Science proves it. We are made for relationships. In a groundbreaking study of men that spanned 75 years and multiple generations, Harvard scientist Robert Waldinger and others found that healthy relationships were the key to emotional and physical health as well as overall happiness (see the TED talk on the subject).
Science is showing a fundamental truth of human existence that we all must pay attention to. In the end, the things of this world can only be enjoyed if we have meaningful relationships in which we feel connected and supported.
On this Sunday, when we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity, we recognize that our need for relationships is grounded in the very reality of God himself. God is three persons united by perfect love. Thus, God is a communion of persons in which perfect self-giving makes them one God.
Through the indwelling of grace, we are called to participate in this dynamism of communion. In this sense, our whole growth and development in the spiritual life is about stripping away the layers of attachments and disorders of the heart which prevent us from resting in our relationships.
Through the purgation of the Holy Spirit, we are able to shed the layers of illusions that thwart our relationship with God and our relationship with each and which ultimately thwart us from being happy.
Thus, true happiness is acquired through our willingness to suffer for love. We must suffer the fear and illusions which plague our heart, bringing them to the Lord with complete abandonment. We must be willing to face the shame that keeps us from confession and from devotion. We must be willing to suffer the abandonment of the Cross so as to come to the glory of the Resurrection.
I make this promise to you. If you are willing to surrender everything to the Lord through personal prayer, regular confession, and devotion to the Church and her teachings, in time a gentleness will take hold of your heart that will allow you to have meaningful relationships with your family and in your work.
Entering into the mystery of the Church opens us up to a whole new world of beauty and inspiration. Today, embrace the path of purification and growth in Jesus Christ. Embrace the path that leads to true happiness.