St Teresa of Avila
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
St. Claude de la Colombière
St. Paul of the Cross
St. Vincent de Paul
And the last but my no means the least, Mary Queen of Heaven
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her lowliness; *
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
The Almighty works marvels for me. *
Holy his name!
His mercy is from age to age, *
on those who fear him.
He puts forth his arm in strength *
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones *
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things, *
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant, *
remembering his mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his sons for ever.
In my own (very small) experience, I have found that my glimpses of profound happiness have been in those terrifying but remoulding moments when, after the habit of prayer finally takes hold, I have been confronted with an awareness of my own failings, which has plunged me into the abyss of nothingness; a place of complete terror; but from which I see before me the light of life in the figure of Jesus Christ.
Then, in letting go my hollow shell of a being – in opening my heart in utter abandonment to the Lord – through His grace He brings me into life in Him; a union in the Holy Trinity.
And in losing myself in this profound interpenetration, I feel myself entering into a true living self, a true personal identity in Christ; true freedom, true love, true happiness.
My heart is burned with His love. My spirit soars free.
I live inasmuch as I live in relation to Him, inasmuch as I life for Him, and by consequence, for my fellow brothers and sisters.
Such Joy! Such blissful happiness!
But why oh why can’t I stay in this state always?! As St Paul says: "I do not understand my own behaviour; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate……. the good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want – that is what I do." [Romans 7:15-19]
But thankfully, he also has the answer: "[it is] about my weaknesses that I am happiest of all to boast, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me; and that is why I am glad of weaknesses, insults, constraints, persecutions and distress for Christ’s sake, For it is when I am weak that I am strong". [2 Corinthians 12: 9-10]
On this International Day of Happiness, my bet’s on Christ.