On Fridays, I post excerpts from the writings of the great American bishop and media evangelist, Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. I call them #FultonFridays.
We all want happiness. We should all take the sensible step of learning that there are three laws of pleasure which, if followed, will make the attainment of happiness immeasurably easier.
The first law: If you are ever to have a good time, you cannot plan your life to include nothing but good times. Pleasure is like beauty; it is conditioned by contrast. A woman who wants to show off her black velvet dress will not, if she is wise, stand against a black curtain, but against a white backdrop. She wants the contrast. Fireworks would not delight us if they were shot off against a background of fire, or the blaze of the noonday sun; they need to stand out against the darkness. Lilies bring us a special pleasure because their petals rise, surprisingly, on the waters of foul ponds. Contrast is needed to help us see each thing as being vividly itself.
Pleasure by the same principle, is best enjoyed when it comes to us as a “treat,” in contrast to experiences that are less pleasurable. We make a great mistake if we try to have all our nights party-night. No on would enjoy Thanksgiving if every meal were a turkey dinner. New Year’s Eve would not delight us if the whistles blew at midnight every night.
Fun rests on contrast, and so does the enjoyment of a funny situation. Our enjoyment of life is vastly increased if we follow the spiritual injunction to bring some mortification and self denial into our lives. This practice saves us from being jaded; it preserves the tang and joy of living. The harp strings of our lives are not thin, made slack by

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