How strange are those words of Jesus in today's world.
Why is it a good thing to weep/mourn/hunger/be hated...?
Why would I prefer suffering over happiness?
I guess part of this would come from the fact that we don't know anymore what true happiness is. We confuse enjoyment with happiness.
And yet, we think life is unfair if anything goes one millimeter off where we'd want it to go.
As our society moves away from the concept of the eternity of God, that this life on earth is only temporary, we reverse our purpose to pursue a hedonistic life, of pure pleasure. Instead of a eudaemonic one (conductive to happiness)...
We prefer the here and now, the epicurean, and despise the virtues, the pursuit of beautido as St. Thomas Aquinas called the perfect happiness that will be possible when we are in the presence of God.
Our Lady of Lourdes told St. Bernadette: "I do not promise happiness in this world, but in the next."
Suffering is part of the human experience in this world. But also, it doesn't mean we have to be depressed because of it.
The promise that God is with us, that He cares about us, brings us a supernatural happiness that we can start experiencing in this world. St. Thomas Aquinas called it Felicitas. To attain this we must use both our reason and exercise virtue.
Is our hope that God will bring consolation in Heaven? And that alone, can bring us joy. Joy, that we share with all around us.
Let's turn to Matthew 5:3-10, or on page 46 of the PAPA Handbook, and meditate on the Beatitudes. On the promise of consolation that Jesus has made for us for our eternal reward.