Recently, I began to accompany my nephew and Godson, Colin as he prepares for the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is a great honor to serve as his sponsor. So far, I am enjoying the opportunity for us to study, pray and talk together. We have had some great conversations about why he wants to be confirmed, what it means to him and how he sees this whole process. We have gotten to know each other in a deeper way – as our usual conversations have revolved around PVZ (his favorite video game), Lego architectural creations, his favorite movie characters and his daily adventures.
This past week we reflected on and prayed with the topic of “True Happiness.” I, as a sponsor, have to complete study modules that parallel those the teens are using. In the “Happiness or pleasure?” activity, we discussed what true happiness means to us. I was delighted to find out that we have similar answers and habits. We both said that what makes us happiest is when we spend time with those we love – especially family, both biological and religious. In the course of this conversation, he shared that when he notices others around him are down or stressed, he reaches out to them with a hug (family) or slap on the back (friends) or a (typical guy greeting) “Hey!” I too find great happiness in reaching out to others to connect or to offer a listening ear. Yet, nothing compares to the happiness I find in God and the true joy that flows from it.
I enjoyed this conversation with my nephew so much, that I would like to invite you to reflect on
“What brings you happiness?”
Then, reflect on Pope Francis’ “Top Ten Secrets to Happiness,” paraphrased here for you:
- Stop clinging to past conflict; move on and let others do the same.
- Give yourself to others; give your time and money to those in need.
- Be kind, humble and calm.
- Enjoy a healthy sense of joy and relaxation.
- Make Sundays a day for family time.
- Do good work and create good meaningful work for others.
- Care for the earth and respect the environment.
- Let go of negative things quickly.
- Respect the faith of others, engage in dialogue, and witness to your faith.
- Promote peace.
Take a few moments to consider these and pick one to do today. Perhaps, you would like to write your own top ten, or have it as a topic of discussion around your dinner table or zoom room today. I can’t wait to talk about it with my Dominican Sisters as we gather around our table this evening. For me, that is true community and joy in the Lord.
I would love to hear how your reflection and conversations go.
Blessings and much peace,