The search for happiness is one of humanity’s greatest motivators. But most of us seek it through higher salaries, bigger and better homes, the newest gadget or latest fashion. A recent survey of wellbeing highlights three simple keys to happiness that most people can possess: a balanced and generous approach to money, a strong sense of life purpose and a few close and supportive relationships.
The promise to live with our loved one “until death do us part" has gradually lost its meaning. Today, it is considered unrealistic to get married with the idea that the relationship will last forever.
More than half a century has passed since the beginning of the sexual revolution, which was characterized by a period of suspension of conventional boundaries, in order to experience a deeper sexual freedom. Fifty years of experimentation, however, do not seem to have been enough to dispel the persisting suffering and confusion present in romantic relationships.
"It isn't the man I married. It isn't the man I knew." This is how Sabina Shalom, whose husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, begins her confession. The woman, who has reached a respectable age, says that it all started with some serious quarrels between her and her husband: "Papers were lost, bills were not getting paid."
The scenario in which God is a judge and His creatures are subject to His judgment culminates, in the Bible, with a happy ending for all lovers of righteousness. But what would be the end of a situation in which God is the accused in a trial instituted by His creatures? Whose ending would be happy?
The unverified stories of children dying, due to severe emotional and sensorial deprivation, despite being fed and medically cared for, spread the theory that one can die because of lack of love, although being well taken care of. However, if we look more closely at the historical and personal human experience, we find that it is not necessarily the lack of love that kills, but rather the lack of meaning, or purpose.
Forgiveness is the central idea in Christianity that sets it apart from other religions.
"Love means never having to say you're sorry." When I first heard this line from the "Love Story" blockbuster, I thought I was the only one who didn't understand what it meant. However, after watching a recent interview with the lead actress, I was reassured. She too thought it was a stupid thing to say. Still, the phrase was a hit at the time, because it resonated with an ideal of the era: absolute freedom in love.
When I'm tired I can't love! Many times I have lived this reality and even assessed it as the exact end of love.
We carry sad stories with us, and the meaning of these stories often eludes us. What if we discovered that these stories provide unique opportunities to change lives? Cori Salchert discovered, through family tragedy, the resolve and desire to take care of children with terminal illnesses.
Romantic love is easily hurt and somewhat pretentious, especially when faced with direct honesty. Friendship is more solid.
To understand the love of God, we are encouraged to look at the Cross. The unnatural position of the Son, nailed to a non-existent guilt, raises a storm of questions in the other children of God. The most disturbing of them, I think, would be: What kind of love is this?
We love people for who they are. But there is a kind of love that is too high for us to truly comprehend in all its nuances, a love that manifests itself towards people no matter who they are or what they become. We find a love such as this in the beautiful story of Ian and Larissa.
There is a saying that describes one’s life partner as being most appreciated during two life stages: before marriage and after the funeral. Unfortunately, proverbs and sayings hint at a reality which is also faithfully rendered by statistics showing that love wears off pretty soon in many marriages. But maybe this is part of the problem—the fact that we overburden love, treating it like an ingredient with magical powers.
Sartre may have been right when he said Hell is other people. Yet, for some, their first step toward Heaven is meeting the God who shelters in someone else's soul.
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