Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

What is the meaning of life? Why am I here?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

God is Love (John 4:16) and is a relationship of Persons: the Father sharing His very being in begetting the Son, the Son receiving and returning the Father’s love, and the love between them bearing fruit in the Spirit.  His divine nature is loving relationship.  God loves you.  He created you not out of necessity but out of love, in a desire to share His love with His creation.  He made you in His image and likeness (Genesis).  Therefore, the identity of the human person is to image God by living the fundamental vocation to love. 

Man’s telos, or end and purpose, is union with God.  This union consists in more than being with God.  It means “divinization” – being like God and sharing in His divine nature.  “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (Eucharistic Prayer III).  The mingling of the water and wine at Mass, in addition to symbolizing the water and blood pouring forth from Christ’s side on the Cross, symbolizes the union of the human and divine – the two natures in Christ who is both God and man, as well as the union of God with His people.  The priest prays privately as he places a drop of water in the wine “By the mingling of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.” 

God showed us the full depth of His love by sending us Jesus His Son, who “humbled Himself” in becoming man and “emptied Himself” (called Christ’s kenosis) (Philippians 2) in accepting His Passion in obedience to the Father.  In order to experience union with God and a share in the divine nature, we human persons imitate Jesus Christ, who joined His divinity to our humanity and became the exemplar of humanity perfected.  We do this in a myriad of ways but fundamentally the baptized disciple seeks to conform His life to Christ’s by living a life of self-emptying love. 

Blessed Pope John Paul II once said that “man is most fully himself when he makes a sincere gift of himself.”  By imitating Jesus in emptying ourselves in love for others, while we fear losing our identity or some part of our life we hold on to, we actually discover who we really are: images of God whose identity and divine life are defined by passionate love.  When we love, we therefore become icons of the presence of God, leading people beyond our mere selves to see Him who made them and cares for them.  The more we do this, the more we live the vocation to love and become more like Christ, the easier the transition unto eternal union with God and sharing in His nature will be when we pass from this life. 

From the fundamental vocation to love stems the three vocations within the Church – marriage, priesthood and religious life.  Whether one is called to family life, serving a parish or belonging to a religious community, there is a demand for the human capacity for relationship and a responsibility to empty oneself for the sake of others in every person’s calling from God.  Living out our human capacity for love and relationship results in making a constant sacrifice of our life for the sake of the holiness and health of those God sends our way.  Thus, we live like Jesus, who sacrificed Himself for our salvation. 

It is simple yet profound at the same time, easy to say yet without God’s mercy difficult to live:  to be human is to love God and others and live like Jesus so we can be with God and like God forever.  The meaning of life is love.  We are destined for no less than to be saints!

God bless you! 

Father Matthew

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