Restless Hearts and Restless Souls

“You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” We all know these words of St. Augustine very well, but how much impact do they have on our relationship with God? How much do we truly trust God to lead the way? Are we truly happy or do we allow anxiety and worry to disturb our peace?

Recently on Trending with Timmerie, Timmerie welcomed Fr. Robert Spitzer onto the show to talk about the highest form of happiness, how to get there and maintain it, and why a vibrant prayer life is integral to spiritual longevity.

It’s so common for human beings, as faulted creatures, to want to separate the spiritual components from the rest of our lives. When things aren’t going well, we want to find tangible or emotional solutions. We look to blame somebody or something. And to an extent, that’s logical. As intelligent lifeforms, we are programmed to problem-solve in pragmatic ways. But there is no earthly cure for deep unhappiness.

Our very existence hinges on not only our desire to be one with our God, our creator.

“We can’t get anywhere unless we are in relationship with God. We’re built for Him. It’s not just eternal life,” said Fr. Robert. “We’re built for Him. And when we’re separated from Him, we feel alienation. When we’re separated from Him or we violate His covenant or commandments, we feel guilt. When we are separated from Him and we don’t have Him in our lives, we feel this very bizarre sense of transcendent loneliness, just out of kilter with everything that is.”

Those points in our lives where we feel angst, malaise, stress, or guilt are physical manifestations of our spiritual standing with God. How could one ever hope to be at peace, knowing that they were at odds with the will of God? That spiritual unrest and uneasiness present themselves when we neglect the sacraments, Mass, and prayer. By neglecting those things, we are neglecting our spiritual health.

Fr. Robert Spitzer said that most compelling of all, these discoveries aren’t just the findings of devout, religious proponents. The American Psychiatric Association did a comprehensive, longitudinal study on the difference in mental health between religious individuals versus individuals who considered themselves non, practicing, agnostic, and atheist. What they found is that those who were not religiously affiliated had exponentially higher rates of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, familial tension, suicidal ideation, and suicide. Their rates were double and, in some cases, triple the rates of those who had some religious affiliation.

The four levels of happiness are as follows: pleasure (base, physical desires), passion (ego, accomplishment), purpose (service to others, selflessness, greater good), and finally, the ultimate good (desire for perfection, for God).

Nothing on this earth can fully satiate our hunger for that fourth, ultimate happiness except for God Himself.

“He made us to be fulfilled with nothing less than His infinity, eternity, and perfection in truth, love, goodness, beauty, and hope. So if we’re trying to get that happiness out of this world, we won’t. And you can expect to find what the American Psychiatric Association found.”

Our relationship with God is more than saying, “I believe in You.” It has to be. To have a relationship with Him, we have to know Him. In order to know Him, we have to talk to Him. And we talk to Him through prayer. Silence, mental conversation, recited, vocal prayer. He has given us so many ways to communicate with Him. It’s up to us not to squander them.

Tune in to Trending with Timmerie weekdays at 6pm CT

John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.