I can remember just out of high school thinking if I could just find a job where I made $300.00 a week I wouldn't ever need any more than that. I got that job and I remember thinking if I could just get that full time job that paid $12.00 an hour and offered health insurance I would be set. I got that job and began searching for a way to just make $40,000 a year. The pattern continues through out my life. I reach what I thought was the goal and a new goal appears. I could recite a similar pattern with things. If I only had this car or that phone or this television life would be grand! It feels like it is never-ending because it is never-ending. Money and things never bring contentment. In fact they just seem to feed and fuel an insatiable appetite.
Part of the problem is with how we have come to define happiness. It seems like we equate happiness with some nearly euphoric feeling. I don't think this is what true happiness is though or perhaps happiness is this but we chase happiness thinking that is is what we want when what we really need is satisfaction or contentment. With contentment we can stop chasing and just be.
So what brings contentment then? When we fulfill our purpose. In other words, contentment comes through living for what we were created for. Were we created to endlessly pursue things that bring only momentary happiness at best. No, we were not.
Lucky us! It is so simple to find contentment. We were created to love and be loved. Not the "love" that popular culture has tricked us into believing in, no that is lust and is no different than the other pursuits above. True love, the giving of oneself to another without reservation and without exception. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us what our purpose is and it is to be loved by God and in turn to love and serve God.
'Of all visible creatures only man is "able to know and love his creator". He is "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake", and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God's own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity' CCC: 356
This is such a joyful thing because we can all do this no matter life's circumstance. There is nothing standing in our way of finding contentment today. No more chasing!