The Best!

Psalm 84:10
For a day in Thy courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

We are made for happiness.  It’s the point of our existence.  Nobody ever does anything but try to make themselves happy.  So why isn’t everybody happy?  Because we do not seek happiness where it is found:  in God.  We seek happiness in almost everything:  food, sex, money, power, the usual suspects.  And these things provide a measure of happiness, to be sure.  Indeed, some forms of happiness are nobler than others, but even the lowest are good only as far as they go.  A really good piece of chocolate is good, but not as noble a good as the happiness derived from friendship, or the love of a spouse.  But even these nobler forms of happiness are not, in the end, enough.  After that good marriage, the great job, the involvement in the charitable work, the adopted children, even the life of self-sacrifice such as Mother Teresa’s, the soul still cries out for happiness which is ultimately found only in God.  Compared to that happiness, all our happiness is like straw, good as it is.  Mother Teresa, who was wise, knew this and sought all her happiness in God, where she found it.  We, who are often fools, seek ultimate happiness here on earth.  But when what is good becomes the rival of what is best, it becomes an idol – the tent of the wicked.  That is why our life is a long process of dying to ourselves and living to God.  God desires that we have what is best, not that we settle for what is second best.  Today, ask God for what is best and receive it with joy.  It’s the only way to happiness.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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