Infinite dreams, insignificant realizations; this is man. He desires so much, he is capable of so little; he aims very high, attains very little; he does what he has no liking for and is not able to do what he truly likes to do; he strives to be humble, he cannot; he intends to please everyone, he does not; he proposes high goals, he remains halfway; he struggles to overcome rancor, to extirpate envy, to calm tensions, to act with patience … but he cannot understand what kind of devils confront him and make him fail. Originally, man is: contingency, precariousness, limitation, and powerlessness. This is the deepest source of human suffering.
The fundamental error of man consists in living between dreams and fictions. On the contrary, the first chapter of wisdom is to look upon everything with open eyes, maintain serenity and not blink before the roughness of reality, accepting it as it is, accepting the fact that we are essentially handicapped, that we are capable of very little, that we are born to die, that solitude is our companion, that freedom is terribly disabled, that despite great effort the results will be very small…
A wise man’s life should be the passing from illusion to reality, from fantasy to objectivity. We need to declare war against enchantments, to strip away illusions, and move towards serenity.
Extracted from the book “The art of being Happy” by Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga