I attended a Catholic mass last Tuesday and heard the Bishop of Columbus speak. He said something that has changed my view of religion in a deep and meaningful way. In fact, after he confirmed the class of young people, he confirmed my formula to power.
In conclusion to his talk, the bishop said that unless you know, love, and serve God, you cannot be happy. I found it important that he concluded by mentioning the key to personal happiness.
So God brings us happiness…but how?
I thought about this and realized that God has absolute power. We do wrong and he tells us to accept him as having this power and he will take away that sin. Fault is our feeling from doing wrong. If God takes away that fault, we can be happy and that’s the only way we can be happy.
So why are people, both Christians and others, still unhappy?
Christianity is misused. Some followers rely on others for their connection to God. Their minister, their priest, other authority figures. But Chrisitianity tells us we need a personal relationship with God.
There is another misuse: We help others before we help ourselves. We feel good about ourselves through these actions, but Christianity tells us that the crux of finding happiness isn’t through our actions, it’s through recognizing we make mistakes and are imperfect. And this knowledge, not action, is where we must start:
We must accept ourselves
Religion fails -rather, WE fail- when we jump ahead of this state of mind: We fail as Christians when we think going to a church and giving to others will make us happy. We cannot be happy unless we know ourselves. Knowing God and knowing ourselves is the same thing. The saying God is love makes sense: When we know God, we love ourselves despite being imperfect.
But God cannot accept our guilt, only we can. The Bishop did not say God knows us. He said WE must know God. That’s why when we’re unhappy, it’s not God’s fault. It’s our fault. And once we accept this fault, we accept responsibility for ourselves. We lose that ego, we lose that worry. We become free and empowered.
Once we’re free from worry, we immediately become connected to others, because we see that everyone else is imperfect, too, and we’re not separate from them. And we see that when we don’t help them, it’s like not helping ourselves.
Freedom and connection are the consequences of accepting our imperfection. And freedom is happiness.
The Bishop was correct that we cannot be happy without knowing, loving and serving this idea: Accept your imperfections.
I thank the Bishop for confirming this in me.