Finding True Happiness

Satisfying Our Restless Hearts
Author: Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 158617956X
Category: Psychology
Page: 320
View: 7174

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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: 8463

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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: 5277

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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

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: 9899

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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.

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: 1977

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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.

Happiness, Suffering and the Love of God

The Workbook
Author: Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 1586179632
Category: Religion
Page: 72
View: 6178

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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.

Ten Universal Principles

A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues
Author: Robert J. Spitzer
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 1586174754
Category: Religion
Page: 160
View: 8425

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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.

God So Loved the World

Clues to Our Transcendent Destiny from the Revelation of Jesus
Author: Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 1621640361
Category: Religion
Page: 418
View: 9162

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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.

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: 4940

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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.

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: 9484

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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 Global War on Christians

Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution
Author: John L. Allen
Publisher: Image
ISBN: 0770437370
Category: Religion
Page: 336
View: 3122

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"This book is about the most dramatic religion story of the early 21st century, yet one that most people in the West have little idea is even happening: The global war on Christians," writes John Allen. "We're not talking about a metaphorical 'war on religion' in Europe and the United States, fought on symbolic terrain such as whether it's okay to erect a nativity set on the courthouse steps, but a rising tide of legal oppression, social harassment and direct physical violence, with Christians as its leading victims. However counter-intuitive it may seem in light of popular stereotypes of Christianity as a powerful and sometimes oppressive social force, Christians today indisputably form the most persecuted religious body on the planet, and too often its new martyrs suffer in silence." This book looks to shatter that silence. From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians in the early 21st century are the world's most persecuted religious group. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of violations of religious freedom in the world today are directed against Christians. In effect, our era is witnessing the rise of a new generation of martyrs. Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world's 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority-- whether it's Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. In Europe and North America, Christians face political and legal challenges to religious freedom. Allen exposes the deadly threats and offers investigative insight into what is and can be done to stop these atrocities.-back of book.

Jesus the Evangelist

A Gospel Guide to the New Evangelization
Author: Allan F. Wright
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9781616365424
Category: Religion
Page: 162
View: 8603

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The Catholic Church is in the midst of a worldwide effort to engage its members in evangelization, and welcome home those who have left the Church. Yet the meaning of evangelization is unclear to many people: what is it, and how is it part of my life and my faith? Jesus the Evangelist is a transformative guide to becoming a better disciple through studying the words of Jesus. Using specific and concrete examples from Scripture, the book focuses on the life of Jesus and on the ways he evangelized among his disciples and followers. It defines for Catholics what evangelization is while addressing how individuals can evangelize in their everyday lives, and how parishes can evangelize through the examples Jesus gave us. Pope Benedict XVI said; "The missionary task is not to bring about revolution in the world but to transfigure it, drawing power from Jesus Christ who 'convokes us at the table of his Word and Eucharist.'" This book will guide the reader into active discipleship, providing a practical application of both Scripture and Church teaching to the process of evangelization.

The Gospel of Happiness

Rediscover Your Faith Through Spiritual Practice and Positive Psychology
Author: Christopher Kaczor
Publisher: Image
ISBN: 0804141010
Category: Religion
Page: 208
View: 6238

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What is true happiness? How can you experience it? And can you live it wholeheartedly in your day-to-day life? Every thoughtful person asks such questions. Thoughtful Christians ask a few more questions such as, Can Christian practices enhance happiness? If so, how? And does Christianity provide happiness in a way that other paths, like psychology, cannot? Christopher Kaczor suggests answers to these and other questions about how to be happier. In The Gospel of Happiness, the bestselling author of The Seven Big Myths of the Catholic Church highlights seven ways in which positive psychology and Christian practice can lead to personal and spiritual transformation. Focusing on empirical findings in positive psychology that point to the wisdom of many Christian practices and teachings, the author provides not only practical suggestions on how to become happier in everyday life but provides insight on how to deepen Christian practice and increase love of God and neighbor in new and bold ways. “Part of the Christian message is that authentic happiness is to be found not in selfishness, but self-giving,” writes Dr. Kaczor. “In this book, I highlight the many ways in which positive psychology and Christian practice overlap. All of this points us toward deeper fulfillment in this life, and in the life to come.”

The Joy of the Gospel

Evangelii Gaudium
Author: Pope Francis
Publisher: Image
ISBN: 0553419544
Category: Religion
Page: 224
View: 6171

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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: 3315

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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?'

Siddhartha


Author: Hermann Hesse
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
ISBN: 8184958595
Category: Fiction
Page: 172
View: 3351

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Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life but soon becomes restless and discards it for pleasures of the flesh. He is quickly bored and sickened by the unending lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, he comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life – the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace and, finally, wisdom Hermann Hesse’s beautiful rendition of the journey of a young man during the times of the great Gautam Buddha is not just an evocative piece of art but also a work of mystery offered to the reader to solve for himself. Hermann Karl Hesse was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.