Lesson One: The Purpose of Mans Existence

Lesson One: The Purpose of Mans Existence

Hello, and welcome to lesson one of our Baltimore catechism. I am so excited to get underway today but before we do, I want to turn to God in prayer and really entrust this endeavor to him through the intercession of our lady. And so I ask you to join me in prayer, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen. Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death, amen. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end, Amen. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, amen.

Because we're going to try to keep these podcast short, I'm going to dive right into our material today. So the title of our lesson is the purpose of man's existence. And I really think that this is both a fitting and necessary lesson to start with. Now it's a good lesson to start out with for two reasons first because...

The end of the thing is the purpose for which it was made.

Okay. Let me repeat that. The end of the thing is the purpose for which it was made. So what does this mean? I want you to think of a watch. The purpose of a watch is to tell time, right? A Watch is considered good when it does what it was made to do. So it keeps accurate time. Now I want you to keep this principle in mind as we move forward through this lesson.

The second reason why this lesson is important is because, I mean, let's face it...

The state of the world right now, with all the division, the confusion, fear, anxiety.

We live in a world that has forgotten this lesson. Better yet, we live in a world that has actually rejected this lesson. But for you and I, this lesson really needs to be an anchor point of our soul that keeps us grounded so that we're not swept away by the plots or schemes of the world or the evil one.

Now let's deal with the first part first.

If the end of the thing is the purpose for which it was made, then to know our end, the purpose for which you and I are made, becomes of paramount importance. Man has asked this question from the beginning of time.

Because of his human nature, man fundamentally asks three questions at some point in his or her life.

  1. Who made me?
  2. What's my purpose?
  3. And who will teach me how?

And Jesus says that it's God who reveals it to us. In the book of Genesis we see that we were created to be in relationship with Him, not just for a moment of time, but for all eternity. You and I, we were made for heaven. And now this isn't the only way that we could come to know this truth and without getting lost in the philosophical weeds, there are deep philosophical reasons how we can come to know our end outside of God revealing it to us through his written word. In other words, we can come to know this by our natural reason alone as we look at all that God has created.

Saint Paul says in (Romans 1:20) For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.

King David said in the Psalms, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalms 19:1).

It is impossible to live on this planet without recognizing God, as nature is proof to His existence. This Psalm goes on to say, “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard" (Psalms 19:1-3).

Creation’s voice goes out and translates into every known and spoken language. What it is revealing is the glory and majesty of God. By observing how specific and exact the inter-workings of creation are, one can only come to the conclusion that there is a God. This is by design. God’s glory is displayed by the things around us. His invisible qualities, eternal power, and divine nature are shown to us in how we are made, the world in which we live, and the universe surrounding us. Because God has made himself clearly known through the creation of our universe, humankind is without an excuse before Him. Gods unique and beautiful fingerprint is in our lives and the world in which we live. This should lead every individual to praise Him for how wonderful He has made everything for us for revealing himself to us by creation.

For more on this line of thought, I would direct you to read St. Thomas Aquinas's treatise on happiness. It's in his work, the Summa Theologica where he deals with this in great detail. And it's in the first part of the second part of the Summa. But for the rest of us, regular folk and for the sake of brevity, God reveals why he made us. It's to share in the very life and the love of the triune God, Father, Son, Holy Ghost. And to give him glory in all that we do. Now, this fact is so important for us, especially today. Why? Because we live in a world that seeks to identify us by our gender, our sexuality, our political party, anything other than who we are at our most fundamental level.

And so then who are we?

Psalms 51:5 describes who we are before our baptism.“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Saint Paul tells us why this happened. It is because, “By one man [Adam] sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.” And so again I present the question who are we? Or for us who are Christians, Who were we? And Saint Paul answers: “And were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:3) And so let's really think about this for a moment. That the very reason why Man was made, is for eternal life with God, and that in everything we do, every single day, we ought to give him glory. (I Chronicles 16:10) begins with these words, “Praise ye, glory in his holy name”. Again in (I Chronicles 16:29) “Give to the Lord glory due to his name”. And last but not least, Saint Paul says in I Corinthians 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God."

Now I'm going to use myself as an example to illustrate this point, or the plight of the human condition in general, and see if you can relate to it. And I know that all of you can, because remember, that all of us, even after baptism, still struggle with the triple concupiscence, that is the disordered lust or desire for

  1. Power
  2. Pleasure
  3. Possessions.

And so personally I have to be deliberate and I have to fight to keep in the forefront of my mind that the primary reason that I exist is to give glory to God.

Remember what I said a moment ago. 'At the end of the thing is the reason why it was made.'? I am made to glorify God in all that I do. And to be in relationship with him. “Because apart from him, I can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

I didn't always understand this. Therefore, I definitely wasn't fulfilling my purpose. And what was the result? I mostly lived the disorder life and had disorder reigns, there was no true and lasting peace. I would often struggle with where I fit into the world. And I lived life like I was really on a roller coaster.

Sometimes I was up and happy and then sometimes fearful and anxious. Without realizing it I had bought into the philosophy of the world. The philosophy that says that the purpose of life is simply to be happy, you know, to accumulate stuff, to get married, to get a good job, to have children when it was the right time. You get the point. All these things are good. They're not bad in themselves, but none of them were my purpose. And it wasn't until I was able to put first things first, and actually now that I'm thinking about it, I think that we could rename this lesson, learning to put first things first. It wasn't until I had come to learn this and put it into practice, that my fundamental purpose in life was to come to know God, to love him and to serve him, then everything found its proper order. And remember where there is proper order there is peace, It was at that moment that the pressures of life, they came off like shackles. It was like, I was so bound up and turned in on myself rather than really thriving. And doesn't Jesus actually tell us this in Matthew 6:33, Where he says, "Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you."? So I started to be convicted of the fact that I'm not here by chance that I'm not some evolved primate with no definite purpose. No, I've been wonderfully made. God has created me for a purpose. And we see this in Jeremiah 29: 11-13. "For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience. And you shall call upon me, and you shall go: and you shall pray to me, and I will hear you. You shall seek me, and shall find me: when you shall seek me with all your heart. And I will be found by you, saith the Lord". I love that passage. And it really reveals a simple truth, but a very profound one at the same time.

Who made us? God made us. And who is God?

He's not some evolutionary force or some cosmic spirit. He's not some distant being. Rather the catechism says that he is the Supreme being. Infinitely perfect. Who made all things and keeps them in existence. And he made us to show forth his goodness and to share with us his everlasting happiness in heaven. I think that this is a really good thing to think about this week and really meditate on it. And if we have children or grandchildren, we really need to teach this over and over and affirm and confirm their identity as ones who have been created by God. But that in baptism they have been made children of God. Remember, that growing up in this world right now, that the world will seek to identify them by anything other than who they really are.

Now, this leads us to the second part of my opening statement. And this is a fitting first lesson, especially in light of all the crazy going on around us. We are currently seeing the result of a world who's lost its understanding of the grounding of all things.

That everything depends upon God for their existence. That without him, there's only chaos and evil.

And as I say this, what comes to my mind is that beautiful scene between Jesus and Peter our first Pope. The scene where the disciples were in the boat in the middle of the night. (Matthew 14:22-34, Mark 6:45-53, John 6:15-21) All of a sudden they see Jesus walking on the water. They were afraid because they thought that he was a ghost. But Jesus called out to them and he said, don't be afraid it is I. And then Peter excitedly calls out to Jesus, he says to him, "Lord, if you call me, I'll come to you." So Jesus says to him, "come". We know what happens. Peter steps out of the boat. And he sees the wind and the waves and he begins to sink. And then he calls out, "Lord, save me." And Jesus immediately reaches out his hand and he caught him and he says to him, "oh man of little faith, why did you doubt". Can't we relate to this? Can't we relate to Peter.? Especially right now, there's so much uncertainty, so much fear, so much confusion, so much anger. It's easy to get caught up in all the wind and the waves of life, which forces us to take our eyes off of Christ and our hearts away from him and focus on solving some problem or dwelling on some injustice. And you know, what happens to us? We begin to sink like Peter. To be overcome by our circumstances, our emotions. And so what's the answer? The next verse gives it to us and it's beautiful. And it says this. "And when Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind ceased and those in the boat worshiped him saying truly you are the son of God." So worship of God is the answer. It's only in worship and adoration of God, do we fulfill our ultimate purpose? I mean, after all, this is what we're going to be doing for all eternity in heaven.

So the challenge is to begin to put first things first.

  1. Know that God has brought all things into existence.

  2. That you and I were created by God

  3. That your purpose is to know, love and serve God.

  4. That Jesus is the one who reveals the fullness of God.

  5. And that the Catholic Church, that He established is the one who teaches us all that is revealed.

  6. And all of these teachings can easily be summed up in the apostles creed.



Shopping Cart