Monday, November 2, 2015

Is It Pleasure or Happiness?

Pleasure is the gratification of the senses, fulfilling our desires. The opposite would be pain. Hedonism is the school of thought where pleasure is the highest good.  These are the words that introduce an article in the Kyeongyang magazine, by a Catholic College President, writing about one of the ever-present temptations we face. 

Pleasure's common element is being temporary;  we are gratified, but it soon disappears and we long for something else: 'hedonic adaptation' followed often by addiction.

We hear that modern man is losing his roots, his inner pillars are shaking and she seeks self-preservation in pleasure. One becomes alienated from the self. Young people, no matter how hard they work and save for the future,when obstacles are too many to overcome, the danger of falling into a life of pleasure is present. 

When education is not for the building up of  the human and aimed only towards wordily success, young people will not have the necessary knowledge and virtue to overcome difficulties of life.When the culture and the social order begin to fall apart, and morality becomes muddied, values are confused. 

Happiness that comes from pleasure is located in the body; the fullness of happiness comes from the mental and spiritual.  What do we learn from this distinction between the two? Bodily happiness may start with spice but leaves us with a thirst. It is only the authentic happiness that has God in the equation that will last.

Psalm number four shows us what the spread of the hedonistic culture will mean for those that confront the culture."Men of rank, how long will you be dull of heart? Why do you love what is vain and seek after falsehood? Many say... put gladness into my heart, more than when grain and wine abound."

Searching for pleasure is a temptation for those with a religious belief and a challenge. Will it be this emotion for pleasure that needs repeated changes or will we realize we are weak and repent? This is the way of living as a Christian.

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