NGUYEN: Reclaim your happiness in the new year

January 28, 2020

Google search is amazing, don’t you think? I just did a preliminary search on “ways to live a healthy and happy life” and came up with these: positive thinking, daily exercising, adequate sleeping, healthy diet, quality relationships, gratitude, meditation, etc. Let me explain further.

Lately, the provision for a healthy and happy life has become the mainstream for many. Various nutrition programs are available out there. In addition, healthcare studies show that a healthy life is a happy life. Indeed, a healthy body enhances a healthy mind and a healthy spirit, which subsequently brings about a happy life. Definitely, the happy outside begins with the healthy inside. 

As we have begun the new year 2020, let us take this opportunity to renew and refresh our lifestyle. In other words, our New Year’s resolutions. In the new year, we wish one another a “Happy New Year.” Truly, happiness is what every person desires. However, often people have wrong notions of happiness; henceforth, they find it in the wrong places. 

According to St. Augustine, “We all want to live happily; in the whole human race, there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated.” “God has placed this desire in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it” (CCC #1718). Furthermore, St. Augustine affirmed, “Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in You.”

Ultimately, man has but one goal: perfect happiness, which is God. Nothing more on this Earth will satisfy this human thirst (St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas).

No matter how vital and strategic our New Year’s resolutions might seem, they are not sufficient, because the physical aspect usually outweighs the spiritual aspect. To own a quality of life is equal to cultivating a balanced, disciplined lifestyle, both physically and spiritually. 

Today, I would like to share with you the secret to sanctity and happiness by Désiré-Joseph Cardinal Mercier to reclaim your happiness once again.

Below are the exact texts on the prayer card:

I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to all the noises of the world in order to enter into yourself. Then, in the sanctuary of your baptized soul (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit), speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him: O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I to do; direct my every choice. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me, and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your Will.

I came across this prayer some time ago, and ever since this prayer has become my refuge, my comfort. I would highly recommend this practice as a daily routine: immerse yourself in meditation, rest in the presence of the Holy Spirit, savor each phrase of this prayer and attentively listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Then, you patiently anticipate the spiritual fruits and happiness that will bloom.

Honestly, tending to the needs of body, mind and spirit is the assurance of obtaining and maintaining a happy life. Once one has a physical and spiritual balanced, healthy life, one will reclaim happiness with confidence and cope with life problems at best.

Sister Maria Goretti T. Nguyen, OP, is an associate director with the Archdiocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.