God alone satisfies. – St. Thomas Aquinas
Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, “Rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4, WEB-BE
God is our happiness. This is true whether we are saints or sinners. This is true whether we are among the blessed in heaven or among those who are damned. Those in heaven are blessed because they have recognized this truth and they have allowed God to have mercy on them and save them. Those in hell are suffering because they have forever lost the one true joy that could fill their hearts and heal their aching souls.
God is everything that is good and beautiful and pleasing. To be with Him is to be healed, to find peace, to be filled with the highest joys and the most infinite of delights. To be without Him is to be in darkness, in pain, in emptiness and turmoil and death.
But why is it then that in this life, it seems so hard to follow Him? Why do so many people choose the path away from Him instead of the path that will take us closer to Him?
Maybe it’s because in this life, it isn’t so obvious yet that following Him would make us happy. In truth, following Him oftentimes lead the way to various trials and suffering.
In this life, we see evil people succeed and good ones suffer injustice. In this life, we see sinners healthy and strong, and we see saintly ones sick and even martyred to death.
Where then is the good in following Him?
The answer is not at all simple or easy to understand. For many things that take place in this life are beyond our understanding, and many questions that we have now can only be fully answered in the time to come.
However, we can have clues that could help strengthen our faith, clues that could give us hope in the midst of our suffering and that could give meaning to our lives despite all the evil that we see.
Let us remember that there are many kinds of good things. There are good things that are only temporary in nature, one that we’d lose later on, like our physical beauty or like our earthly possessions which we cannot take with us when we die. There are also good things that are superficial only. They give us external pleasure, but they fail to give us true joy within. It is like a person that becomes rich by stealing from others and abusing the poor. His bodily senses may be satisfied but he is empty within. He has no real peace.
On the other hand, there are good things that are truly and fully good, both in time and in essence. These are the good things that will never be lost to us and never taken away. These are also the good things that give us true happiness in substance. They don’t just give us bodily pleasure, amusement or excitement. They give us peace, fulfillment, meaning and bliss!
Choosing God as our happiness is choosing the really good things, those are the good things that will surely last and will forever give us true life and joy.
The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for… – CCC 27
The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it… – CCC 1718
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23, WEB-BE
Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy… – John 16:22, WEB-BE