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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Happytudes or Beatitudes? And A Fleece Moment

Remember the old movie, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, based loosely on the life of Gladys Aylward? This woman understood a basic truth of finding true happiness. The film begins with this statement.

 This story is based upon the life of Gladys Aylward, a woman of our time, who was and is dedicated to the simple, joyful and rare belief that we are all responsible for each other.

Christ states this principle like this.

John 12:24-25Douay-Rheims 

24 Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die,
25 Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal.

And, a simple commentary on this movie found on the website here, reminds us all of the true call to happiness. The person making this comment is a Mormon, but she knows something which the vast majority of our youth in today's America do not know.

We will never know what we are capable of without completely, totally trusting in God.
 “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” – 1 Nephi 4:6

Ms. Alyward had a dream for happiness in being a missionary to China. Too many people have self-centered dreams, which will never make them happy.

The American Dream grew out of the immigrant desire for a better life, and connected with the messianic myth of Manifest Destiny.

In this new survey, the falsity of the American Dream has morphed into a more dangerous form, indicating a lack of spiritual insight in our youth.

As an ex-college lecturer, I can say for sure that the vast majority of youth in my classes should not have been taking college courses, but learning some necessary, useful trade or skill, many which are missing from our society. Apparently, there is a shortage, for example, of car mechanics, as well as practical nurses.

The substitution of the desire for money rather than the desire for a house, family, status, security indicates a decay of spiritual focus among youth. Money does not make one happy, but, of course, the falsity of the original American Dream, being basically a materialistic formula, does not make a person happy, either.

Yes, we all need, and do I not know this personally, housing, food, stability, safe environments. But, we all do not need to own property, although this is laudable and a right, even held sacred by the Catholic Church's teaching on private property, we all do not need lots of stuff, and we certainly do not need to be rich.

The problem with these dreams points to the lack of knowledge or understanding that as Americans, our ultimate goal is not the house for sale down the block, or the newest car, or a flat-screen tv, or the ability to go out eating daily with friends. The goal of each human is union with God.

Not part of the American Dream.....

But part of God's Perfect Will for us....

The only ways to be happy in the old version of the American Dream have been set aside by fantastical dreams of wealth, and power.

Do we all need a reminder of these "happytudes" as we use to call the Jerusalem Bible translation of the Beatitudes?

And, of course, beatitude is not the same as happytude.

The vision of Christ for our happiness is not the same as the American Dream. But, this permutation of it as expressed by some young people, of being rich, shows how far some members of this generation are from the truth of the necessity of a relationship with God and with others in service and love.


Matthew tells us of the real American Dream, which is not a dream, the but reality of God's plan for each one of us who walk these lands, and all lands.

Matthew 5 Douay-Rheims 

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him.
And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
10 Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
12 Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
I am putting the proverbial fleece before the Lord. If you do not know this phrase, read this:
Judges 6:36-40Douay-Rheims 
36 And Gedeon said to God: If thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast said,
37 I will put this fleece of wool on the floor: if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry on all the ground beside, I, shall know that by my hand, as thou hast said, thou wilt deliver Israel.
38 And it was so. And rising before day wringing the fleece, he filled a vessel with the dew.
39 And he said again to God: let not thy wrath be kindled against me if I try once more, seeking a sign in the fleece. I pray that the fleece only may be dry, and all the ground wet with dew.
40 And God did that night as he had requested: and it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.

By this sign, Gideon knew God's Will for him. His feast day, btw, is September 26th, as we consider him, like the patriarchs of old, a saint.  
Now, I am asking for a "fleece moment". Two priests have encourage me to pursue setting up the Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs and the house of contemplation here, where I am. Of course, I did not want to be where the two priests are suggesting, but if this is God's Will, so be it.

My life is not my own.
I need about 150,000 USD to buy a house in an area suggested by one of the priests. If the money comes to do this, (and the house is three minutes from a church where there is Sunday Latin Mass), then I know God wants this here.
Anyone who thinks he or she can be a benefactor, please let me know through comments, which now ask for Google links, in order to comment. Or if you have my email already, just contact me that way.
Thanks for your consideration and prayers.

Excuse spacing problems--am hurrying out the door soon for Holy Mass.