Appreciation is key to true happiness in life, priest says

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Fr. Xavier Alpasa, SJ

MANILA, Feb. 16, 2014—Achieving true happiness may be a complicated and perplexing task for some, but not for this Jesuit priest who has come up with a simple formula to obtain lifetime bliss. 

Fr. Xavier “Javy” Alpasa, SJ, in his talk before the lay faithful during the Katolikong Pinoy recollection on Saturday, said that the secret to achieve true happiness in life is through the grateful appreciation of one’s blessings. 

“You have everything you need right now to be happy… The problem is that you choose not to notice them,” Alpasa said, noting how people easily fail to appreciate the blessings bestowed upon them. 

He said that in most instances, Filipinos express ungratefulness over the blessings they have, neglecting the reality that they have been blessed with countless blessings in life. 

“Some of us are always whining and complaining about what we have, while others would do everything just to be where we are. It really helps to start with gratitude,” he said in Filipino. 

Alpasa said that once people learn to be more appreciative of what they have, their happiness would trickle further to other aspects of their lives. 

“When you realize that you already have everything you need right now to be happy and you share it to others, you’ll be able to live life with thanksgiving. Praise will be given from the gifts to the giver,” he said. 

“You will no longer be afraid to take risks,” he added, noting that once grace fills one’s heart, it will willingly open itself to share blessings to others. 

He noted that it is also through expressing one’s gratitude that the faithful becomes “salt of the earth and light of the world.” 

“We live life with thanksgiving. Be thankful for everything that you have. There are a lot of things that we should be thankful for. That is how to become a salt and give taste to life,” Alpasa said. 

Living, coping with life 

Alpasa also called on the lay faithful to discern the difference between living and simply coping with life, urging them not to fall into the busy hustle and bustle of life and be able to enjoy it to the fullest. 

“I have noticed that in the modern times, there is a difference between simply coping with life and living it…Coping is to simply ride with life’s busyness, while living is to enjoy the small things it has to offer such as smelling the morning coffee, smelling the flowers around us, and appreciating sunshine,” he said. 

“I hope that you will learn to live life, and not just to simply cope with it,” he added. 

Asking ‘why?’ 

In coping with life’s hardships, Alpasa said the faithful must not be afraid to think critically and ask why certain events unfold as they do, apparently noting natural calamities that have claimed thousands of lives recently. 

“Through asking ‘why’, we sometimes fail to get answers but it is through it that we realize the Lord is with us. Then you get to realize that it is more than enough to see Him by your side, guiding you all the way,” he said. 

“We may not understand why things happen as they do, but that’s okay for God will take care of all of our worries. It is all up to Him. That explains why we let our guards down even if we fail to understand why,” he added. 

Alpasa said the faithful must not lose hope whenever they face hardships in life for the Lord is always present to accompany them in their journey. 

“In your life, there is great proof that the Lord has never abandoned you. There are a lot of things you should thank Him for,” he said. 

“When you get to realize how great the Lord has been for blessing you in this life, you will praise Him, you will risk everything in His name,” he added. (Jennifer Orillaza) 

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