God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Happiness Only Comes From Within

Christ and the Samaritan Woman by Stefano Erardi
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the woman at the well
where she can find eternal happiness.

For the first 25 years of my Priesthood I served the Chicago Archdiocese as a full time teacher of youth. It all began at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, at the time a year round home for 850 children, ranging in age of nursery age toddlers to high school seniors: aptly named, “The City of Youth”.   After a five year assignment there, I went on to 20 years as a teacher at Quigley Seminary, the training ground for future priests. I never foresaw all of this!

Immediately I chose St. John Bosco, the Apostle of Youth, as my favorite Saint. I read and re-read every biography of his life that I could find to help me in the difficult work of helping young people grow into living images of Jesus Christ. In his time in Turin, Italy, (a northern industrial city, Don (Father) Bosco took boys off the street and prepared them for life. In his daily talks to his children, Don Bosco often repeated his favorite maxim . . . “There is no happiness in sin.” I traveled to Turin a number of times!

I found myself repeating his words to the youngsters I taught! We are always seeking happiness. Each choice we make, whether we realize it or not, is based on our pursuit of happiness, fulfillment and contentment. Some examples of these choices could be, the food we buy, the work we choose to do, the man or woman we take as our spouse, the school we attend.

In life, the world, the flesh, the devil – all offer us many choices, many of them against God’s Will for our lives: dishonest money, broken vows, and addictive drugs. If we accept these forbidden things, we bring much unhappiness into our hearts. Cry out . . . “There is no happiness in sin!” I personally found this saying a powerful means of turning from these attractive and alluring choices. The true picture of my search then becomes evident.

Happiness comes from within! It’s an inside job! Happiness isn’t found in our big house, the cars in the driveway, a fat bank account or the companionship of other men and women. Happiness springs from our heart! My favorite Beatitude: “Happy are they who hunger and thirst for holiness, They shall have their fill.” What a helpful custom to say this to ourselves often!

If we are unhappy, discontented with life and despairing – refuse to blame this on someone or something that we do or do not have. Remember – Happiness comes from within! Perhaps we are making the wrong choices, putting emphasis on the wrong things. There is no happiness in sin. I always pray that my former students are using this in their search for peace!


Fr. George Mc Kenna

March 19, 2017 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,


  1. Thank you for your help and inspiration Joe UK

    Comment by Joe Harrington | March 19, 2017 | Reply

  2. You brought me happiness as a kid Father Mckenna. Your one of many fond memories at St Barnabas. .

    Comment by Charles Brophy | March 19, 2017 | Reply

    • +J.M.J+ Charlie! I am at Mass occasionally at St. Barnabas, and saw this sheet from Fr. McKenna. I am always looking for the next one. He writes so wonderfully! What a brilliant man!

      Your brother in Christ:)

      Comment by Anthony Louis Spalla | June 8, 2017 | Reply

  3. We have a nice house. I am happy. I think of the time down the road when we will lose this house. That makes me unhappy. The difference between the two is directly related to money. Money can buy happiness.

    Comment by Gerry Ryan | March 19, 2017 | Reply

    • Gerry, Based on your reply I think Fr. McKenna’s message here rings true. True happiness, the type that doesn’t fade is only found from within. If your happiness is tied to things, then you don’t possess true happiness – it will pass with time and things. Thank you Fr. McKenna for continuing to teach and inspire us with your spiritual wisdom.

      Comment by Gerard J. | March 19, 2017 | Reply

  4. Ideal words to life by.
    Hope to see you soon.
    Bless you.

    Comment by Matt Marich | March 19, 2017 | Reply

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