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Meaning of Life

“God speaks out of the depths of His own silence, first to create the world, then to renew the world through the incarnation of His Son. Through the voice of the prophets, including the prophet John of the Book of Revelation, God calls us to silence as well. He invites us to go into our “room,” our chosen sacred space, and there to shut the door and pray to our Father who is in secret, assured that our Father who is in secret will answer our prayer (Mt 6:6). In that silence we contemplate the mystery of God’s creative and saving work, together with the promise of our eternal salvation. It is in that silence that we can listen to God, hear His voice, discern His will and purpose for our life…” (Fr. John Breck)

“Since Christ died for all of us, we should live for Him, rather than living a selfish or self-centered life. Living for Christ tells us that the world has meaning to it – a meaning and value which Christ imbued it with (both at creation and in the incarnation). Rather than seeing the universe as being nothing more than atoms and molecules interacting in a meaningless universe, we believe the physical world has a spiritual value, which if we have faith, we can experience in this life.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh) 

“The problem is not that a person stumbled, got angry, was greedy with others, offended someone…True, all this is not good, but the point is that if a person does not live in the grace-filled, deep and mysterious stream of Divine Providence, if he does not want to fulfill the will of the Creator, if he casts stones at God, if he tries to substitute the Heavenly Fatherland with a pathetic, crooked earthly pedestal, if his heart is covered with the grave ashes of vanity, the search for comfort and pleasures, then he terribly destroys, ruins and kills himself! And his life, despite all the successful deals, the tinsel of pleasures, earthly records and successes, can turn out to be a terrible failure, a fake, a flop and a disaster. The Holy Fathers say that “the mystery of man lies not only in living, but in what to live for.” (Igumen Tikhon Borisov)

“I suspect that many of the crises of our society today have at least something to do with people not having a profound sense of purpose for their lives. Those made in God’s image and likeness will not find satisfaction in a life without a substantive goal or purpose. If we are not offering ourselves to Him, we will offer ourselves to whatever false gods distract us from facing the anxiety, fear, and despair of a pointless existence. Such a life brings nothing but misery, division, and resentment to a world enslaved by the fear of death.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“Life is blessedness, and not simply because we believe in blessed eternity; but here on earth life can be blessed, if we live with Christ—fulfilling His holy commandments. If a man is not tied to earthly goods, but will in all things rely only on God, will live for Christ and in Christ, then life here on earth will become blessed.” (St. Barsanuphius of Optina)

“…the self-help gurus who promote the “just be positive” approach usually live comfortable lives, having achieved a measure of worldly success. By studying those who lived on the other end of the spectrum, in conditions of extreme misery, we can look past the tired clichés to strategies of real substance. When we do, we find that living the good life does indeed come down to attitude, but not in the way that is often supposed….Meaning, not happiness, is what enables us to live the good life…humanist psychology become the reigning orthodoxy in America, with its emphasis on concepts like self-actualization, personal fulfillment, and “finding yourself.” Frankl continually challenged the humanist movement by pointing out that only when we pursue meaning outside the self (and, in the process, forget about the self) can we actually find ourselves.” (Robin Phillips)

“The foundation of all Christian virtue and life is faith. Faith is the natural possession of all men who are wise and virtuous. For if a person lacks faith in man’s ability to know, to do good and to find meaning in life; if he does not believe that this is possible, profitable and worthy of man’s efforts, then nothing wise or virtuous can be achieved. The striking characteristic of all prophets of doom, apostles of despair and preachers of absurdity is the absence of faith in man’s capabilities for goodness and truth, and the absence of faith in the meaning and value of life. It is also an absence of faith in God.” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

“…what is the point of striving to affirm some sort of superiority, and desiring at all costs that it should be acknowledged by others? Christ makes Himself present only in love; if you are not replete with it yourselves, you will contribute nothing to the edification of your country and to the well-being of humanity. It is in love that you will find meaning within yourself and in your life; it must therefore be everything for you.” (Metropolitan Georges Khodr)

“…God reveals the truth about everything, or perhaps how the meaning of everything is found in God. The material world is not separated from divinity but rather is rooted in God: “for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’” (Acts 17:28)…Everyone has the responsibility of understanding the deeper meaning of life... If they did this, then people wouldn’t be mean and petty, nor would they grumble with one another.” (St Maximus the Confessor, Fr. Basil, Saint Paisios of Mount Athos)

“We shouldn’t get so caught up in trying to discern God’s activity in our life that we forget to actually live life; meaning that we can actually miss the meaning of something because we are willfully looking too hard to find meaning in everything. Life, in all its complexity, is simple. Love God and love other people. Do this daily in whatever situation presents itself. ” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“…we define “life” as the time we spend on earth. We define “death” as the time when “life” ends. In the eyes of God, “life” means being in the presence of God, and “death” denotes the absence of God. One who is “dead” is absent from God. That’s why those who are in heaven are said to inherit “eternal life,” and those who are in hell are the ones who are truly “dead.” “Life” as we call it, should be redefined as “preparation.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Life means living in God's grace here on earth, while the more abundant life indicates the Kingdom to come.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 10:10)

“Death and loss is an existential confrontation with who we are and our meaning in life…For the committed…Christian…Christ is the meaning of life: God's Love, Mercy and Will, and the grace we receive to respond with hope and trust, is the foundation life's meaning.” (Fr. George Morelli)

“ ‘What is the meaning of life?’ is a typical question almost everyone ponders at some point, or many points, in their lives. In my more spiritually lucid moments, I realize that this is the wrong question. The question I should ask myself is ‘who is the meaning of life?’ and the answer of course is Christ. At a personal level, I have found that the purpose of my own life becomes clearer and clearer each day I continue to strive to be a branch on His vine.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“The ultimate meaning of life is found in healthy relationships with God and with our fellow man.” (Brian Wright)

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