On Happiness

In pagan terms, μακαριος refers to the effortless self-sufficiency of a god in the plenitude of his power.

In the same way, but in human terms, this effortless self-sufficiency is echoed in, say, Billie Holiday’s “God bless the Child that’s got his own” or even in the easy, downward stroll of Albert Camus’ Sisyphus.

But in Christian terms, blessedness is always recognised externally. It is not an interior, emotional affect. It is always outward sign of grace.

These signs of grace are always spiritual, but may be exhibited materially or even immaterially.

Whoever enjoys the presence of the Holy Spirit will sense the peace and rest of the Kingdom of Heaven within him. Virtue will flow from such a man by divine energy and power. All the circumstances of his life, no matter how deplorable they might be, will be sanctified by the virtue that comes to him from the Lord his God.

In other words, we are not blessed by fortunate circumstances, but rather the Lord our God blesses the circumstances of our life through the virtue that He grants to us in the power of our soul.

In the same way, in the interior landscape of our soul, the presence of the peace and rest of God will not remove the defects of our soul. Rather, the energy of God’s dynamic love for us with quieten the effects of our sins in our heart, and will shield our will from the temptation to sin.

When that happens, the interior objects of our soul receive the blessing of the Lord, for now even the thorns in our side point us towards the keeping of God’s grace.

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