The meaning of life? What a question!
All the animals in the forest had their word to assert!
The bird said, “Life is a song.”
The earthworm retorted, “Life is more of a constant struggle against darkness.”
The butterfly disagreed, “Life is joy and happiness.”
The bee answered her, “No, life is work.”
Up above, the eagle called out, “Life is liberty!”
The cloud was very cynical, “Life is bitter crying and tears.”
Who is right?
The wife of Martin Luther is reputed to have solved the problem of life this way. Luther had his own struggles with depressive moods. He would wake up in the morning gloomy, reticent, and antisocial. One day his wife decided to do something drastic. She changed her clothes, put on a black dress and prepared breakfast for him.
“Someone died? ” he asked, seeing her dressed in mourning attire.
“Yes, don’t you know?!” she answered.
“No, who has died?” he repeated.
“God,” she told him, trying to keep a straight face!
“What the heck are you saying!? Have you gone crazy? God cannot die!”
“Well, if God is not dead, why on earth are you so down this morning?” was her snappy retort.’
It is not recorded whether Martin Luther smiled at this quip!
A cloistered Carmelite nun solved the problem of life this way. Her name was Sister Catherine. She was preparing the midday meal for the sisters in her convent in Spain. She finished early. Nothing to do! So while waiting for the bell to announce the time of prayer, she took up four pots, put them on her head, and started a balancing skit in the small kitchen! She had hardly reached the door, when in came Mother Teresa of Jesus. Obviously, Mother Teresa could not help laughing seeing Sister Catherine doing this performance in the kitchen! “Gosh, Sister, what in the world are you doing?!” And then she remarked, “You are so lively! Even to heaven, you will laughing….” To which Sister Catherine immediately answered … “Why, Mother, is there any other way of going to heaven?!
When our Holy Mother, Teresa of Jesus, disappointed by the difficulties she was encountering, no longer wished to make foundations, Jesus Christ himself told her : “What are you afraid of? When have I let you down? What I have been, I still am!” (Foundations 29 :6)
This is the reason of our joy! Catherine of Siena says “all the way to heaven is heaven!’
This is the meaning of life!
How right was this agnostic who wrote, “I need to see you Christians depressed because in this way you confirm my thesis that God does not exist. It is when I see that you are happy that are perplex me!!”
Why should we be sad when we are following One who is eternally victorious?
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.