The Purpose of Life
updated 7/16/07 , 01/05/08, 01/07/08

Introduction

What is the purpose of life? What makes life meaningful? Is my purpose in life to be rich and successful? Is my purpose in life to have the man, woman, car, or home of my dreams? What really makes life worth living? What is the ultimate purpose in life?

The Purpose of Life is to know, love, and serve God. Why? Because God is the source of everything that is good.

"Father, this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." John 17:3

"God our savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3-4

How can I serve God if I do not love God? How can I love God if I do not know God? How can I know God if I am not open to all that God stands for, which is everything that is good.


How can I know God?

One can know God by the ways that God reveals Himself:

 

God reveals Himself in everything because He created everything (The Material Universe).
 - an example of this is the beauty of nature.

God reveals Himself in human nature, especially through reason or the “voice of conscience” which is the inner prophet of God that speaks directly to our hearts (The Natural Moral Law).
 - For example . . .

 . “, to nourish our bodies is right; but to indulge our appetite for food to the detriment of our spiritual life is wrong.”

 ..“ Taking care of myself is right, but refusing to make myself available to others when the well-being of society requires it, is wrong.”

The Natural Law :   http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09076a.htm

 

These are examples of natural revelation.

However, God also reveals himself to humanity supernaturally in what we call Public Revelation.

God revealed Himself in history by choosing a people, the Jews, to be His collective prophet to the world, making a covenant with them, giving them His law and His prophets, performing miracles for them (such as the Exodus), and inspiring their sacred Scriptures, which we Christians call the “Old Testamtent”.

 

God revealed himself most completely of all in sending His own divine Son, Jesus Christ, who is the New Convenant, who fulfills the Old Law, and brings the New Law or the Law of the Gospel, which is to Love God and neighbor.  

God reveals himself through His Church that Jesus Christ esablished (Ephesians 2:20).
(the church is the mystical body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12-27; Romans 12:4-5)

Finally, God reveals himself throughout the New Testament as well, which the apostles authored and the early Church authorized.

 

The more we discover how God reveals Himself, the more we realize that we are more than just animals.  We are created in the image of God.  We are God’s greatest creation.  We don’t just eat, sleep, and die but we have a soul! We have a spirit that lives on after we leave this earthly life.

If we have a soul, then we have to realize that there is more to life than life here on earth. 

We have to live for the life to come and not for the here and now. 

If God created our souls, then why did He put us here on earth?  

Life here on earth is a pilgramage to search for truth and love, in hopes that we will find the ultimate truth and love, which is God. 

When we have a glimpse of that ultimate truth and love, then we are called to love God in return.


How can I love God?

How can I love God? We can love God if we put His will first before ours. 

We can love God by honoring, praising, and following Him.  We love God by loving others since all are created in His image. 

Loving God and others is the greatest commandment:

"You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment." Mathew 22:37-38

If we love God, then we follow His commandments.

If we love ourselves more than God, then we distance ourselves from God’s love.
 

How can I serve God?

When we come to know and love God, we are then called to give ourselves in service to others.

"'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'" Mathew 25:45

"For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

How can we serve God and others?

We can serve God and others in many ways by upholding social justice such as helping and/or feeding the poor or less fortunate, help others who are in need, help in Church activities, lead others to God and His love, and do what is right.  Serve God in different ways

public service: teacher, doctor, nurse, lawyer, fireman, social worker, military, counselor, etc
private life: be a good friend, son, daughter, brother, sister, mentor, etc.
Church: Eucharistic minister, altar server, lector, choir, CFF/CCD teacher, rec staff member, etc.

Conclusion

We talked about what it means to have a meaningful purpose in life in the eyes of God, which is to know, love, and serve God. 

What point is it in treating the things of this world - wealth, ambition, comfort - as if they are more important than God and the soul?

Eternal life is worth any service or sacrifice (2).

Jesus asked, "For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?" (Matt 16:26). This is a question we all need to ask ourselves (2).

Unless we know and live our ultimate purpose in life, then we are not living life to our real potential, not by the world's standards, but by God's standards. You can be the poorest person on earth, but be the richest person in Heaven in God's eyes if you realize what the real ultimate purpose in life is, which is to know, love, and serve God.


Personal Testimony


Questions to ponder on:
1) After listening to this talk, how does it affect your current or previous perception of "What is meaningful in life?" or "What is my purpose in life?" Do I share some of the points mentioned in this talk? Do I disagree with them? Why do I disagree or agree?


References

(1) Catechism of the Catholic Church - 1

(2) This Is The Faith : A Complete Explanation of the Catholic Faith by Canon Francis Ripley. 1973 Tan Books & Publishers. Rockford, Illinois. Pg. 14

(3) Beginning Apologetics #4: How to Answer Atheists and New Agers. Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham. San Juan Catholic Seminars. Farmington, NM, 2004

(4) Kreeft, Peter. A Pocket Guide to The Meaning of Life. 2007 Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington. Pp. 21-22. 

 

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