What is your purpose in life? Many Christians strive “to discover the purpose that God put us here on earth for,” said Fr. Matthew Spencer. We want to know why we’re here and what it means to live as children of God. If you wonder about these things, you’re not alone.
“I can’t tell you how many people I meet with who have this question in mind, who wonder about what their purpose is in life,” explains Fr. Matthew. “Frankly, I’ll share with you: it continues for me, too! I mean, I know the fundamentals … you were created by God in order to love him and to serve him, to respond to him in this life so that we will be with him in the next life. That is our purpose, truly.”
But our purpose goes deeper than that—we should strive to discover some of the details of our particular vocation and meaning. Fr. Spencer acknowledges that it can be rather difficult to find our purpose and then to respond faithfully to that call.
You don’t need to have the most prestigious position or world-changing vocation to find happiness and meaning. You can find meaning in seemingly menial tasks such as changing diapers or cleaning floors. Citing advice from an article by John Coleman, Fr. Matthew suggests that you can find purpose in the tedious or mundane by connecting your work to service. In other words, find how your work serves others or serves a greater purpose.
“If we don’t connect our efforts to live in this world with serving others, and not getting things out of it sometimes, then we’re going to be disappointed. Because God made us to give of ourselves—God made us to serve others,” said Fr. Matthew. If we’re constantly focused on ourselves and what we will get out of life, we will end up unhappy and dissatisfied.
Pursuing excellence can help us to find meaning. As we do with our jobs or study, we should also strive for proficiency in our vocations and in our faith. “When our faith becomes an effort that you and I will do for the beauty of it, for becoming experts at it, then we discover that when we pursue excellence in these tasks that there is great satisfaction and meaning that we find in them,” explains Fr. Matthew.
We can also work to infuse our daily actions with love, as did many of our great saints. Perhaps most notably in recent history are Mother Teresa and St. Therese of Lisieux, who truly did small things with great love. When we do our daily tasks with love, in service to others, and to the best of our ability, we will find purpose in our life and grow in holiness through everything we do.
Do everything for love. That way there are no little things. Everything is big. – St. Josemaria Escriva
Listen to the segment for more advice from Fr. Matthew Spencer:
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