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Monday, March 1, 2010

What is the meaning of my life? Why did God make me?

Earlier this year I offered Five Reasons to Believe God Exists Using Logic and Philosophy so the premise here will be God exists. Now since God exists, why did He make me, why am I here? This may be the million dollar question, or in 2010, the trillion dollar question. Whatever the value, it is a question worth pondering some time during Lent or at some point in my earthly existence.

As a deist I might believe one of these; God made me and left me on my own to make of my life what I want, or God made me and left me on my own to make my life the best version of my life that it can be, or God made me and left me on my own to make a difference in the world. I know what I want, what is best for me and for everyone else.

As a theist I might believe; God made me, has a purpose for me, knows what is best for me, He never leaves me, wants me to be the best version of myself, to make a difference in this world, and live with Him in heaven for all eternity.

Which will it be my will or God’s? If it is my will, my God is real but remote, like a clockmaker, initiating the universe, setting it in motion then leaving it to run itself. Basically breathing life into my soul and then sitting back to watch my life unfold on a 2000 foot plasma HD TV.

If I choose God’s will for me, my God is real but present, like a loving parent or spouse, interested, involved and ready to guide. Which one is the True God? Or rather, which one do I want to believe in? Would I rather He be attentive or absent? Concerned or disinterested? Engaged or bored? Or a bit of both?

Why did God make me? Well for one thing, God does not need me. He is perfectly happy within himself and needs nothing. I have to say, I think like that at times. I don’t need anyone; I can do it by myself, I know what is best (internal monologue, “I am god”). But God is perfect, omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere) and I’m not any of those things.

If God does not need me, why am I here? Why are any of us here? Could it be that God, the creator of the universe, loved each and every one of us into existence?

What is love? Thomas Aquinas said that “love is willing the good for the other as other.” Basically wanting what is best for the other above our own needs.

Can I be frank? Sometimes I hear about one of my friends succeeding and I think, – I could do that, wait I did do that, why didn’t I get the praise? Instead of loving for the good of the other as other, I see my friend as a threat, because if they are getting something, (money, power, pleasure, or esteem) I’m not. Am I loving you for your good, or for what I can get from you, which is actually indirect egotism.

Time for more honesty, on my own, I am incapable of loving for the good of the other as other, because I am more concerned about myself. But with God’s grace, His guidance and Wisdom I am capable of loving and wanting the best for the other at whatever the cost to me. That is Good News.

Want more Good News? God loved us all into existence and wants only our happiness. Really, don’t we all yearn to be happy? Our God in His Wisdom, placed the desire to be happy with Him upon our hearts at the creation of our soul. Kind of like an eternal homing device. Brilliant, after all He is omniscient. He created us, with free will I might add, sent us out into the world, knowing that at some point this need, craving, longing for true happiness would become so strong that nothing of this world would quench the thirst for happiness and we would be led back to Him.

God’s dream, all He wants is for us is to be the best version of our self, the person He created. God is not self-interested; He won’t take advantage of us, nor will He manipulative us. All He wants is for us to be happy and fully alive. Really, God does not need us. But, he desires us so much that He sacrificed His only Son so that we could be with Him for all eternity.

If He doesn’t need us, yet desires a deep intimate relationship with each of us, why create us with free will? Wouldn't it be easy just to manipulate us into loving Him? Yes, but He does not manipulate, He loves us far too much. Think of it this way, would you ask someone to marry you while holding a gun to their head? You will never know if they said yes because they truly loved you or feared you. Fear is quite the opposite of love.

So if God doesn’t need us, why did he love us into being? St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things “not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it, for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness. “ St. Thomas Aquinas puts it this way, “Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph 358 and 301 states “God created everything for man, but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him.” “With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence.” God’s breath gives us life, and may be taken away at His discretion.

What is the meaning of my life, why did God make me? God made me to know, love and serve Him and to be happy with Him forever in heaven. This leads me, on a great adventure, with endless possibilities, and no worries. For no matter what blessings, joys, challenges, or sorrows come my way; I have God, His truth, wisdom and love to guide me.

Thank you God for giving me life, I freely choose you as my partner. I ask you to give me the grace to follow you and do your will daily. All praise and all thanksgiving goes to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“For you love all things that are, and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you? But you spare all things, because they are yours, O Lord and lover of souls.” Wisdom 11:24-26

“Father, if you will, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci

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