(A) Missing Ingredient(s)

The discovery of a new dish

does more for human happiness

than the discovery of a new star.

— Anthelme Brillat-Savarin  (1755 – 1826) French gourmet & lawyer

[More than one cook have been accused of leaving out a key ingredient of an asked-for recipe. Try as one might, one never seems to produce the same results as the original cook.  Something vital is missing.  Here is a recipe for “contented living” or what we might call “happiness.” As good as these directions are, there is at least one key ingredient missing (it seems to me.)]

There are nine requisites for contented living:

HEALTH enough to make work a pleasure;

WEALTH enough to support your needs;

STRENGTH enough to battle with difficulties and forsake them;

GRACE enough to confess your sins and overcome them;

PATIENCE enough to toil until some good is accomplished;

CHARITY enough to see some good in your neighbor;

LOVE enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others;

FAITH enough to make real the things of God;

HOPE enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.

–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  (1749-1832)

[What, if anything, is missing?  Please give your answer by leaving a comment.    For every person who posts a serious answer or comment on this blog in the next 168 hours from the time of this post, I will donate $2.00 to the Sacred Heart Food Pantry.  Tell friends and family that they can get involved.

If you need Instructions for how to leave a comment, click on the “Using this Blog” file beneath the burning hearts.]

[The chef is Dewan Bisht  who uploaded his picture to Wikimedia Commons.]


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
This entry was posted in Quotations, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to (A) Missing Ingredient(s)

  1. Denise says:

    FELLOWSHIP enough to progress through levels of involvement, service, growth and leadership.

  2. Frank says:

    PERSISTENCE enough not to deem yourself lacking any of the attributes at first blush;

  3. ralph modena says:

    Wisdom- the key to know what God wants us to know and do.

  4. Linda Trill says:

    Peace with our fellow man.

  5. Linda Trill says:

    mix with all colors, races and creeds!!

  6. Patrick says:

    Definitely fellowship

  7. Linda Trill says:

    From my sister Carol: the Lord, because without Him, we are nothing.

  8. Barbara Lilly says:

    Prayer for guidance and direction.

  9. lewis says:

    Humility – understanding that we are not perfect, so that we may use our strengths to serve and our weaknesses to learn from

  10. MaryLu says:

    Quietness so that we can hear the word of God.

  11. natt says:

    Trust- so that we will act accordingly and not make our faith a lie

  12. Appreciation for beauty, because nature, art, music and literature enrich our understanding of God and humanity.

  13. Matt Smith says:

    POVERTY enough to have a need to call on God.
    GRATITUDE enough to see the need for other men.

  14. Adoro says:

    PRUDENCE ~ to know what to do with everything else, and in what measure.

  15. Deborah LaMothe says:

    Openness to allow God into your heart.

  16. HUMILITY so that we understand how little we can accomplish on our own without the grace of God.

    WISDOM to know God’s will for our life.

  17. Dolores Torres says:

    Compassion for all Mankind empowering us to a life of Service.

  18. annette says:

    Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.
    Mark Twain

  19. annette says:

    If you have JOY in your heart, it shouts from your lips!

  20. Katherine says:

    Self-Control: enough to know when it’s enough.

    Peace: enough to be content with whatever life brings.

  21. Becca says:

    Direction, a sure direction in your life.

  22. Sue Rumburg says:

    God. I had the rest but my life wasn’t complete until i accepted God as my savior.

  23. Diane says:

    Thankfulness….for all of God’s gifts! Even those little gifts that we often miss because they are so much a part of our everyday lives.


    Without TRUST there is no LOVE!!

  25. Loretta Hammond says:

    God first, then all else falls into place!
    “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”.

  26. David says:

    DELIGHT in whatever we have, be it little or much, because all that we have is a gift that we do not deserve.

  27. Paul Wharton says:

    Here is a response that ended up elsewhere in the blog. It counts toward the food pantry donation.

    Liston Pennington (@LHPennington) says:
    November 14, 2011 at 6:18 PM (Edit)
    How about the tenacity to yield? I realize that this excerpt is focused towards grieving, but the contrast between tenaciousness and yielding to God brought up a thought that frequents my mind. Often do I realize that it is best to yield to God in devotion and service, yet, though my faith doesn’t waiver, I fail to remain resolved, or tenacious, in my efforts to service and following a purpose of assisting others. The Lord grants me knowledge of the importance to help others through Christian charity and often I vow to do more, so I yield to his will, but I tend to lack that tenaciousness to carry through on a regular basis. I need to be mindful of the marriage of the Oak and Fall, beautifully combining the willingness to yield to Christ and have a tenacious resolve. I suppose this difficulty of combining the two exists also with the concept of compassion. How do we marry the two and recreate the beauty that God does with the Oak and fall?

  28. INITIATIVE to search out the Lord our God in all that we do.

  29. Patience. The virtue of sitting back and leaving all things to God’s Will.

  30. Vesita Lowman says:

    Laughter..to show God our appreciation for everything he has given us. all the beauty of this world.

  31. Cathy says:

    BELIEVING GOD — “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret of being content – whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4: 11-13

  32. Elizabeth Carpenter says:

    I really had to sit on this one. It made me think about the whole spectrum of happiness and what is required for contentment. I think that all the responses posted and the blog are great models for happiness, but I disagree that there are requisites for happiness or a perfect recipe for achieving it. With any recipe, what determines if it is good or not, is the pallet of the individual. Though we are all similar creatures, we are all very much different and what it takes for each individual to be happy, is not going to be the same. To be happy we have to allow ourselves to be happy. To make the CHOICE to let happiness into our heart, soul, and life. To have confidence in our selves, and our own capabilities. Know thy self, and you will find what it takes for you to be happy. What is heaven for one, may be hell for another. All the tools needed for contentment lie within you, and you have to be open enough to see them, and understand that the power is right in your own finger tips.

    • Paul Wharton says:

      Beth,you are right in saying that happiness comes from within and there is no one recipe or secret. Nevertheless, some conditions have to be present while others must be absent. To me gratitude is almost a must have like water to make coffee. On the other hand, anyone holding onto to resentments cannot be truly happy. Good to hear from you. Say hello to Tin and Janet.

  33. Jason says:

    You need COURAGE!

  34. Julia says:

    Peace with the ability to accept God’s grace.

  35. Donna Kelly says:

    CONTENTMENT – Be it little or much be content with what you have. Sirach 29:23

  36. Michelle Bacho says:

    Wisdom to know right from wrong and the Courage to choose the right path

  37. Mary Jones says:

    Modesty – lest pride get in the way of all the other ingredients. An excess of pride is like an excess of salt in a dish – it totally ruins the flavors!

  38. Beth says:

    UNDERSTANDING that His plan is not always our plan, and it will work out in the end.

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