One of the joys of a service like Netflix is having so many choices at your fingertips. And one of the drawbacks of a service like Netflix is having so many choices at your fingertips.
We’re not sure how, but a few days after Christmas we chose a documentary titled “Happy,” directed by Roko Belic.
From the description, we didn’t know what to expect but with so many Netflix options, we knew if it didn’t grab and hold our attention we could quickly — with just a few clicks — dump it.
But it grabbed our attention. We found it touching, especially since Monica has been in hospice care for cancer since last February. Her health has gradually declined. Throughout this past year, we’ve thought a lot about and prayed a lot about happiness and grief, particularly about eternal happiness.
There was nothing really surprising in the movie. Although not religious in nature, it offered a basic Christian message: Realize what really matters and focus on that. Focus on love, focus on others, on service, on gratitude, etc.
The film featured interviews with all sorts of people in all types of situations all over the world; each person was pleased to say he or she was happy.
The filmmakers pointed out that we all want to be happy and that even the U.S. Constitution speaks of the “pursuit of happiness,” without saying how to reach that goal.
They also noted it wasn’t a matter of money. Yes, it takes a certain amount to avoid being destitute, which brings all kinds of unhappiness with it, but they said research showed that there wasn’t much difference in happiness between someone earning $50,000 a year and someone making $500,000 a year.
One interview that stood out for us was a fellow who makes much less than $50,000 a year and once earned much more. He spoke of his work at Blessed Teresa of Kolkata’s Home for the Dying. It was obvious how much joy (and peace) it brought him.
As the new year moves forward and some standard resolutions fade away, this might be one you can keep: Consider how you can be happier, or can become happier, how you can have a happier marriage, a happier family, a happier work life.
Remember that the beatitudes are a wonderful guideline. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” is sometimes translated “Happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Monica Dodds, a longtime columnist for Catholic News Service and other Catholic press outlets, died Jan. 6 after a long fight with cancer.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103