Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
John 8: 31-32
Click on the Bible to find today's scripture passage or find it in your own bible at home.
God created you for freedom and wants you to be free. Jesus is telling us that truth is essential for freedom and happiness. Let's take a look at how truth and happiness are connected.
What is true happiness?
God created you with an incredible desire to be happy. We are all searching for happiness and do things in life because we believe they will make us happy.
Sometimes the things we choose to do bring us
happiness, and sometimes they don’t. Many times the
things we think will make us happy leave us feeling
empty and disappointed.
Many times we do things that give us pleasure but in
the end, do not make us happy. Pleasure is not the
same thing as happiness. What is the difference?
"Pleasure cannot be sustained beyond the activity
producing it." In other words, as soon as you finish
doing what gives you pleasure, the joy disappears.
What kinds of things bring you pleasure? (eating good food, sleeping, getting new things, playing video games ...)
Why do we yearn for happiness?
"God has placed in our hearts such an infinite desire for happiness that nothing can satisfy it but God himself. All earthly fulfillment gives us only a foretaste of eternal happiness. Above and beyond that, we should be drawn to God."
Pleasure is good and beautiful, and in the right context God wants us to experience pleasure in life. But pleasure is not happiness. Happiness is different. Happiness is sustainable. In other words, it lasts longer than the activity which brings you joy. So, what will really make you happy? Happiness is the result of right living. Honesty, caring for others, and patience lead to happiness.
God wants you to be happy. Jesus says in the Gospel of John "I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete." He wants you to be completely happy and he wants to actively help you find that happiness.
The problem is we don't always make choices that bring us happiness. But how do you know what is the right thing to do? One of God’s greatest gifts to you is a conscience. Your conscience guides you by showing you the right choices to make and guiding you to the best way to live and be the-best-version-of-yourself.
Matthew Kelly reminds us how to make great decisions:
"If you want to make great decisions, just do the next right thing. Don’t worry about what you have to do next week or next year; just do the next right thing right now."
Even though God has given us incredible minds to reason with, we still do a lot of stinking thinking. Stinking thinking is a way of thinking that is not good for us nor is it the truth.
The world around us is filled with people who will try to convince you that "if it feels good, do it" or "what's true for you, may not be true for me" or to seek to do the least amount of work you can or to be selfish and greedy. This is stinking thinking. These philosophies do not inspire anything good and ultimately lead you away from happiness and who God created you to be.
What would happen to a community—a family, a parish, or a nation—if everyone lived by these self-centered philosophies? Those communities would grow apart, fall apart, and self-destruct.
Truth, beauty, and goodness: These are what your soul is thirsty for.
Discussion / Reflection
This stinking thinking leads to the lie that there is no truth—and if there is no truth, there is no right and wrong. But you know there is such a thing as right and wrong.
What are some things that you desire that are good for you?
What is something you thought would make you happy, but in fact left you feeling empty, unhappy, miserable, used, deceived, or worse? (A present you asked for and really wanted perhaps?)
How do you feel when you tell a lie? How do you feel when someone lies to you?
How would the world be different if we just lived by the Ten Commandments?
Discuss these questions with your parents or sponsor OR write your thoughts in a Confirmation journal.
You will only ever be happy to the extent that you align your life with truth, and make choices based upon what is right.
The virtue of COURAGE is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
What has been the most courageous moment of your life?
Who is the most courageous person you know? Why?
In what situations would you like to have more courage?
The most dominant emotion in our society today is fear. We are afraid. Afraid of rejection and failure, afraid of certain parts of town, afraid of certain types of people, afraid of criticism, afraid of suffering, afraid of change, afraid to tell people how we really feel, afraid of losing the things we have worked hard to buy, afraid of what our friends will think . . . We are afraid of so many things. Often, we are afraid to be the-best-version-of-ourselves.
But before too long we are going to meet someone who will banish our fears and fill us with courage to live an incredible life.
Lord thank you for creating me with a desire to seek truth and happiness. Show me what will make me truly happy, help me to discern the truth and stay away from stinking thinking. Please give me courage to face all of life's challenges and fears and help me do what is right. Amen.
Share in the Forum
We have created a discussion forum for the Parish of St. Timothy Confirmation Group. Every week there will be a new topic of discussion related to that week's lesson. The forum is open only to those participating in the 2020 / 2021 Confirmation preparation program.
Here's where I'll be verifying your participation.
This forum is a place for serious, courteous discussion about spiritual-related topics. I don't want to see rude or unnecessarily silly comments or questions. Any unacceptable posts will be deleted, the student will lose access to the forum and we will communicate with your parents.
This week in the forum ... answer the question: What is true happiness? and share something that makes you happy. Remember, what gives you pleasure doesn't always give you lasting happiness.
You can send me a message below if you prefer not to use the forum.