True happiness is not found in corporal or sensible pleasures

October 24, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 308

To understand this more fully remember that true happiness does not consist in sensible or corporal pleasures, as the disciples of Epicurus and Mahomet [Muhammad of Islam] assume.

In the same class we may place bad Christians whose lips deny the doctrines of these men, but whose lives are entirely in accordance with them.

For do not the majority of the rich, who spend their lives in the mad pursuit of pleasure, tacitly acknowledge with Epicureans that pleasure is their last end, and with Mahometans [Muslims] that sensual delight is their paradise?

O disciples worthy of such masters! Why do you not abhor the lives of those whose teachings you profess to condemn? If you will have the paradise of Mahomet you must expect to lose that of Christ.

True happiness is not to be found in the body nor in corporal advantages, but in the spirit and in spiritual goods, as the greatest philosophers have asserted, and as Christianity confirms, though in a far more elevated sense.

The possession of these blessings will afford you more peace and happiness than the kings of the earth know amidst their power and splendor. How many of them have testified to this truth by joyfully forsaking their crowns after tasting the sweetness of God’s friendship! St. Gregory, who reluctantly left his monastery to ascend the papal throne, never ceased to sigh for his humble cell as ardently as a captive among infidels sighs for liberty and his native land.

As St. Augustine says, it is not merely the possession of goods, but the gratification of his just desires and the attainment of his real wants, that make man happy. These are to be found only in God. Whatever else man possesses, he knows not the blessing of peace.

Aman, the favorite of Assuerus, and powerful by his wealth and influence, was yet so disturbed because Mardochai did not salute him that he declared he found no comfort in all he possessed. See how small a thing can poison all the happiness which prosperity gives.

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