I have spent the last six posts talking about the Christian approach to the road to happiness; in particular, St. Aquinas’ “twofold happiness.” The first happiness, the one in this life, requires (among other elements) the philosophical virtues of wisdom courage, moderation, and justice. The second happiness, the one in the next life, requires the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.
The Bible, and especially the Christian faith, teach that the above three theological virtues are necessary for eternal happiness or beatitudo. As such, one of the main obligations of religious institutions in the West is guidance in how best to lead a life in which these virtues may be attained by the faithful. This guidance includes religious attendance, the sacraments, offerings, community service, etc.
A major tenet of the Christian faith is a life open to the theological virtues will be more likely to attain and exercise the cardinal virtues, thus moving the faithful forward towards happiness in this life. In addition, this happiness is but a precursor, a building block, to the eternal happiness or beatitudo in the next life.
Final thoughts in my next post!