Fr. Thomas Keating: On the Meaning of Life

Fr. Thomas 2009 024Excellence Reporter: Father Thomas, what is the meaning of life?

Fr. Thomas Keating: The meaning of life is sacrifice. This is really a biblical revelation.

In the Christian perspective the three relationships within the Holy Trinity are continually giving away all that they are to each other within their absolute unity. When one of these infinite relationships enters the human species as a member, as in the teaching of the Incarnation, God is united with all humanity, past, present, and to come.

In the Trinity the total surrender of all that each of the three relationships is, is infinitely and eternally delightful. In human beings, because of our false selves and egos, giving ourselves away to God and others is often the cause of enormous suffering whether of body, soul, or spirit.

Strongly attached to our idea of ourselves in ways that are self-centered and self-serving, we do not know how to experience the freedom and joy of giving ourselves away completely to God and to serving others for God’s sake, especially with regard to those in deepest need.


~Father Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O. is one of the architects of the Centering Prayer movement begun in Spencer Abbey in 1975 and founder in 1984 of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., now an international, ecumenical organization that teaches Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, and the Christian contemplative tradition and provides a support system for those on the contemplative path through a wide variety of resources, workshops, and retreats. He helped to found the Snowmass Interreligious Conference in 1982 and is a past president of the Temple of Understanding and of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue among other interreligious activities. He is the author of many books and video/audio tapes series. His books include, Open Mind, Open Heart, The Mystery of Christ, Invitation to Love, Intimacy with God, The Human Condition, The Better Part, Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit, Manifesting God.

Copyright © 2016 Excellence Reporter

2 replies »

  1. Thomas Keating peeps into Christian Mystery in a most inclusive and hopeful way. I wonder the persistence and love it takes to cleanly navigate to truth through the bruises and beauty of religion.


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