Christ is the source of all true happiness, just as the mother is the source of all things good and needful to the baby. Everything we seek in this world as a means to happiness, every pleasure and the fear of losing anything, is our own vain attempt to fill ourselves with something other than Christ. But WE ARE SEEKING HIM nonetheless. When our children find joy and consolation in other things (which isn't always bad or wrong) they are ultimately seeking Christ. When they have our unconditional love and accpetance we free them to seek Him. When they don't have that from us, we insert ourselves into their lives where Christ should abide. We make ourselves obstacles to Christ in their lives, as are they in our own lives. But when we let go of all worldly attachments, even our children, we gain everything, we radiate Christ to our children, thereby allowing Christ to use us as a means to fill the void they are seeking to fill with material things--including US! We must die to ourselves so that Christ lives in us and then through us our children find Him. And when they are fully mature, they can die to themselves so that Christ lives in them.
All the suffering of our entire lives leads us to Christ. He wants us to realize that we can find no happiness in anything of this world. Only in Him can we find true happiness. Man's deepest fear, I contend, is the fear of being unloved and unable to love. We were made for God--to be loved by Him and to love Him. We needn't fear being unloved except by our fellow man, God always loves us. Our deepest fear is being unable to love HIM! If we are unable to love Him we will never find happiness, never reach the end for which He created us, we will wallow in the misery of Hell for eternity. But to love Him we must let go of everything of this world, ourselves, our families and our friends and every material thing. When we do that--which we're afraid to do because we're afraid of losing happiness--we gain everything because we gain Christ! Then our only fear is losing HIM! Our only fear is offending HIM! When we possess Him we can radiate Him to the world and bring others to Him--including our children, our families, our friends.
The saints mortified themselves because they feared with every fiber of their being losing HIM, feared that anything else should creep in to replace HIM who dwelled within them, He was their life and to lose HIM was to die eternally. St. Paul said, "I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me!"
Of those to whom much is given much is expected. Only those who possess Christ can, with sufficient reflection and full consent of the will, reject HIM. Until one possesses Christ, every sin is a vain attempt to find that happiness for which God created us.
When a baby cries out for his mother's breast and we give him a pacifier or bottle instead, or leave him alone to "take care of himself" we risk teaching him that the true source of his happiness lies outside the parent/child relationship, outside the creator/creature relationship.
Just as the babe spits out the pacifier or the bottle or the formula, until futility sinks in and he realizes that he's not getting the real thing, we would find in every earthly thing a poor relacement for the true source of our happiness if we depended on Christ for everything. We would find sin repulsive, abhorent, just as the babe does the pacifier, the baby sitter, the security blanket, the doll, anything meant as a relacement for the parent, the "giver of life" before futility sinks in. When the small child is left to sleep alone at night, and he's scared and lonely, and he seeks to soothe himself he's seeking to fill a void with something other than the comfort and security of his mother. He's seeking the happiness God made him to enjoy, but he's seeking it through channels that can never satisfy his need. As parents we must not provoke our children, we must not throw stumbling blocks in their way. We must teach them that Christ is the source of all their happiness, by allowing Christ to come to them through ourselves, through being His instruments, through radiating Him, through detaching from everything of this world and desiring only Him. We do this by first dying to ourselves, and then by imitating Christ in all our interactions, not just with our children but with everyone; by loving God with our whole heart, whole soul, whole mind, and whole strength; by loving our neighbor as ourselves for love of God; by doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.
The practice of the virtues, kindness, generosity, etc. are good habits to form, but until we die to ourselves and embrace Christ we are fighting an uphill battle. Once we detach from all the things of this world, especially the fear of being unloved and unable to love, and desire nothing but Christ and fear nothing but losing Christ, the battle is easily won.
Much is expected of the soul who has fully embraced Christ, but when this happens, it is no longer "I" who live, but Christ in "me" and we can accomplish all things in Christ who strengthens us.