James Martin: The Meaning of Life Is God

Nutopiabig (1)What is the meaning of life?

As the old Catholic Catechism used to say, the meaning of life is to know, love and serve God in this world, and to enjoy new life with God in the next. Sound banal? It’s not.

The meaning of life can be found in this relationship. At our birth, God calls us into an intimate relationship, which continues throughout our life, all the way up until the moment of death, when God calls us out of this world. We can see signs of that relationship during moments of profound emotion — seeing the face of your newborn child, being moved to tears when someone does a great act of love for you, or feeling a spontaneous sense of hope in the midst of a difficult. But we also experience signs of God’s love for us in the more everyday moments that we sometimes overlook — a kind word from a friend, a hug from a spouse, the feel of sunshine on our face after a long winter.

God can be found, as Jesuits like to say, in all things, and every moment of our life is an invitation to meet God in a new way. So the meaning of life is, in a word, God. God both gives us meaning and is the meaning.


~James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, author and editor of America magazine.

Copyright © 2015 Excellence Reporter

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