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Happiness? - Father Robert Spitzer

Updated: Oct 1, 2022

In this 3-minute video Father Spitzer from the Magis Center discusses what happiness could be.

Do you want to be happy?

Every human desires happiness.

But what is happiness?

"Happiness depends on ourselves." More than anybody else, Aristotle enshrines happiness as a central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. As a result, he devotes more space to the topic of happiness than any thinker prior to the modern era.

Aristotle was convinced that a genuinely happy life required the fulfillment of a broad range of conditions, including physical as well as mental well-being. One of Aristotle's most influential works is the Nicomachean Ethics, where he presents a theory of happiness that is still relevant today, over 2,300 years later. Aristotle asks: "What is the ultimate purpose of human existence?" What is that end or goal for which we should direct all our activities? Everywhere we see people seeking pleasure, wealth, and a good reputation. But while each of these has some value, none of them can occupy the place of the chief good for which humanity should aim. To be an ultimate end, an act must be self-sufficient and final, "that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else" (Nicomachean Ethics, 1097a30-34).

Philosopher Blaise Pascal said in his Pensées:

“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.”

Our culture today tells us to Eat, drink, and be merry they say, for tomorrow we die, and that is that (Luke 12:19). Food, sex, money does not last forever, and I do not last forever, so let us live it up now.

We all know that lifestyle is self-destructive. A personal relationship with Christ takes you beyond death beyond all the shallow things you cling to in this world for happiness.

Jesus said, “No one will take your joy from you” — not in this life, nor in the life to come.

Not life or death, or angels or principalities, or things present or things to come, or powers or height or depth, or anything else in all creation will be able to take our joy from us in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 8:38–39).

I have discovered in my 64 years that God is the end of all my cravings. Nothing obtainable in this life other than a relationship with Christ has any lasting value. Paradise is to know him, to experience his love and his desire: to be seen in that glory. Happiness and eternal joy are not an object, but he. Will you turn from sin and go to him?


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