrived home from work and found that they didn't even bother to greet me. They were too busy watching television. I turned it off and explained to them that if they ignored me because they preferred to watch TV. They were setting their love on the gift rather than the giver, a wrong order of affections. In the same way, if we love anything -- husband, wife, children or even our own lives -- more than we love God, we are setting our affection on the gift rather than the Giver, which is a transgression of the First Commandment.

In fact, the Bible says that we should so love God that our love for Mom and Dad and brother and sister should seem like hatred compared to the love we have for the God who gave those loved ones to us. We are also commanded to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. Jesus spoke of a Samaritan who found an injured stranger, bathed his wounds, carried him to an inn, gave money for his care and told the inn-keeper that he would pay for his expenses. We call him the good Samaritan, but in reality he wasn't 'good' at all, he merely obeyed the basic command to love his neighbor as himself.

That is a picture of how God expects us to love our fellow human beings. We should love them as much as we love ourselves...whether they be friend or foe. Have you loved God with all your heart? Have you loved humanity as much as you love yourself? You be the judge. Will you be innocent or guilty on Judgment Day of breaking that Commandment? I'm not judging you -- I'm asking you to judge yourself before the Day of Judgment. The sentence for breaking this Commandment is death.

2. 'You shall not make for yourself any graven image.'

This means that we shouldn't make a god to suit ourselves, either with our hands or our mind. I was guilty of this. I made a god to suit myself. My god didn't mind a 'white' lie or a fib here and there -- in fact, he didn't have any moral dictates. But in truth my god didn't exist. He was a figment of my imagination, an 'image' which I shaped to suit myself. Is your god the One revealed in Holy Scripture? If not, then you have made your own god to suit yourself - you have committed the oldest sin in the Book. Scripture warns that no idolater will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

3. 'You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.'

Have you ever taken God's name in vain -- instead of using a four-letter word to express disgust, you've used His name? Hitler's name wasn't despised enough to use as a curse word. If you have used His holy name in that manner, you are a blasphemer and will not enter the Kingdom of God.

4. 'Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.'

I ignored this command for 22 years. Even though God gave me the gift of life, never once did I ask what he required of me. I was guilty of breaking the Commandment.

5. 'Honor your father and your mother.'

Have you always honored your parents in a way that's pleasing in the sight of God? Ask Him to remind you of the sins of your youth. You may have forgotten them, but God hasn't.

6. 'You shall not murder.'

Jesus warned that if we get angry without cause we are in danger of judgment. If we hate our brother, God calls us a murderer. We can violate God's Law by attitude and intent.

7. 'You shall not commit adultery.'

Who of us can say that we are pure of heart? Jesus warned, 'You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart.' Remember that God has seen every thought you have had and every sin you have ever committed. The day will come when you have to face His Law, and we are told that the impure, fornicators (those who have sex before marriage) and adulterers will not enter the Kingdom of God. Punishment for transgression of this Commandment is the death penalty.

8. 'You shall not steal.'

Have you ever taken something that belonged to someone else (irrespective of its value)? Then you are a thief -- you cannot enter God's Kingdom.

9. 'You shall not bear false witness.'

Have you ever told a lie? Then you are a liar. How many lies do you have to tell to be a liar? Just one. The Bible warns that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire. You may not think deceitfulness is a serious sin. God does!

10. 'You shall not covet.'

That means we shouldn't desire anything that belongs to another person. The covetous will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Who of us can say we are not guilty of breaking these Commandments? All of us have sinned, and just as with civil law, you don't have to break ten laws to be a law-breaker, so the Bible warns, 'For whoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.'

A little girl was once watching a sheep eat grass and thought how white it looked against the green background. But when it began to snow she thought, 'that sheep now looks dirty against the white snow!' It was the same sheep, but with a different background. When we compare ourselves to the background of man's standard we look pretty clean, but when we compare ourselves to the pure snow-white righteousness of God's standard -- His Law, we can see ourselves in truth, that we are unclean in His sight. That Law is the holy standard by which humanity will be judged on Judgment Day.

This may sound strange, but the worst thing you could at this point of time is to try and clean up you lifestyle -- you realize that you have sinned, so from now on you will keep the Ten Commandments, do good deeds, say the right things and think only pure thoughts. But should a judge let a murderer go because he says he will now live a good life? No, he's in debt to justice and therefore must be punished.

The Law of God is merely like a mirror -- all a mirror does is show you the truth. If you see egg on your face, you don't try and wash yourself with the mirror, its purpose should be to send you to water for cleansing. Neither should you try and wash yourself with the mirror of God's Law . . . that's not its purpose. The sight in the mirror is not a pretty one, but if you can't face it and acknowledge that you are unclean, then all that 'dirt' will be presented on Judgment Day as evidence of your guilt, and then it will be too late to be cleansed.

Perhaps you think that God is good and will therefore overlook your sins. But if you were guilty of terrible crimes in a civil court and said to the judge, 'Judge, I am guilty but I believe that you are a good man and will therefore overlook my crimes,' the judge would probably respond by saying, 'You are right about one thing; I am a good man, and it's because of my goodness that I am going to see that justice is done, that you are punished for your crimes.' The very thing that many people are hoping will save them on Judgment Day, God's 'goodness,' will be the very thing that will condemn them. If God is good, He should punish murderers, liars, thieves, etc., and Hell will be their dreadful fate.

What a terrible place Hell must be. If you read in the newspaper that a man received a $5 fine for a crime, you could conclude that his crime was insignificant. But if a man received multiple life sentences, you could conclude that his crime was heinous. In the same way, we can catch a glimpse of how terrible sin must be in the sight of God by looking to the punishment given for it -- eternal punishment.

Ungrateful humanity never bothers to thank God for His wonderful blessings of color, light, food, joy, beauty, love and laughter, so He will take those blessings away from them. Instead of proving their gratitude by obedience to His will, they use His name to curse. Their punishment will be just but severe to the uttermost. Take the time to read what Jesus said Hell was like in Mark 9:43-48. I am afraid for you . . .please, look honestly into the mirror of the Law, then seek the 'water' that cleanses every sin.

If you don't believe what I am saying about the reality of Hell, it means you think God is corrupt (that He hasn't the moral backbone to seek justice), that Jesus was a liar, that the Apostles were false witnesses, that God's promises are nothing but prefabricated lies, and there is no greater insult to God than to call Him a liar.

By doing so, you are adding to your transgressions. Imagine if you reject the Savior, die in your sins and find that what I have told you is the Gospel truth? Then it will be too late, you will be judged for your sins. If that happens, and your eyes meet my eyes on the Day of Judgment, I'm free from your blood. I have told you the truth, but if you choose to ignore it your blood will be upon your own head . . . you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Can you see your predicament? You are guilty of sinning against God Himself, and because you have a conscience you have sinned 'with knowledge.' Isn't it true that every time you lied, stole, lusted, etc., you did it with knowledge that it was wrong?

Does the fact that you have sinned against God scare you? It should. You have actually angered Him by your sin. The Bible says His wrath abides on you, that you are an 'enemy of God in your mind through wicked works.' But let fear work for your good in the same way that a fear of jumping out of a plane at a great height would make you put on a parachute. Let your will to live open your heart to the Gospel of salvation.

I am not the only one who doesn't want you to end up in Hell. The person who gave you this tract cared enough to give it to you and risk your rejection, and God Himself is not willing that you perish. To make clear what an incredible thing He has done for you in the Gospel, let's look again to civil law: You are standing in front of a judge, guilty of very serious crimes. All the evidence has been presented and there is no doubt about your guilt.

The fine for your crime is $250,000 or imprisonment, but you haven't two pennies to rub together. The judge is about to pass sentence . . .he lifts his gavel, when someone you don't even know steps in and pays the fine for you. The moment you accept that payment, you are free to go. Justice has been served, the law has been satisfied, and what's more, the stranger who paid your fine showed how much he cares for you. His payment was evidence of his love.

That's what God did for you, in the person of Jesus Christ. You are guilty. He paid the fine 2,000 years ago. It is that simple. The Bible puts it this way: 'He was bruised for our iniquities . . . Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law being made a curse for us . . . God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.'

It was no small thing for Jesus to die for us. The only thing that would satisfy the demands of Eternal Law was the suffering death of the sinless son of God. What love God must have for you! He suffered unspeakable agony, so that you wouldn't have to be punished for your sins. His sacrificial death and resurrection mean that you need no longer be in debt to the Law, and God can now grant you everlasting life if you obey Him -- death no longer has a legal hold upon those who belong to Jesus Christ.

Two men were offered a parachute while seated in a plane. The first man was told it would improve his flight, but the second man was informed that he had to make a 25,000 foot jump. When the flight struck severe turbulence the first man took his parachute off because, as far as he was concerned it didn't improve the flight. But during the same violent turbulence, this second man clung tighter to his parachute.

Each man's motive for putting the parachute on determined whether or not he would keep it on*. In the same way, the reason you should 'put on the Lord Jesus Christ' shouldn't be to find peace, joy, true happiness, to have your marriage healed or your problems fixed, etc. (to have your flight improved), but it should be to escape the jump to come -- because of the fact that you have to pass through the door of death. Then, when the flight gets bumpy (when problems come) you won't fall away from the faith.

What should you then do? Simply repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Don't put it off until tomorrow. Would you sell an eye for a million dollars? How about both for $20 million? No one in his right mind would. Your eyes are priceless to you, yet they are merely the windows of your soul. Your life (your soul) is of such value, Jesus said that you should despise the value of your eye compared to it.

He said that if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is better to enter Heaven blind, than to go to Hell seeing. In other words, of all the things that you should prioritize in you life, it's not your health, your vocation, etc., it's your eternal salvation.

Think of a man who has committed adultery. His faithful wife is more than willing to take him back, so what is the attitude in which he should approach her? It should be one of tremendous humility, asking for forgiveness, and determining in his heart never to even think of committing adultery again. That's how you should approach God.

If you are not sure how to pray, read Psalm 51 and make it your prayer. Then put your faith in Jesus Christ in the same way you would put your faith in a parachute. You don't just 'believe' it will benefit you, you actually trust yourself to it by putting it on. Then, once you have made peace with God read the Bible daily and obey what you read. - Written by Evangelist Ray Comfort

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please let us know if you have any questions by utilizing our contact form.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

TRANSGENDERISM

Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right?  

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

8/24/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

 Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear. 

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into objects of use and degrades the dignity of human sexuality.

Sadly, the same spirit of the age fails to recognize the integral unity of the human person, body, soul and spirit, and has turned the human body into a machine with parts which the revolutionaries think can simply be interchanged. Removal of genitals and attachment of artificially constructed ones which are absolutely incapable of ovulation or conception, does not change the structure of reality.

The removal constitutes mutilation and the construction of artificial organs with no reproductive function does not alter the gender or sex of the person. Medical science confirms that our identity as male or female affects even our brains. In addition, even the physical appearance must be sustained by massive doses of synthetic hormones.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

THE CONTROL FREAK'S GUIDE TO HAPPINESS

by Trent Beattie on Sep 02, 2013 in Featured, Live in Christ

Years ago, a caller asked a radio host what to do regarding her father. He wasn’t around while she was growing up, and his absenteeism hadn’t changed now that she was an adult. Despite his caring words on the phone, he wouldn’t actually follow through by visiting his daughter in person. The distraught daughter called in and wanted to know what to do.

What the host said shocked me.

Instead of assuring the caller that her father loved her, but that he had his own problems to deal with, the host declared bluntly that the caller’s father did not love her. Huh? I wondered how someone could say something so unkind, and in such a public manner. Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize…it was true.

If the caller’s father really loved her, he wouldn’t just say nice things; he would actually do something. We’re told in Matthew 21 of two sons: one who said he would not work in the vineyard, but later did; the other who said he would, but did not. Despite the second son’s affirmative words, only first son did his father’s will. Jesus summarizes the whole concept succinctly in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

So, the caller’s father did not actually love her. Yet, as bad as that sounds initially, that wasn’t her real problem. Her real problem was that she continued to expect him to love her. When her expectations were cruelly opposed again and again, she would feel renewed pain. The remedy to this pain was to accept what the host said: her father did not love her. Once that acceptance took place, she would be freed to deal with whatever happened or what didn’t happen.

Venerable Fulton Sheen commented many years ago that “Nothing creates a vacuum like wanting to be loved. To demand love is to lose love. A selfish heart creates its own vacuum.” By insisting on someone treating us in a certain way, we almost guarantee our own unhappiness, because we’re setting up an artificial standard that we do not have control over.

Expecting something and getting nothing, makes someone sad. Expecting nothing and getting nothing, makes no difference. Even expecting nothing and getting something will probably lift one’s spirit a little, but it won’t affect it too much, because happiness (or contentment) is correctly identified as an internal condition, rather than the possession of external things.

Before anyone gets the idea that this is stoicism or fatalism, take a look at another insight from Sheen: “Contentment has no kinship with fatalism, which refuses to plan or act [out of] the belief that nothing can be altered.” He further explained, “We do everything we can, as if all de pended on us, but we trust in God as if everything depended on Him. The talents we have must be put to work, but if they yield only a certain return, we do not murmur because the return is not greater.”

We do all we can to achieve our goals, but we don’t place our happiness in the attainment of those goals. We realize that happiness is not a matter of getting things, but of giving our best effort along the way, and accepting everything as a blessing from God. Then we become control freaks in the best sense of the term: We are in complete control of our happiness, because we don’t let people or things outside us determine our outlook on life.

The answer to the all-important question, “How do I find happiness?” is simply, “Stop looking for it.” The slightly longer answer is, “Stop looking for it where it cannot be found. The one and only place where happiness is ultimately found is in God. Nothing short of the infinite will bring about true happiness, and the way to gain God is by letting go of everything else.”

Sheen taught that “It is one of the paradoxes of creation that [we] gain control by submission.” When we stop trying to dictate to God what His laws should be, and when we stop trying to control the actions of others, we gain real control over our lives, which makes true happiness possible. Sheen has more to say on this topic in the newly-released book called Finding True Happiness. It is a short, simple, and salutary work that everyone, Catholic or not, would do well to read.

In addition to assembling Finding True Happiness, Trent edited Saint Alphonsus Liguori for Every Day. He is also the author of Scruples and Sainthood: Accepting and Overcoming Scrupulosity with Help of the Saints.