Chasing Happy

Genevieve Wolf
2 min readFeb 17, 2024



In high school, the mater had me read pretty much everything from Aristotle to the Introduction to the Devout Lifenone of which I would say particularly made me happy in life — (Ho, hum, what IS the good life?) and then somewhere in there I picked up The Happiness Project, because well, people were talking about it or something.

What I remember about The Happiness Project?

Absolutely nothing.

As in, nothing except the front cover.

Completely not-memorable.

So it might excite you to learn that I went and found a better book on happiness. The single best book on happiness ever.

I know, shocking. Especially considering all the Greeks, Romans, Latin, encyclicals, lives of the saints, trivia competitions, and stop-trying-to-hug-me-during-the-sign-of-peace-dammit-Genevieve-it’s-so-annoying!

Enter, A Catholic Woman’s Guide to Happiness.

If it seems incongruous to start Lent with a book on happiness, it’s not…and I will explain why.

  • Living the Faith is not about suppressing ourselves, it’s about becoming the best-versions-of-ourselves. That’s why we have the liturgical seasons.
  • God is always there and unchanging, regardless of our feelings about Him.
  • It’s natural to have good and bad spiritual seasons.
  • She has some really interesting things to say about selfish parenting. For example, if you teach your kids to constantly go, go, go, run, run, run, rush rush rush, achieve achieve achieve through life (maybe even to feed your own ego as a parent) you are certainly not teaching them to sit and listen to the Holy Spirit.
  • Her discussion questions are very thought-provoking, some of the best I’ve ever read. Like: what’s your relationship like with food? What is your happy place? And: how comfortable are you with silence?
  • She has one of the best descriptions of the seven sacraments I have ever read.

But most importantly, she describes how all of our earthly desires point to a desire for our Primary Love, that is, God. Our earthly desires only become screwed when they become inordinate and keep us from our primary destination and focus.

As an example — and I’m totally completely thoroughly spit-balling here, not speaking from personal experience or anything — if you are unable to put your phone down for longer than five consecutive seconds to listen to your own child without interrupting her with the words “You don’t know what you’re talking about”, you might have an inordinate attachment to your digital device.

The author has an extensive list of modern inordinate attachments that might be weighing you down (Chapter Twelve). That’s why I chose this book for the start of Lent.

If you want to do a thorough examination of conscience this purple season (and I hope you do), A Catholic Woman’s Guide to Happiness is a great place to start.

You can get it HERE today.



Genevieve Wolf

Just out here writing about daily life, humor, God, and Catholicism.