Father Chuck’s Thought For the Day.
Monday, September 4, 2023
I have stated that these next few weeks I will be focusing on the four levels of happiness. Last week I focused on level one and this week I will focus on Level two of happiness. The aspect of level two is that we focus on the mind and the will not on bodily pleasure with level one. One of the aspects of our culture is that we love competition. Our world can be obsessed with winning and not losing. Thus, level two of happiness is when we win. This does not just mean athletic competition but in every aspect of our life. My thought for the day is for all of us to ask ourselves how important winning is for us and being number one?
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Another aspect of level two is that the happiness last much longer than level one happiness. A simple example is when members of a team gather and they talk about the glory days of their athletic competitions and the games they played and either won or lost. This moment of level two happiness can be caused by an event that may have happened two years ago. My friend, Coach Tesmer, always remarks to me how I can remember plays that we experienced in our football games forty years ago. This remembering is level two happiness. My thought for the day is for all of us to experience level two happiness by thinking about an event from our past that brought us joy.
Wednesday September 6, 2023
One of the aspects of Level two happiness is that it takes training of our mind and will for us to achieve this level. We can think about this on a physical level such as training for a sport or an academic competition. The aspect that I like to reflect on is the training that it takes for us to develop a spiritual relationship with Jesus. My thought for the day is for all of us to think about the way that we can train our mind and will so that we deepen our relationship with Jesus. This will lead to level two happiness.
Thursday September 7, 2023
A great example of someone not reaching level two happiness is this simple example. Most of you know that I coached football for many years. One of the most rewarding things about coaching was to see many of the players work so hard that they achieved athletic success. The most accomplished player that I ever coached was five feet nine and weighted a hundred and seventy pounds but he achieved level two happiness by hard work. One of the things about this was they these players remembered the level two happiness that they found. The opposite of this is that there were several players who were tremendously talented but never disciplined themselves to develop their talent. My thought for the day is that all of us ask the question if we work hard to develop our spiritual mind and will to know Jesus which leads us to level two happiness.
Friday September 8, 2023
Last Sunday’s gospel Jesus gives a teaching on level two happiness. Jesus teaches that we must take up our crosses and follow Jesus. If think about this for a moment we can see why Jesus teaches this. The reason is that Jesus wants us to over come our crosses so that we can cherish the effort that it took to discipline our mind will to achieve this spiritual success. My thought for the day is for all of us to reflect on the crosses that we have over come and think Jesus for the grace that allowed us to over come these crosses which helps us to achieve level two happiness.
Monday September 11th 2023
The level two of happiness is in the bible. As a reminder happiness level two is when we receive happiness through our accomplishments. In the book of Genesis when creation was finished God took great happiness in saying that what he had accomplished in the creation was good. Think about the wedding feast in Cana when Jesus changed the water into wine and the steward said that this wine was the best. Read Psalm 118 as the Psalm praises the marvelous creation that God has brought. My thought for the day is to find in the scriptures example of level two happiness.
Tuesday September 12th 2023
My thought for this day is for all of us to look in our home or in our work space and see if there is any thing that reminds us of an accomplishment that has brought you happiness. Take time today to thank Jesus for the great gift for the accomplishments in your life.
Wednesday September 13th 2023
If you have been reading my thoughts for the day this week the question that you may have been, what about when we lose at a game or lose out on a promotion or fail at accomplishment does this mean that we do not achieve level two happiness. The answer to this question is that there is still level two happiness when we give our best effort to try to accomplish something. I think often about a sermon that failed or a class that I taught that didn’t accomplish what I wanted it can still be level two happiness because I gave my best effort. My thought for the day is to think about a time that we didn’t accomplish what we wanted to and thank Jesus for the opportunity to try!!!
Thursday September 14th 2023
I say this so often that being a priest is one of the most blessed vocations in the world. At my confirmation class I had Rod Nuss, the president of the parish council and the Grand Knight of our Knights of Columbus Council. He spoke with the students about all three of these organizations in our parish. I told the students after his presentation that Rod is a great example of being a Catholic and that they should all strive to imitate his example. My thought for the day is for all of us to think about all the people that we know that are a great example of being Catholic.
Friday September 15th 2023
I read this and it is a very thought provoking to think about it. The Author stated: “Hollywood movie stars exist for one reason: to show the rest of us that no amount of money, fame, or pleasure will bring us happiness”. My thought for the day is thank Jesus for the simple blessings in our lives that bring us our greatest happiness.
Monday September 18th 2023
One of the frustrations for living level two happiness is that, as people say so often, “Everyone Gets a Trophy.” The problem with this philosophy is that life doesn’t work like that and that also play down the happiness of accomplishing a task. My thought for the day and this may sound like a lack of humility, but pray about an accomplishment that you have had that has brought you great joy.
Monday September 25th 2023
We move on to level three happiness. Level three happiness is lived out when we are involved in a worthy cause that we work to achieve. If you want to read a perfect example of Level three happiness read the Book of Ruth in the old Testament and Ruth’s dedication to her mother-in-law. After you read this book think about the happiness that Ruth found in being dedicated to her mother-in-law and eventually her husband Boaz. There is a famous quote in this book see if you can find it.
Tuesday September 26th 2023
One of the most wonderful guiding quotes in the Old Testament is from the book of the Prophet Micah: The quote is from chapter six verse 8, “Do what is right, love justice and walk humbly with your God.” If you want to experience level three of happiness, make this quote a guide to your life. The watch word is that we dedicate our lives to this guide line and the result is that we will experience a great happiness. The most important part of this quote is that we walk humbly with our God because in this we realize that all we have, all we are and ever blessing in our life is God’s gift to us. When we realize that these are from God’s love for us is should inspire great happiness to us. My thought for the day is for all of to pray for the grace to live out this marvelous scripture quote.
Wednesday September 27th 2023
One of the great guidelines that I found for my life as a Catholic and Priest was from the Lutheran Hour radio program. At the end of the presentation the last words that were said were: “Brining Jesus Christ to the Nations.” Living these words are a great way to experience level three happiness. It also lessens any disappointments we have because of being taken for granted. My thought for the day is for all of us to think of two ways that you can bring Jesus Christ to the world.
Thursday September 28th 2023
One of the great challenges that we face every year in our parish is finding people who teach our children in the Wednesday evening religious education program. One of the guidelines that I say so often is that if you want to grow in your faith, teach children about growing in their faith. When we dedicate ourselves to this ideal then at the end of each class, we know that we are blest by level three happiness because of our dedication to bring Jesus to hearts of our children. My thought for the day is to think about a time that we taught someone about the place of Jesus in their life.
Father Chuck Kottas