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This is your resident Thomist bringing you a minute from the Bellowing Ox.

Christians are sometimes criticized for evangelizing. We are told that atheists never knock on doors or seek to impose their viewpoint on others – never mind the constant fallacious attitude of all worldly media or educational elites that being Christian means one is foolish – that constant drum beat is not evangelization for some reason. (Never mind that Christians were the inventors of science or that we were the first empirical realists.)

So why do Catholics and religious people evangelize? Why do atheists do so, albeit more subtly than religious? It’s because they believe they’ve found the pathway to happiness; they believe the truth resides with their position. So what is happiness?

Thomas defines happiness as the perfect satisfaction of the will. It is where the will rests in an object that perfectly satisfies it. That object, for Thomas, is God. He arrives at this through philosophical investigation of all of the typical things people take to be happiness, things like wealth, pleasure, power, honor, and fame. All of these, he demonstrates, cannot be happiness.

Near the end of his life, Thomas had a mystical vision of Christ. Christ looked down at Thomas from the cross and told Thomas he had written well of him, so well, that Jesus said He would give him whatever he wanted. Thomas’ response was, “only thyself, oh Lord.” A man of such high wisdom knew where happiness resided. Where do you seek happiness?