Today's reading from the beginning of the sermon on the mount, where we hear the eight Beatitudes, I'd a sort of blueprint for the Christian life. Jesus begins his most important sermon with a road map to becoming a saint. Beatitude means blessedness, as in sharing God's blessedness. And when Jesus uses the word blessed today, it can also be translated as "happy."
Father Glenn at holy family Parish always says this phrase, and has even established as the slogan for his parish: "holiness is happiness"!
You may remember that I have spoken of happiness in a different way from the Continuing Education Days for Clergy. We talked about four different ways that we experience happiness, each being more deep and lasting than the one before but also more difficult.
A review of the four levels of happiness
One – material pleasures (I see the pie, I lunge for the pie)
Two – ego - comparison (Personal success, even at the cost of others)
Three - contribution (What kind of legacy am I going to leave behind?)
Four – internal things (love, truth, unity, goodness, beauty) finding God
Father Spitzer's accounts of experiencing the fourth level of happiness.
What is it for us? I think of World Youth Day, or the March for life, or an ordination Mass with so many from the diocese gathered around. Even the weddings that I experienced last weekend we're just another reminder of profound unity we can have with other people.
That unity that we can feel on earth, is only a glimpse of the unity we can have in heaven. That is why we call the reception of Eucharist "holy Communion." That is why we refer to the saints in heaven as the communion of saints. Let us follow Jesus' road map and blueprint for holiness on earth, so we can experience are full happiness both in this life and the eternal communion of the next life. Eucharistic Jesus, make us to be Saints!