I laughed off everything and found myself dreadfully serious. That is the paradox of atheism. Oddly enough, when I was enlightened I felt burdened. I’ve come to decide enlightenment is a heavy philosophy, not suited to living.Read the entire article. His experience gives him a profound edge.
My life was filled with thinking about death. I didn't take life seriously but I thought of death incessantly.
But how many of us still live in the "shall-nots"? We wade in the shallows of the shall-nots, afraid to venture into the deep waters of truth. We see the limits that are placed on us without recognizing the benefits. Once we embrace the "yes", our vision will change.
For those with large families, consider the children. In my case, I grudgingly accepted them. I knew in my heart my wife was right, but selfishly, I was unhappy. They were a drain on MY time and resources. To be blunt, my focus was on me. And I wasn't happy.
But the beauty of accepting the teachings of the Church in practice even when it isn't in your heart, is that your heart can change. If you are willing to walk the walk, God can change the heart. So slowly but surely, child by child, He changed mine. That is why I jokingly say I have 6.8 kids because I am a slow learner. Not slow to learn "how that happens", but slow to learn what a wonderful plan God has. Once I said yes in my heart, the scales have fell from my eyes. Life hasn't changed, I am not suddenly flush with cash nor are my children angels. In fact I am busier than ever.
But the big difference is that I am happy. I may be to busy to finish projects, watch all the football I would like to, pray as much as I should, read the books I bought... but I am happy. Happy because I am busy doing what I am supposed to be doing. Call it God's work, but more likely it is my work, work that God has give me to mold me into a better man.
No burdens, just joys. Not easy trivial joys like a good dark chocolate. Joys that can make a man cry. Or smile. Often at the same time.