Finding True Happiness by Fulton Sheen

  • “The more highly we regard ourselves, the more miserable we become; while the more lowly we regard ourselves in the light of God’s grace, the more content we become.” (11)
  • “It is God you are looking for…No wonder everything short of God disappoints you.” (16)
  • Three laws of pleasure (19-20)

    • Pleasure is like beauty; it i conditioned by contrast —> requires self-discipline

    • Pleasure is deepened when it has survived pain

    • Pleasure is a by-product, not the goal: pleasure comes only from the fulfillment of a duty or obedience to a law

  • “There is an unmistakable connection between an empty life and a hectic pace. To make progress the world must have action, but it must also know why it is acting, and that requires thought, contemplation, and silence.” (23)
  • “silences prepares for action…love is preserved in silence” (24)
  • “We cannot get a real satisfaction out of our work unless we pause, frequently, to ask ourselves why we are doing it, and whether its purpose is one [of which] our minds wholeheartedly approve. Perhaps one of the reasons why so many of our economic and political projects miscarry is because they are in the hands of men with eyes to tightly glued to what they are doing that they never stop to question whether it should be done at all. Merely keeping busy, merely getting paid, can never satisfy man’s need for creative work.” (28)
  • “Humility is truth, or seeing ourselves as we really are…humility is the pathway to knowledge” (32)
  • “The less knowledge we have of anything, the less significant it seems. Our hatred of a person often decreases as we learn to know him better.” (35)
  • “Desire is to the soul what gravitation is to matter. When we know our desires, we know the direction our soul is taking. If desire is heavenly, we go upwards, if it is wholly earthly, we do downwards. Desire is like raw material out of which we fashion either our virtues or vices. As Our Lord said: ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart is also’ (Matthew 6:21).” (39)
  • “Mediocrity is a sin against ourselves…the great joys of life are to be found in the recesses of a contrite, broken heart.” (45)
  • Causes of discontent: egotism, envy, covetousness, jealousy (67)

    • contentment is not found in a particular place (68)

  • “Every cross in the world is tailor-made, custom-built, patterned to fit its bearer and no one else…” (76)
  • “mopping an office for the love of God is ‘bigger’ than running the office for the love money.” (77)
  • “You have freedom only to give it away. To whom do you give yours? You give it either to the moods, to the hour, to your egotism, to creatures, or to God.” (78)