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St Benedict's Catholic School

St Benedict's
Catholic School

Weekly Food For Thought For Youths by Fr Alvan

Theme: Reflecting on a message of Happiness

With joy and gratitude, I welcome you all into the new year of 2018. We remain ever grateful to God for His grace and mercy which followed us throughout 2017 and has led us into 2018. Did you ever remember to say thanks to God for allowing you see the New Year? If you have not, can you just stop reading now and say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the New Year and then commit the year into His hands, remember He has said in the Gospel of St John 15:5, "cut off from me you can do nothing". Let us therefore begin the year with Him. Acknowledge Him in all you do this year and He will direct your paths.
(Proverbs 3:6)

I want to begin this year by sharing with you the lovely text by Fernando Pessoa.

"You can have flaws, be anxious, and even be angry, but do not forget that your life is the greatest enterprise in the world. Only you can stop it from going bust. Many appreciate you, admire you and love you. Remember that to be happy is not to have a sky without a storm, a road without accidents, work without fatigue, and relationships without disappointments. To be happy is to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in the stage of fear, love in discord. It is not only to enjoy the smile, but also to reflect on the sadness. It is not only to celebrate the successes, but to learn lessons from the failures. It is not only to feel happy with the applause, but to be happy in anonymity. Being happy is not an achievement for those who can travel within themselves. To be happy is to stop feeling like a victim and become your destiny’s author. It is to cross deserts, it is to be able to find an oasis in the depths of our soul. It is to thank God for every morning, for the miracle of life. Being happy is not being afraid of your own feelings. It’s to be able to talk about you. It is having the courage to hear a ‘no’. It is confidence in the face of criticism, even when unjustified. It is to kiss your children, pamper your parents, to live poetic moments with friends, even when they hurt us. To be happy is to let live the creature that lives in each of us, free, joyful and simple. It is to have maturity to be able to say: “I made mistakes”. It is to have the courage to say “I am sorry”. It is to have the sensitivity to say, “I need you”. It is to have the ability to say “I love you”. May your life become a garden of opportunities for happiness... that in spring may it be a lover of joy, in winter a lover of wisdom. And when you make a mistake, start over again. For only then will you be in love with life. You will find that to be happy is not to have a perfect life. But use the tears to irrigate tolerance. Use your losses to train patience. Use your mistakes to sculpture serenity. Use pain to plaster pleasure. Use obstacles to open windows of intelligence. Never give up... never give up on people who love you. Never give up on happiness. For life is an incredible show."
“Palco de vida” (Stages of life), Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935)

Remember, happiness can be affective. If you begin your January on at happy note, then the rest of the months will be affected with happiness too. I pray that God will give us all the grace to find happiness and fulfilment in all our undertakings this month and the rest of the year. May His light of His love continue to abide with us so that all we do will be to the greater glory of His name and for our own sanctification. Wishing you a happy and blessed new year.

Fr Alvan