"Christ lives, he has overcome death, he has overcome all these powers. We live in this certainty, in this freedom, and in this joy." (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 12 XI 2008)
"Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks the truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie." (Blessed John Paul II, Canonisation of Edith Stein, 11 X 1998)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Did you ever wonder: "Why am I here?"

We all wonder this at some point. When our lives don't have direction we tend to be more bothered by this question than when we are filled with purpose. But even given a purpose, if it is not an eternal one, the respite from the question is fleeting. So what is the purpose that drives our existence, that motivates us into acting in line with our eternal destiny?
"The human being is made for gift, which expresses and makes present his transcendent dimension." (35, Caritas in Veritate, Benedict XVI)
We are made to give, but also to receive (as was pointed out yesterday). But we need to understand that being motivated to act only in our own interest, in a selfish way that is only directed at receiving will never fulfil our needs, it will never complete us.So many of us are trying to get as much money or as many possessions as we can. We become driven for the next purchase or paycheck, always fooling ourselves that it will make us feel better... it goes without saying, and we all know, it never does. I heard a clip of Prince at a concert saying "Money won't buy you happiness, but it'll sure pay for the search." I hate to say it, but this is blatantly false. It can only pay the passage towards diversion. Anthony De Mello, SJ, gave a presentation where he used the quote "True happiness is not caused, it just is." We need to be able to  find the direction. We need to be able to give, to give of ourselves in sharing the suffering of others. Also, not forgetting, to be able to share their happiness also. This sharing of happiness can be difficult at times. The all too human traits of jealousy and envy poke their heads out at these times. We need to turn to God for the humility to be able to see everything we receive as gift and then share these gifts with others, at the same time as sharing in the joy of their gifts.
I will just end with another quote from the same passage in the encyclical:
"Sometimes modern man is wrongly convinced that he is the sole author of himself, his life and society. This is a presumption that follows from being selfishly closed in upon himself, and it is a consequence - to express it in faith terms - of original sin." (Ibid)
Let's pray for the humility to accept God's hand in our lives and be able to fulfil our true natures while we reach for the eternity of heaven.

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