meaning of life

Why did God create?- God’s plan

Why would God, who is infinitely and definitively good, create? No quantity or quality of creation will ever increase the total amount of good that exists, since He is infinitely good already. Why should there be creation, if creation adds nothing to its creator?

Because of the nature of good itself. Truly, good is not like mere human desires and pleasure. It is not something to hoard, and seek for yourself. God’s goodness is not His being perpetually pleased with Himself. God is not the perfect drug.

Rather, it is in the nature of good to give itself. Goodness is inherently diffusive. At all times, the good desires to give itself, and to be united to others. Consider how a flower’s scent gives itself to those nearby, and is especially good as we are united with it by breathing it in, and how the flower advertises itself with beautiful colours, and invites in the butterfly, to drink of its sweet nectar, and so be even more perfectly united by nourishing the butterfly’s flesh.flutterby

Goodness entails a thing pouring itself out, into the other. Consider how the Sun doesn’t only illuminate itself, but all of creation. And consider how Brother Sun is actually destroying his own mass, at a rate of about 4 billion kilograms per second, to provide heat and light for the cosmos, and how the Earth receives this energy, and turns it to life! The Sun gives itself, and so is united with and internalised by Earth, and the Earth, filled with the Sun, leaps and hops and sings and rejoices!

So God did not create seeking goodness, but expressing and sharing and pouring out His goodness. And this gift is everything, because God created from nothing, ex nihilo, giving all things even their very being. God creates because He is good, not because He wants good. God made all creation, in order to share His goodness.

But God’s goodness is not content to stop at creation of the universe, but desires this universe to be bursting with God Himself. He is determined to share His very person, His very self, with us.

To this end, God sent His Son to us, as one of us. Jesus was in the heart of the earth three days and three nights, that the eternal life in him who is the resurrection and the life, might fertilise even the dirt of death, that life may burst forth. The only begotten Son of God comes to us as the Bread of Life, giving himself completely in the Paschal sacrifice, to unite himself to us, to fill us with his own life, that we may live because of him, even as he lives because of the Father (Jn 6:57).

God created the whole world, that He could give Himself to it. God gathers the whole universe under Christ Jesus, the head of all things for the Church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all (Eph1:22-23). God’s plan is for all creation, in the fulness of time, to rejoice with the children of God, perfectly united with Him, and unveiled in the glory of the children of God (Ro 8:21-22, 1Jn 3:2).

What is this incredible, self-giving, diffusive, unifying good? It is none other than love.

‘God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.’ 1 John 4:16

It is love that is good. Love is always in motion, always giving itself away. If God is love, and love is self-giving, what exactly is God giving? Doesn’t there have to be something existing itself before it can give itself? But God’s existence itself is not something passive, but His gift of Being. This is a great mystery, but I know, through and through, God is love. God is the ultimate giver, and all He asks is to be received!

We are to be thoroughly transformed by God’s love, through and through. We are to be full of God to overflowing, and we shall share in His glory, and rejoice with all creation, to all eternity.

‘God has placed you in this world not because he needs you in any way–you are altogether useless to him–but only to exercise his goodness in you by giving you his grace and glory.’ St. Francis de Sales

God bless you!

P.S. I just want to acknowledge that so much of this is informed by the wonderful book, ‘The Humility of God’ by Sr Ilia Delio. This book is quite incredible, and revealed a great deal to me, although there are parts I find myself disagreeing with still, and many times had to pause and check how what she wrote aligns with Church teaching, only to find she makes this clear on the next page. It was difficult but incredibly rewarding.

Robots, freedom, meaning of life (a bit) and God

What would a robot think about the meaning/purpose of its existence? I expect it would conclude, after much pondering, that obeying its programming is its purpose, as that is what would satisfy it, and that is what it is driven to do. It might decide that what its programmed to do is eternal, to deal with issues of its programming having no purpose or serving another purpose.

If it was designed to obey its creator, it would find purpose in that. Regardless what the creator commanded, the robot would, if designed properly, find greatest satisfaction in obedience. This robo-philosopher would probably decide that obedience to his master’s will and his master’s will itself are two eternal meanings behind the universe.

This sounds really creepy to me. Is the robot free? It doesn’t even care what commands it obeys, it simply desires to obey its creator. That doesn’t sound like freedom, though it is doing as it desires. It is still choosing its unquestioning obedience, its just that its an obvious choice to the robot.

I suppose it’s creepy because such mindless obedience, for me, is denying my self, though for the robot it is being true to itself. We aren’t made for that. We know obedience has to gain its meaning from what it obeys, and need to know this meaning. We cannot obey and simply trust in its meaning.

The reason the robot isn’t free is that it doesn’t know why it obeys. Not really. It believes from its own nature that obedience is its meaning, and it may reason that its master’s will must therefore be meaningful, but it doesn’t understand its master’s will or the meaning of its master’s will. It must work blindly. It has choice, undoubtedly. But it has no freedom because it doesn’t even know the worthiness that it serves.

But, thankfully, the human relationship with God isn’t like that [if it is according to any religion I’d be fascinated to know]. God lives in us. God is love. Our purpose is not obedience to God, it is to live in God and live in love, which are the same (1John 4:16).
It is because God is in us, and that we know Him, that we are free when we obey Him. We do not obey what we don’t know, we obey and follow Him that we know and love as the meaning of our lives.

“He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.”
St. Augustine

God bless you.

P.S. here’s a thought related to robots: if scientists found a simple robot on Mars, they would assume it was designed, and ask it to lead them to the far more complex and advanced product of natural accidents that designed the simple robot.

God bless you.

The meaning of a life

I’ve recently been grabbed by the question of the meaning of my life. I know the meaning of life as a whole (it’s love in its purest, most self-sacrificial form [Jesus-like love] [God is love]) but now I am faced with the unexpected question of what to do with my life.
I’ve been looking for grand things to do, and new ways to reveal and manifest love to the whole world.
But it striked me, just minutes ago, that we are unaware what the most significant thing we ever do is. Tomorrow I may begin to revolutionize the world, through a tiny gesture of love, or through sharing some tiny portion of truth, and perhaps never know my effect on the world.
I wouldn’t underestimate the impact a tiny but pure amount of love and truth could have.

The point I’m making here, is that because of the nature of human inspiration, its a life that is pure that will save the world, rather than a life that is grand.
This doesn’t give me the final answer of what I’m doing with my life, but it has made me more at peace, as God can use me whatever I do, so long as I live in Him and listen to him. I’m sure I‘ll be used greatly, but I don’t know that I will know at the time.

God is love, and he who is remaining in the love, in God he doth remain, and God in him.

1John 4:16

God bless you.