home page links quotes statistics mission statement success stories resources Lighter Side Authors! Search Page
Posted June 24, 2014

Book: Secret to Happiness: Wisdom from John XXIII
Pauline Books & Media. Boston. 2014. Pp. 101

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

In our fast paced world, people who radiate gentleness and humility are beacons who show us the way to happiness. John XXIII discovered the secret to navigating the pressures and worries of life with serenity and joy. In these pages, delve into the words of this courageous and joyful man who opened a window into a new era for the Church.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Simplicity, Sure Way to Sanctity

The surest way to my personal sanctification and successful service to the Holy See is the constant effort to reduce everything --- principles, objectives, position, business --- to the utmost simplicity and tranquility; to always prune my vineyard of useless leaves and tendrils and concentrate on truth, justice, and charity, but above all charity. Every other way of acting is pretension and a search for personal affirmation, which soon reveals itself as absurd and burdensome.

Oh, the simplicity of the Gospel, of the Imitation of Christ, of The Little Flowers of Saint Francis, of the most exquisite passages from Saint Gregory in the Moralia:deridetur justi simplicitas [the simplicity of the just man is mocked] and what follows. How I enjoy these pages more and more, and how often I go back to them with interior pleasure! All the wise men of this world, all the wily ones of the earth, even Vatican diplomats . . .make such bad impression when seen in the light of the simplicity and grace emanating from this great and fundamental teaching of Jesus and his saints!. . .

Lord Jesus, preserve in me the love and practice of this simplicity which, by keeping me humble, makes me more like you and draws and saves the souls of men.

My character is inclined toward compliance and to readily seeing the good side of people and things rather than criticizing and judging harshly. This, along with the considerable age difference – which gives me more experience and a deeper insight into the human heart --- often cause me interior distress because of those around me. Any type of ill treatment or distrust shown toward anyone, but especially toward the humble, the poor, the lowly, every harsh and thoughtless judgment causes me pain and great suffering. I remain quiet, but my heart bleeds. My colleagues are good ecclesiastics. I appreciate their excellent qualities. I am very fond of them and they deserve every good. But I suffer much in relation to them. On some days and in some circumstances I am tempted to react strongly. But I prefer silence, believing it to be a more eloquent and effective instruction. Could this be a weakness of mine? I must, I want to keep bearing the weight of this light cross in peace, together with the already mortifying sense of my littleness.

Excerpt from Il Giornale dell'Anima notes from Nov. 23-27, 1948

Table of Contents:

1. What God wants me to be

2. No humility apart from Jesus

3. I am nothing, God is all

4. Personal holiness in the real world

5. Letting go of what others think

6. All success comes from God

7. Being a sinner

8. Overcoming self-love

9. The power of goodness

10. Adopting the gentleness of Christ

11. Leaving the future to God

12. Confidence in God's love

13. Optimism that builds up

14. Simplicity, sure way to sanctity

15. Safe in God's hands

16. Peace from following God's will

17. Trust in God's providence

18. Humiliation borne with joy

19. Love of the Cross

20. Detactment and God's will

21. Poverty in spirit and in fact

22. Living in abandonment

23. The primacy of charity

24. Comfort in humility

25. You know that I love you!

26. The Decalogue of Pope John XXIII