Finding True Happiness

Satisfying Our Restless Hearts

Author: Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ

Publisher: Ignatius Press

ISBN: 1681496550

Category: Psychology

Page: 320

View: 9188

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One of the hottest topics in contemporary culture is happiness—so much so that the United Nations declared an International Happiness Day in response to the immense popularity of Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy”. The explanation for this current fixation seems to lie in the contrary phenomenon—unhappiness. Despite the fact that we have tremendous access to every imaginable form of entertainment, we experience a pervading sense of insecurity, emptiness, and malaise amid sporadic peak experiences. The problem seems to lie less in the external environment than in the internal one. We seem, in the words of Viktor Frankl, to be suffering from an absence of meaning that pervades both individuals and societies, giving rise to a collective emptiness, loneliness, and alienation. Finding True Happiness attempts to provide a way out of this personal and cultural vacuum by helping people to identify and then reach for happiness. As Aristotle noted 2,400 years ago, happiness is the one thing we can choose for its own sake—everything else is chosen for the sake of happiness. After an exhaustive investigation of philosophical, psychological, and theological systems of happiness, author Fr. Spitzer developed the “Four Levels of Happiness”, which he based on the classical thinkers Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas; the contemporary philosophers Marcel, Scheler, Buber, Ricoeur, and Jaspers; and the modern psychologists Maslow, Frankl, Erikson, Seligman, Kohlberg and Gilligan. Finding True Happiness is both a philosophical itinerary and a practical guidebook for life’s most important journey—from the mundane and the meaningless to transcendent fulfillment No other book currently available combines such breadth of practical advice and such depth of philosophical, psychological, and spiritual wisdom.
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The Light Shines on in the Darkness

Contending with Suffering and Evil through Faith

Author: Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D

Publisher: Ignatius Press

ISBN: 1586179578

Category: Religion

Page: 410

View: 9651

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Why would an all-loving God allow suffering? Aren't suffering and love opposed to one another? Does suffering have any benefit for this life? Does it have any benefit for eternal life? Is there any objective evidence for God – for a soul that will survive bodily death – for the resurrection of Jesus? If there is testable, objective evidence for a resurrection, what is this resurrection like? Who is God anyway – benevolent and loving or angry and retributive? Father Spitzer gives a comprehensive explanation of contemporary evidence for God, the soul, and the resurrection, and helps us understand how God uses suffering to lead us to the resurrection, and to compassion for others. He also shows how the Holy Spirit guides us through times of suffering toward our salvation – and other's salvation, explaining the signs and interior movements that reveal the Spirit's actions. But even armed with this eternal perspective, serious questions remain. If God has power over nature, why doesn't He just perform a lot more miracles when we pray for them so that we won't have to suffer? Why did God make the natural world imperfect in the first place? Wouldn't it have been better to create us in a world without suffering – without challenge, need, and self-sacrifice? Father Spitzer not only addresses the perplexing questions associated with suffering but he teaches us how to suffer well. He points out some of the most common errors we make in interpreting God's motives for and alleviation of suffering. He explains why suffering – in combination with love – is one of the most powerful motivating agents for personal, cultural, and societal development. Suffering and love are inextricably bound up with one another on the highest levels of human meaning.
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