Unto you is born this day a Saviour – and yet it was night when he was born. This is an eternal illustration: it must be night- and becomes day in the night when the Saviour is born. – Soren Kierkegaard
The primary desires in all people are for beauty and goodness. Life is full of suffering but the small consolations provided in fleeting moments of happiness drive us on. For people who have nothing the colours of the sky during sunrise may be the only thing which reminds them that not all is misery. For people who have everything the expensive diversions which fill their lives (travel, education, cars) also bring about moments of happiness. But all such pleasures dissipate almost immediately, taking the wealthy aesthete back into a state of despair. Despair at their inevitable death. Despair brought on by their own emotional and psychological insecurities. This is how consumerism and consumption come about. All these diversions are an attempt to finally grab a hold of beauty and keep it with them forever, rather than only have brief glimpses of it. What we really want is to be left in a state of beauty for our entire lifetime.
My short analogy of human life goes thus
A man puts a dog in a pen. He stands on a platform higher than the dog can reach . For all it’s days the man dangles a steak above the dog, teasing it. He lets the dog sniff it, and on occasion allows the dog to lick it. Until one day when the man lets the dog take one bite of the steak. The dog is only given one bite before the steak is taken away again. The dog now wants the steak more than ever. After allowing the dog to keep whining for some indefinite amount of time, he shoots and kills the dog.
So goes Life and Happiness.
Or rather so goes life without God. With God, what you once thought was happiness turns out to be nothing. Through communion with Christ you are fueled from within by the source of all goodness, beauty and love. Whereas those who seek happiness on their own are left trying to catch the wind, the Christian is transformed by the light of the spiritual world and is tied to that light for all eternity.
Before becoming a Catholic I had spent most of my years as an Anglican. (I now consider the Anglican Church and other liberal protestant denominations to be Christianity Lite made with aspartame. A polite, watered-down, diet version of real Christianity. ) I then spent a short time as something of an agnostic. Then about five or six years ago I spent some serious time on the question of whether or not God does exist. All logic, reason, wisdom and evidence indicate that He certainly does exist, and I became a Deist. I mention this because it’s important to note how different Christianity is to all other religions. When I was a deist I think that my spiritual experience in regard to the Deity was similar to what non-Christians experience (whether from other religions or the “I’m spiritual but not religious” crowd). It was similar in the respect that I saw God as the creator of all things. What I didn’t have, was what only Christians have : a personal saviour. Without Jesus Christ, the concept of God remains largely that – a concept. To me God was some inexplicable, and impersonal force unconcerned with the petty tribulations of my life. Now as a confirmed Roman Catholic I can feel God’s presence all the time, and know that to Him my life is as important as any other. It is Christ’s perpetual vigil which now brings me happiness.
As I slowly and reluctantly became a Catholic, my ideas and expectations of God’s awesomeness kept on being exceeded so many times. This will keep happening even after my death. What I previously thought to be heaven turned out to only be purgatory. What I thought was gold was only bronze. The gifts God bestows exceed all I thought to be good and possible.