Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lucia Study finds priests are the happiest

This is going to stun some readers, the idea that priests are far more likely to be happier than the general population.

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 5, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Priests in general are among the happiest members of society, says Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, and contrary to secular opinion, most embrace celibacy as a positive aspect of their vocation.

These were some of the conclusions outlined by Monsignor Rossetti in his book, “Why Priests Are Happy” (Ave Maria Press), which will be released Wednesday.
Monsignor Rossetti was interviewed by Zenit about his book and his research on priests being happy.
ZENIT: Your research showed a conclusion that the public might find surprising: Priests are among the happiest people in the country. Why do we not hear about this happiness more often?

Monsignor Rossetti: There have been a number of studies in the United States over the last few years with exactly the same findings: About 90% of priests report that they are happy. In my study, it was 92.4%.

In a similar study, when the National Opinion Research Center recently conducted its scientific poll of 27,000 Americans, they found that clergy in general were the most satisfied and happiest of all Americans. This is especially remarkable since over 50% of Americans report being unhappy with their jobs.
So, why are priests so happy?  Many would think that a celibate person would be unhappy.
Joy is one of the unmistakable fruits of the Holy Spirit.

To be truly and fully Christian is to know God’s gift of joy. The secular mind searches for this joy, but it is looking in the wrong place.

It only makes sense that those men who have dedicated their lives in the service of God and others in the Catholic faith as priests would be slowly and gently filled by God with an inner happiness and joy.

Jesus promised us his joy and it is demonstrably true.
I have found this to be true as well. I am much, much happier now than I was before I returned the Catholic faith. Sure, there have been times of trial that have been made worse, I think, by me trying to deal with them myself. But when I really pray and cling to Jesus through the Sacraments, I am really happy. The problems of this world seem to keep their distance.  I am most appreciative of the simple things in life.  So I'm not surprised that those who totally dedicate their whole lives to God are the happiest.

Related link: Study: Most Priests Are Happy, Appreciate Celibacy

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