Now available from Ignatius Press:
by Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
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.
Episode One: Four Levels of Happiness (61 min.)
Part 1: Introduction and Happiness Overview (35 min.)
Part 2: Escaping the Comparison Game (26 min.)
Episode Two: Human Transcendence and the Soul (60 min.)
Part 1: Evidence for Transcendence (40 min.)
Part 2: You are Made for Transcendence (20 min.)
Episode Three: The Resurrection of Jesus and Jesus' Revelation of the Unconditional Love of God (62 min.)
Part 1: The Resurrection (34 min.)
Part 2: The Love of God (28 min.)
Episode Four: Why Would an All-powerful, All-loving God Allow Suffering? (64 min.)
Part 1: Jesus' View of Suffering (32 min.)
Part 2: Why Does God Allow Suffering? (32 min.)
Episode Five: How To Suffer Well (71 min.)
Part 1: How to Suffer Well – Prayer (39 min.)
Part 2: How to Suffer Well – Virtue (32 min.)
Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, is a philosopher, educator, author and former President of Gonzaga University. He is founder and President of the Magis Institute, dedicated to public education on the relationship among the disciplines of physics, philosophy, reason, and faith. He is the head of the Ethics and Performance Institute which delivers web-based ethics education to corporations, and he is also President of the Spitzer Center of Ethical Leadership, which delivers similar curricula to non-profit organizations. His other books include Finding True Happiness, The Soul's Upward Yearning and Healing the Culture.