I really cannot begin to comprehend how a research organisation would set out to implement a survey of this kind.
Would they start with a high rise estate in Birmingham and find that a 72" colour television and a packet of chips is the summit of happiness on earth?
|.........Mass? Mass, of course!|
Or, perhaps begin in Martha's Vineyard only to find that happiness comes in the form of a new Ferrari F430 Spyder and a Manhattan penthouse.
Methinks you would need a massive base across all socio economic groups to even get close to what makes us happy.
Sadly, the Catholic Faith or matters of Catholic interest do not feature in the results.
If they had quizzed me I would have placed, in descending order, the following:-
1. A Missa Cantata
2. A Low Mass, EF, of course
3. Attending Mass with my wife, children and grandchildren
4. Fishing with my son
5. A Manhattan cocktail
Fairly undemanding you might think but, in fact, all five are hard to achieve, ergo, I must be unhappy most of the time.
Except that, I'm not. I have siblings and good Catholic friends to enjoy a pint with from time to time and life is pretty good right now.
But then, the survey highlights the fact that older people (and younger ones) are the happiest in our society.
Not exactly the sort of result that has one falling over backwards in amazement.
But then, the survey actually picks out The Orkneys as being home to some of the happiest people in the British Isles.
Apparently it's a sort of epicentre for bonhomie and laughter and Orkney folk walk around with massive grins and sparkling eyes all of the time.
The answer is, of course, clear. It's all down to the fact that the Transalpine Redemptorists have a monastic community there (on Papa Stronsay).
I must admit that living close to a monastery would rank high in my personal happiness stakes; higher even than living across the road to the Brains Brewery, home of the R*v J***s bitter.
Of course, before the Transalpine monks alighted in The Orkneys, it was a distinctly unhappy place as you can see from the following poem on the subject..........
All I can say is, thanks be to God for Fr Michael Mary and his band of happy men.