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God Wants You Happy: From Self-Help to God's Help Hardcover – Apr 4 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harperone (April 4 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061913561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061913563
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #741,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Father Jonathan understands that your true self is connected directly to God. When you honor that connection, you honor Him and the result nothing short of miraculous. I’ve seen it happen in my own life and, with this book, it can happen in yours.” (Glenn Beck)

“In this wonderful book Father Jonathan Morris explains exactly how God, through the Word of truth, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, can transform your life in ways that no self-help book can do. Read this book and begin the journey of transformation.” (Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life)

“The path to happiness and a just life is complicated.  Father Morris offers a way forward that people of faith will find refreshing and relevant.” (Bill O’Reilly, Anchor, Fox News Channel)

“My friend Father Jonathan Morris elaborates with color and care the mysterious balance between our work and God’s grace, and the welcome result could open up a new section in our bookstores: God’s self-help programs.” (Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York)

“Father Jonathan Morris has love in his heart for every human being, including every person lucky enough to read his powerful new book.  Here is a plan for making God your partner in seeking the life you deserve, filled with happiness, hope and success.” (Keith Ablow, MD, Co-author of The 7: Seven Wonders that Will Change Your Life)

“Father Jonathan Morris’s inviting, accessible, and personal new book is a reminder of an overlooked truth: faith leads to joy, ... show[ing] us why joy is the surest sign of God’s presence in our lives.” (James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything)

“Father Morris has succeeded where many others have failed, both in clarifying the much-abused notion of happiness and, more importantly, setting our natural desire for self-fulfillment firmly in the context of our, just as natural, search for God. This is a book, I think, that will change lives.” (American Spectator)

From the Back Cover

In God Wants You Happy, Father Jonathan Morris replaces the unsatisfying, fleeting solutions we receive from the New Age self-help industry with the simplicity and depth of authentic Christian spirituality. In his work traveling the world for FOX News and in his parish work in New York City, Father Jonathan could not understand why people were choosing the vague and sometimes harmful advice of the self-help gurus and ignoring the tested and true help the Christian faith offers. He discovered that part of the problem was packaging: people thought the church dealt only in sin and guilt and not help and healing. But what if we reframed God's good news in the same terms as the self-help world?

Morris argues that self-help can only take you so far; what we need is God-help. God Wants You Happy offers a life-long spiritual program that teaches you how to open yourself up to God's loving presence in order to become everything he created you to be—joyful, flourishing men and women. In other words, God wants you to be happy.

Illuminated with biblical passages and filled with case studies and exercises, God Wants You Happy helps you to:

  • Open your mind and heart to the all-loving God who wants to help and empower you
  • Work through the Faith-Hope-Love Cure to rid yourself of self-destructive and self-limiting habits while forming new habits for receiving grace, forgiveness, acceptance, and love
  • Tap into the natural mechanisms of self-improvement God has already put within you
  • Discover your divine mission

A lifetime of happiness is at your fingertips and the Creator of the universe wants to help you achieve it.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa5333720) out of 5 stars 91 reviews
75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53be9c0) out of 5 stars The Peace We Are Seeking April 16 2011
By Joan Barber - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"God Wants You Happy" finds you where you are and tugs you gently back to where you need to be. For anyone who finds relief in the wrong things -- be it compulsive shopping, a workaholic, alcohol, drugs, worrying, self-absorption... etc. etc. -- this book guides us through a spiritual plan on how to connect self help to God's help in six defined steps. Not preachy, but written with a warmth and conviction that leaves us convinced that God loves us unconditionally in every aspect of our lives. Father Morris helps us to open our minds and hearts to the true meaning of Sacred Scripture and Jesus' message -- "to love one another as I have loved you" aligning our will to God's will -- thus becoming open to receive the grace and profound happiness that God is waiting to give us...if we let Him.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa55368e8) out of 5 stars I needed this. A reality check to be sure. Dec 5 2011
By Sherry Moore - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My husband bought me this book because 1) He knew how much I respect Father Morris even though I am not Catholic, and 2)Because of my rejection-filled past from family and subsequent battle with depression. I read this book slowly so as to grasp each point. My husband asked what was taking me so long...this book is to be savored, to be chewed over, to be read with an open heart. If you skim over it then you have missed it all. I have cried tears of relief and revelation that the answers are actually there for me to find on how to love and to be loved. Understanding for the first time my actions and reactions towards situations and people. My husband loves me dearly, but I have always had a difficult time believing it. For the first time I am "getting" it. My Father in Heaven loves me. I have said it all my life...but now I know it. It takes faith and a longing to WANT to be better to read this message. It takes an understanding that you need help to move forward with a better perspective than the one you have drug around all this time. This book, I believe, was written with the Love of God inking out through Father Morris' fingers. Thank you, God, for that faithful servant! I am moving forward!
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb6aabf78) out of 5 stars From Self-Help to God-Help. April 19 2011
By Justin Hyde - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In the book of John in the New Testament, Jesus says, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10).

In a culture dominated by self-actualization, pseudo-spirituality, and chronic selfishness, Father Jonathan Morris offers a better (and more biblical) way of "being happy" than the scores of self-help books that promise readers a better life (A BETTER YOU!).

Father Morris makes a distinction between mere self-help and God-help, yet understands that they are intimately connected. He writes, "Genuine human flourishing ... almost always has something to do with our good choices (positive self-help) and always has everything to do with God's grace (God-help). Any effort to divorce one from the other is a dangerous detour into philosophical narcissism (pursuing self-help without recognition of God) or religious irrationalism (expecting God to do what he wants us to do for ourselves)."

This book is divided into two main sections: the Problem and the Solution. The problem, of course, is thinking that a person can ever be truly "happy" separated from his or her Creator. The solution is submitting oneself to his or her Creator and resting in His faithfulness, which alone can produce lasting joy. Happiness then is a by-product of a life with God, and living a life of "faith, hope and love". Father Morris notes, "Authentic happiness is unearthed first by discovering who we are within a universe whose existence is explicable only by the existence of an eternal Creator; happiness is then cultivated as we build a relationship with that Creator, as his son or daughter dearly loved by him." In an interview with Glenn Beck, Morris adds, "If we start thinking that, in ourselves, we can find our own happiness completely separated from a loving God and Father and Friend then I think we're going to go down a road that is ultimately self-destructive and deceiving."

This book is a helpful encouragement and correction for those stuck in a constant cycle of struggle/frustration/depression/self-help/struggle/frustration/depression. Father Morris, pointing to Jesus Christ, offers true Shalom, which cannot ultimately be found from within (self) but from without (in God).

Morris notes that in even dark and confusing seasons, God is not absent or unaware. There is purpose in trials and an understanding of (and trust in) God's promises provides "happiness" in spite of a person's current circumstances.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, "What is the chief end of man? Answer: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever." As a Reformed Baptist, I disagree with Morris' theology at various points, yet I commend his overall thesis (and argument): God wants you happy.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa537e3c0) out of 5 stars Great book! May 15 2011
By Helen W. Stone - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a really great book!! I'm Baptist and he is Catholic but I didn't see any differences between what we both believed. Father Jonathan is down-to-earth in his writing and quotes scripture to back it up. I highly recommend this book.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5938e64) out of 5 stars Insightful, deep, and practical Oct. 24 2012
By Paul - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fr. Morris does an excellent job illustrating the various problems that plague modern society and that, while non-religious self-help programs offer valuable devices and perspectives on our human struggles, a program informed by faith that invites God to also assist us can do so much more. Fr. Morris gives a series of steps to follow in addressing what dissatisfies us in our lives, which is similar to AA and other addiction-recovery programs. He then centers his approach around what is taught by Catholics as the "theological virtues": faith, hope, and love, showing how each can heal a dimension of ourselves, and then invites readers to live them ever more deeply to allow God transform their lives, given their willingness and effort to make it possible. He also offers the very proven method of Ignatian prayer with Scripture: both meditation and contemplation, though without the burden of the technical terminology. Above all, Fr. Jonathan uses stories, generally anonymized, but also some very personal episodes from his own life, and in this way makes his message believable and relatable. Whether your concerns are over domestic issues, personal discomfort, addictions, or character flaws, the insights in this book will help you to begin addressing them in a fruitful and open-ended way. Finally, Fr. Jonathan never presumes that a reader would begin his approach alone; rather, he repeatedly recommends that everyone have a trusted companion with whom to walk on this journey, who can keep us accountable and who can offer valuable observations as we go.

Several times while reading this, I felt intense emotions as his stories paralleled my own experience within my family and personal relationships. Continuing to read the book, I was able to put those issues into perspective and understand the ways in which I needed to be open to God's assistance in my life and how I could most fruitfully approach closing these wounds and facilitating their healing. This is an ongoing process, but Fr. Jonathan's inspired message was just what I needed, and I enthusiastically recommend this book to everyone.