Finding True Happiness

Satisfying Our Restless Hearts
Author: Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 158617956X
Category: Psychology
Page: 320
View: 313

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One of the hottest topics in contemporary culture is happiness—so much so that the United Nations declared an International Happiness Day in response to the immense popularityof Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy”. The explanation for this current fixation seems to lie in the contrary phenomenon—unhappiness. Despite the fact that we have tremendous access to every imaginable form of entertainment, we experience a pervading sense of insecurity, emptiness, and malaise amid sporadic peak experiences. The problem seems to lie less in the external environment than in the internal one. We seem, in the words of Viktor Frankl, to be suffering from an absence of meaning that pervades both individuals and societies, giving rise to a collective emptiness, loneliness, and alienation. Finding True Happiness attempts to provide a way out of this personal and cultural vacuum by helping people to identify and then reach for happiness. As Aristotle noted 2,400 years ago, happiness is the one thing we can choose for its own sake—everything else is chosen for the sake of happiness. After an exhaustive investigation of philosophical, psychological, and theological systems of happiness, author Fr. Spitzer developed the “Four Levels of Happiness”, which he based on the classical thinkers Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas; the contemporary philosophers Marcel, Scheler, Buber, Ricoeur, and Jaspers; and the modern psychologists Maslow, Frankl, Erikson, Seligman, Kohlberg and Gilligan. Finding True Happiness is both a philosophical itinerary and a practical guidebook for life’s most important journey—from the mundane and the meaningless to transcendent fulfillment No other book currently available combines such breadth of practical advice and such depth of philosophical, psychological, and spiritual wisdom.

The Light Shines on in the Darkness

Transforming Suffering through Faith
Author: Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 1681497646
Category: Religion
Page: 544
View: 2946

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Why would an all-loving God allow suffering? Are not suffering and love opposed to one another? Does suffering have any meaning or benefit? Is there any objective evidence for God, for a soul that will survive bodily death, for the resurrection of Jesus? Who is God anyway – benevolent and loving, or angry and retributive? Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., gives a comprehensive response to these questions and many others, explaining the contemporary evidence for God, the soul, and the resurrection. He discusses how God uses suffering to lead us to compassion for others and eternal life. He also shows how the Holy Spirit guides us through times of suffering toward our salvation, explaining the signs and the interior movements that reveal the Spirit's actions. Fr. Spitzer not only addresses the perplexing questions associated with suffering but teaches us how to suffer well. He points out some of the most common mistakes people make when trying to interpret God's motives for allowing or alleviating suffering. He demonstrates why suffering – in combination with love – is one of the most powerful motivating agents for personal, cultural, and societal development.

New Proofs for the Existence of God

Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy
Author: Robert J. Spitzer
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 0802863833
Category: Religion
Page: 319
View: 1387

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Responding to contemporary popular atheism, Robert J. Spitzer's New Proofs for the Existence of God examines the considerable evidence for God and creation that has come to light from physics and philosophy during the last forty years. An expert in diverse areas, including theology, physics, metaphysics, and ethics, Spitzer offers in this text the most contemporary, complete, and integrated approach to rational theism currently available. "Skepticism about the possibility of proving the existence of God often relies on data from modern science. In this splendid new book Father Robert Spitzer explores the implications of the latest discoveries in big bang cosmology, string theory, quantum physics, and the ontology of time to craft a series of convincing philosophical arguments. To paraphrase a popular commercial, this is not your father's old 'natural theology' textbook ù it's a gripping and compelling account of the best current arguments for theism."ùJoseph W. Koterski, S.J., Foidham University "A most original and insightful case for the existence of God.... Fr. Spitzer's new proofs pose a serious and compelling challenge to the unconscious hegemony of naturalism in the worlds of both philosophy and the sciences."ùFrancis J. Beckwith, Baylor University "Rare is the theologian who keeps abreast of the latest developments in fundamental physics, and even rarer the one who can discuss them with the theological and philosophical sophistication that Fr. Spitzer displays in this book. A challenging and original work."ùStephen M. Barr, University of Delaware, author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith

Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life

A Practical Guide to Prayer for Active People
Author: Robert J. Spitzer
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 1681491842
Category: Religion
Page: 171
View: 4802

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Fr. Spitzer, President of Gonzaga University and a highly regarded spiritual teacher and writer, presents a practical, yet rich guide for helping busy people develop a regular and deeper prayer life. Based on many successful retreats and seminars he has given to much acclaim over the years, this brilliant Jesuit priest presents five essential means through which the contemplative and active aspects of our lives can be fused together for a stronger spiritual life.

Healing the Culture

A Commonsense Philosophy of Happiness, Freedom, and the Life Issues
Author: Robert J. Spitzer,Robin A. Bernhoft,Camille E. De Blasi
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 168149227X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 325
View: 5645

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Father Spitzer, President of the Magis Institute and former President of Gonzaga University, has been using the principles in this book to educate people of all backgrounds in the philosophy of the pro-life movement. The tremendous positive response he has received inspired him to start the Life Principles Institute. This book is one of the key resources used for this program. This work effectively draws out the connections between personal attitudes toward happiness and the meaning of life, and the larger cultural issues such as freedom and human rights. Relying on the wisdom of the ages and respecting the human persons' unique capacity for rational analysis, this work offers definitions of the key cultural terms affecting life issues, including Happiness, Success, Love, Suffering, Quality of Life, Ethics, Freedom, Personhood, Human Rights and the Common Good.

Happiness, Suffering and the Love of God

The Workbook
Author: Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 1586179632
Category: Religion
Page: 72
View: 1975

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As Aristotle observed, "Happiness is the one thing you choose for itself; everything else is chosen for the sake of happiness." Yet even though happiness is our goal, many people don't know how to successfully pursue it. In this workbook accompanying the film series,Happiness, Suffering, and the Love of God, Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. explores happiness in the revealing light of human transcendence and immortality. Beginning with the commonly held principle that different forms of happiness correspond to different fundamental human desires, Fr. Spitzer guides viewers through four distinct but related sources of happiness (pleasure, achievement, contribution, transcendence), showing how they form a hierarchy and explaining why only the highest level (transcendent happiness) will ultimately fulfill us. Along the way he presents fascinating evidence for our spiritual nature from philosophy, psychology, and contemporary studies of near-death experiences and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is followed by an investigation into the mystery of suffering that begins with the parable of the Father of the Prodigal Son. Fr. Spitzer explains why an unconditionally loving God would allow suffering and also offers guidance on how to suffer well. Happiness, Suffering, and the Love of God provides answers to some of life's most vexing questions and dispels many popular misconceptions as it charts a fascinating course towards authentic and lasting happiness.

The Soul's Upward Yearning

Clues to our Transcendent Nature from Experience to Reason
Author: Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 1586179551
Category: Philosophy
Page: 356
View: 7276

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Western culture has been moving away from its Christian roots for several centuries but the turn from Christianity accelerated in the 20th century. At the core of this decline is a loss of a sense of our own transcendence. Scientific materialism has so seriously impacted our belief in human transcendence that many people find it difficult to believe in God and the human soul. This anti-transcendent perspective has not only cast its spell on the natural sciences, psychology, philosophy, and literature, it has also negatively impacted popular culture through the writings of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and many others. The warning signs of this loss of transcendence have been expressed by thinkers as diverse as Carl Jung (psychiatrist), Mircea Eliade (historian of religion), Gabriel Marcel (philosopher), C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. These warnings were validated by a 2004 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry which showed that the absence of religion alone was responsible for a marked increase in suicide rates, sense of meaningless, substance abuse, separation from family, and other psychiatric problems. Thus, the loss of transcendence is negatively affecting not only individuals’ sense of happiness, dignity, ideals, virtues, and destiny, but also the culture. Ironically, the evidence for transcendence is greater today than in any other period in history. The problem is – this evidence has not been compiled and propagated. Fr. Spitzer’s book provides a bright light in the midst of this cultural darkness by presenting both traditional and contemporary evidence for God and a transphysical soul from several major sources. He also shows how human consciousness and intelligence is completely special – and cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence or animal consciousness. We are transcendent beings with souls capable of surviving bodily death – self-reflective beings aware of perfect truth, love, goodness, and beauty. We are beings with an unrestricted capacity to know and create science, law, culture, art, music, literature, and so much more. The evidence reveals that we have the dignity of being created in the very image of God, and if we underestimate it, we will undervalue one another, underlive our lives, and underachieve our destiny. This work is the most comprehensive treatment of human transcendence available today.

Ten Universal Principles

A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues
Author: Robert J. Spitzer
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 1586174754
Category: Religion
Page: 160
View: 2677

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How do we make sense of life? How should we treat others? How should we reasonably be expected to be treated by others? When human life is at stake, are there reasonable principles we can rely on to guide our actions? How should our laws be framed to protect human life? What kind of society should be built? Many people rely on their religious beliefs to answer these questions. But not everyone accepts the same religious premises or recognizes the same spiritual authorities. Are there public argumentsreasons that can be given that do not presuppose agreement on religious grounds or common religious commitmentsthat can guide our thoughts and actions, as well as our laws and public policies? In Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues, Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer sets out, in a brief, yet highly-readable and lucid style, ten basic principles that must govern the reasonable persons thinking and acting about life issues. A highly-regarded philosopher, Father Spitzer provides an intelligent outline for thinking and talking about human life. This book is a powerful tool for persuasively articulating and effectively inculturating a prolife philosophy.

Images of the Human

The Philosophy of the Human Person in a Religious Context
Author: Leonard A. Kennedy
Publisher: Loyola Press
ISBN: 9780829408256
Category: Philosophy
Page: 633
View: 7213

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Now available in paperback, "Images of the Human" addresses the questions human beings have been asking for centuries. Each chapter focuses on the writings of a different philosopher--from Plato to Nietzsche, St. Augustine to Simone de Beauvior. As a distinctive feature, commentaries explore the unique relationship between what philosophers say and what religion teaches.

God So Loved the World

Clues to Our Transcendent Destiny from the Revelation of Jesus
Author: Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 1681497018
Category: Religion
Page: 418
View: 3531

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In this volume the brilliant Fr. Spitzer probes in detail the major question that if an intelligent Creator God – manifest in logical proofs, scientific evidence, and near death experiences - who is the source of our desire for the sacred, and the transcendental desires for truth, love, goodness, and beauty, would want to reveal himself to us personally and ultimately. He then shows this is reasonable not only in light of our interior experience of a transcendent Reality, but also that a completely intelligent Reality is completely positive--implying its possession of a completely positive virtue – namely "love", defined as agape. This leads to the question whether God might be unconditionally loving, and if he is, whether he would want to make a personal appearance to us in a perfect act of empathy – face to face. After examining the rational evidence for this, he reviews all world religions to see if there is one that reveals such a God – an unconditionally loving God who would want to be with us in perfect empathy. This leads us to the extraordinary claim of Jesus Christ who taught that God is "Abba", the unconditionally loving Father. Jesus' claims go further, saying that He is also unconditional love, and that his mission is to give us that love through an act of complete self-sacrifice. He also claims to be the exclusive Son of the Father, sent by God to save the world, and the one who possesses divine power and authority. The rest of the book does an in-depth examination of the evidence for Jesus' unconditional love of sinners, his teachings, his miracles, and his rising from the dead. As well as the evidence for Jesus' gift of the Holy Spirit that enabled his disciples to perform miracles in his name, and evidence for the presence of the Holy Spirit today. If this strong evidence convinces us to believe that Jesus is our ultimate meaning and destiny, and desire His saving presence in our lives, that evidence should galvanize the Holy Spirit within us to show that Jesus is Lord and Savior, "the way, the truth, and the life." And our faith in him will transform everything we think about our nature, dignity, and destiny– and how we live, endure suffering, contend with evil, and treat our neighbor.

25 Life-Changing Questions from the Gospels

Letting Jesus Lead You through the Stages of Spiritual Growth
Author: Allan F. Wright
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
ISBN: 1594716765
Category: Religion
Page: 192
View: 4038

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There's nothing quite like a pointed question to elicit an honest answer. Jesus used questions throughout his ministry, not to find out something he didn't know, but to probe into people's deepest, most unsettled spaces. Biblical scholar and retreat leader Allan F. Wright organizes twenty-five questions Jesus asked into five spiritual stages that will lead you on the road to discipleship. In the gospels, Jesus frequently asked his followers and enemies tough questions like "Why are you anxious?" "Do you believe this?" and "Why do you doubt?" In 25 Life-Changing Questions from the Gospels, you will see that you are no different from those Jesus questioned—a grieving sister, a fearful friend, an incessant doubter. And you'll learn that his questions—and the issues that they raise—are just as relevant and life-changing to Catholics today as they were to Jesus' first followers. Educator and author Allan F. Wright will lead you through five stages of spiritual development—from spiritual seeker to faithful disciple of Christ—so that you can become better able embrace and share the life-giving power Jesus offers. You will come away recognizing Jesus for the wise teacher that he was and as the God who loves you still.

The Joy of the Gospel

Evangelii Gaudium
Author: Pope Francis
Publisher: Image
ISBN: 0553419544
Category: Religion
Page: 224
View: 9328

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The perfect gift! A specially priced, beautifully designed hardcover edition of The Joy of the Gospel with a foreword by Robert Barron and an afterword by James Martin, SJ. “The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus… In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.” – Pope Francis This special edition of Pope Francis's popular message of hope explores themes that are important for believers in the 21st century. Examining the many obstacles to faith and what can be done to overcome those hurdles, he emphasizes the importance of service to God and all his creation. Advocating for “the homeless, the addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the elderly who are increasingly isolated and abandoned,” the Holy Father shows us how to respond to poverty and current economic challenges that affect us locally and globally. Ultimately, Pope Francis demonstrates how to develop a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ, “to recognize the traces of God’s Spirit in events great and small.” Profound in its insight, yet warm and accessible in its tone, The Joy of the Gospel is a call to action to live a life motivated by divine love and, in turn, to experience heaven on earth. Includes a foreword by Robert Barron, author of Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith and James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage From the Hardcover edition.

Happiness and the Art of Being

An Introduction to the Philosophy and Practice of the Spiritual Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana
Author: Michael James
Publisher: Michael D A James
ISBN: 1475111576
Category: Philosophy
Page: 494
View: 5610

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An in-depth study of the philosophy, science and art of true self-knowledge taught by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, giving detailed guidance on the practice of self-investigation (atma-vichara), 'Who am I?'

The Interpretation of Cultures


Author: Clifford Geertz
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465093566
Category: Social Science
Page: 576
View: 526

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In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

God Is the Gospel

Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself
Author: John Piper
Publisher: Crossway
ISBN: 1433518414
Category: Religion
Page: 192
View: 7225

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God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 This book is a cry from the heart of John Piper. He is pleading that God himself, as revealed in Christ's death and resurrection, is the ultimate and greatest gift of the gospel. None of Christ's gospel deeds and none of our gospel blessings are good news except as means of seeing and savoring the glory of Christ. Forgiveness is good news because it opens the way to the enjoyment of God himself. Justification is good news because it wins access to the presence and pleasures of God himself. Eternal life is good news because it becomes the everlasting enjoyment of Christ. All God's gifts are loving only to the degree that they lead us to God himself. That is what God's love is: his commitment to do everything necessary (most painfully the death of his only Son) to enthrall us with what is most deeply and durably satisfying-namely, himself. Saturated with Scripture, centered on the cross, and seriously joyful, this book leads us to satisfaction for the deep hungers of the soul. It touches us at the root of life where practical transformation gets its daily power. It awakens our longing for Christ and opens our eyes to his beauty. Piper writes for the soul-thirsty who have turned away empty and in desperation from the mirage of methodology. He invites us to slow down and drink from a deeper spring. "This is eternal life," Jesus said, "that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." This is what makes the gospel-and this book-good news.

Man and His Symbols


Author: C. G. Jung
Publisher: Dell
ISBN: 0307800555
Category: Social Science
Page: 320
View: 6585

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Man and His Symbols owes its existence to one of Jung's own dreams. The great psychologist dreamed that his work was understood by a wide public, rather than just by psychiatrists, and therefore he agreed to write and edit this fascinating book. Here, Jung examines the full world of the unconscious, whose language he believed to be the symbols constantly revealed in dreams. Convinced that dreams offer practical advice, sent from the unconscious to the conscious self, Jung felt that self-understanding would lead to a full and productive life. Thus, the reader will gain new insights into himself from this thoughtful volume, which also illustrates symbols throughout history. Completed just before his death by Jung and his associates, it is clearly addressed to the general reader. Praise for Man and His Symbols “This book, which was the last piece of work undertaken by Jung before his death in 1961, provides a unique opportunity to assess his contribution to the life and thought of our time, for it was also his firsat attempt to present his life-work in psychology to a non-technical public. . . . What emerges with great clarity from the book is that Jung has done immense service both to psychology as a science and to our general understanding of man in society, by insisting that imaginative life must be taken seriously in its own right, as the most distinctive characteristic of human beings.”—Guardian “Straighforward to read and rich in suggestion.”—John Barkham, Saturday Review Syndicate “This book will be a resounding success for those who read it.”—Galveston News-Tribune “A magnificent achievement.”—Main Currents “Factual and revealing.”—Atlanta Times