In a book published in November 2022, Pope Francis talks about how to achieve happiness and reminds us that God, as our creator, wants the best for our lives.
The book is only available in Italian for now and is titled “I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY”. In the first chapter the Pope offers 15 “steps towards happiness.” They are presented here and over the next two days in Treats for the Soul.
1. “Read Inside Yourself”
Pope Francis explains that “our life is the most precious book that has been given to us” and it is precisely within those pages that we can find the truth and happiness that we long and search for. The Pope cites Saint Augustine who said “return to within yourself; truth dwells in the inner person.” He invites everyone, including himself, to read their own lives and journeys “with serenity.”
2. “Remember that You Are Unique”
“Each of us is, and is in the world to feel loved in our uniqueness and to love others as no one else can do in our place.” He adds that we should not sit on the bench, waiting to be called as someone’s backup. It is through our uniqueness that we learn to love. “Each person is unique in God’s eyes,” and remember “we are in the world to live a love story, a love story with God, to embrace the boldness of strong choices, to venture into the wonderful risk of loving.”
3. “Bring Out Your Beauty”
The Pope states that “beauty is one of the privileged ways to reach” God, who is “inseparably good, true and beautiful.” This beauty is not “according to the fashion of the world,” or “turned in on itself,” or one which “comes to terms with evil.” He cites Narcissus and Dorian Gray, as examples of those who sought the wrong kinds of beauty. “I speak of the beauty that never fades because it is a reflection of divine beauty.”
4. “Learn to Laugh at Yourself”
In a world which is constantly pressuring us to be perfect, Pope Francis recommends “occasionally looking in the mirror and laughing at yourself! It will do you good.”
5. “Live a Healthy Restlessness”
Francis warns against becoming “a Peter Pan who doesn’t want to grow up” and stays locked up in his or her room. He encourages us to live a healthy restlessness in our “desires and intentions.” “That restlessness that always pushes you to change, to never feel like you have ‘arrived.’”
Think of a time when YOU have laughed at YOURSELF. Do YOU have “a restlessness that pushes YOU to change?”
YOU MAY FEEL LOST AND ALONE, BUT GOD KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE, AND GOD HAS A GOOD PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE!