Why? Where? When? Who? How?
These five words summarize what is called a “Philosophy of life”. Every person in this world embraces a philosophy
of life either explicitly or implicitly.
Why? You were created out of the pure love of
God! Where? Our destiny is heaven! Who?
To be with God for all eternity! When? Start right now because Jesus said that
the Kingdom of God is within us! How? Follow this brief catechetical
explanation of the authentic philosophy of life!
One’s philosophy of life manifests
itself by decisions and actions. Our
exterior actions reflect the interior decisions in our hearts witch begin with
thoughts in our minds.
The adage “You are what you eat”,
rings at least partially true. However, you are what you think, even resonates
more fully as the truth. A parallel to
this maxim is “The thought is the father of the deed.” Often what we think terminates in an idea
that culminates in an action.
SAINT AUGUSTINE. One of the greatest thinkers in the history of
the world was St. Augustine. For many
years his philosophy of life was motivated by pleasure. He himself admits in
his classic CONFESSIONS that he was a slave of lustful desires, until he was in
After his conversion the center of
his life was no longer the carnal desires of the flesh, but rather the person
of JESUS CHRIST. Jesus would become the center, purpose and motivation of all
of his desires. In the Confessions we
read the longing heart of the saint: “O Lord you have made our hearts for thee
and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.”
In another brilliant and profound
passage Augustine urges us to choose carefully our philosophy of life, with
these words worthy of deep meditation: “We must all love, but must choose wisely
the object of our heart and then to love with all of our heart.”
Philosophies of life can be true or
false. Hedonism, Materialism, Consumerism, Agnosticism, Atheism,
Reincarnationism, Nihilism, New-ageism,
Rationalism, Stoicism—all are philosophies of life, but they all end in a
one-way, dead end street.
CATECHETICAL PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION
One of the first and basic
catechetical truths that all should know and embrace as their philosophy of
life is the following: “We are here to
know God, love God and serve God in this life so as to be with Him forever in
May this simple but profound
catechetical truth permeate and imbue our lives and motivate all of our
If we know where we are heading then
we can place all of the energy of our wills to arrive at that destination.
If not we are destined to be like the
ship without the port, or the arrow without the target, or the chicken with his
head cut off, or the dog fiercely running after his tail that he will never attain, or the little one running after his
shadow, always beyond his grasp.
How can we grow into living out our
Christian philosophy of life? Four
quick suggestions to start the ascent of the mountain that leads to eternal
First, KNOW GOD! Impossible it is to love somebody that you do
not know or only know in a vague and partial manner. GOSPEL READING. Form the transforming habit of meditating
prayerfully on some passage of the Gospel. Any easy way is to take the Gospel
that the Liturgical Year offers daily. If you like use the “Magnificat” that
gives the daily reading. Before reading ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you to
encounter the Person, the feelings and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Second, LOVE GOD! The greatest of all commandments can be
summed up in one word: LOVE! Seeking
for the greatest of all commandments the Scribe spelled it out clearly: “To love God with all one’s heart, mind,
soul, and strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself.”(Lk. 10:27)
Jesus approved the insight of his answer.
Jesus asked Saint Thomas Aquinas to
beg for one gift. The Angelic Doctor responded with: “Lord I beg for the grace to love you more each day.”
In the Spiritual Exercises of Saint
Ignatius of Loyola the grace that is most sought after in the entire program of
the Exercises is the following: “Beg for
the grace of intimate knowledge of Jesus that you love Him more ardently and
follow Him more closely.”
A practical suggestion to attain to
the love of Christ is the most Holy Eucharist. After receiving this great
Sacrament into your heart, tell the Lord that you love Him and that you want to
love Him more and more each day and to die loving Him as did the Blessed Virgin
Third, SERVE GOD! Love to be authentic must translate into
concrete actions. Why not read Mt. 25:31-46 which is the Parable of the Last
Judgment. Here we have a Program of life that if lived out will lead us to
eternal salvation. Outlined with utter clarity, Jesus gives us the Corporal
works of mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked,
welcome the stranger, and to visit both the sick and the imprisoned. However,
the key to the proper interpretation of this passage is that when we help out
any of these people we are indeed helping out Jesus. In the words of Blessed
Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “We must recognize Jesus in the distressing
disguise of the poor.” Jesus is not far away, but as close as the person
that you willingly serve in his needs! May Our Lady who served Saint Elizabeth,
attain for us the grace to see Jesus in all those we serve. (Read Lk. 1: 39-45--- The Visitation of Mary
to St. Elizabeth, the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary).
Fourth, HAPPINESS IN HEAVEN. As a motivational dynamo the frequent thought
of heaven can help and encourage us to grow in the knowledge, love and service
of God. Every day we should ponder and reflect at least briefly on the reality
of Heaven. Saint Paul reminds us with these encouraging words: “Eye
has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the mind of man the
wonderful things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” Enduring
the many trials, crosses and tribulations of even a long life is really nothing
in comparison with the immense joy, peace, happiness, and love that we will
experience in Heaven. Furthermore, Heaven is forever and ever and ever. May Our
Lady, gate of Heaven, attain for us an ardent and constant yearning for heaven
our true destiny and permanent resting place!