(December 1, 2014)
I was struck as I read these chapters on the number of references that were made to a comparison between those things that we think will make us happy and those things that actually bring us happiness. Many of us (myself included) look to worldly things as though they could bring us joy and happiness – but there is no happiness to be found in stuff, or financial security, or anything similar.
It is unquestionably true that a dinner of herbs where love is found is better than a stalled ox and hatred. Doug Brinley, a friend and a marriage therapist who has written extensively for the Church, often says that no one gets divorce because of money problems. He points out that there are countless people all over the world (even in our own communities) living happily in abject poverty. No, the problem isn’t money (or its lack) – it is selfishness or hatred or merely an absence of love. We lie to ourselves if we say differently.
And it is truly better to live eating bitter herbs where love is than to live with a stalled ox and hatred at home.