How to find the meaning of life? What to do if you can't find it? What kind of life is good and what kind is not so good? These are questions that sometimes, probably, twist each of our brains.
The strangest thing about these things personal growth teachers online little is said from the Christian side. Despite the fact that this religion was once the best teacher of our ancestors... Or is it still?
So, I decided to change that.
Today is an exclusive interview with archbishop Sigitus Tamkevičius. Because who can better answer about Christianity than an archbishop? ...Unless the Pope? 1
And if you don't like religion, then please wait, don't judge and read his answers. Maybe they will clear up your doubts and answer old questions.
By the way, if you haven't heard of today's interviewee, then you should know that Sigitas Tamkevičius was the archbishop of Kaunas from 1996 to 2015. He fought for human rights in Lithuania even in Soviet times 2 and believes that the contribution of each of us in creating tomorrow is particularly important.
And now, pay attention to the interviewer:
✝️ One of the biggest problems these days is that some people don't know who they are. How can Christianity help to find answers to questions about the meaning of life?
Probably, every thinking person has similar questions: "What is the meaning of my life?" Am I just a product of blind nature that appeared at some point and will disappear after a while? Or am I a creation of an intelligent Creator who has to do something and return to the Creator?".
Christianity answers that we are created by God and our current life on earth is only an intermediate stop on the way to the goal of returning to the One from whom we came.
Jesus Christ spoke of God as our Father, whose children we are. The greatest evil and sin is deviating from the path of God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God became incarnate, became a man, died on the cross and rose again so that our sins could be destroyed and we could attain eternal life.
After death, resurrection and eternal life await us, but it will depend not only on God's mercy, but also from our free will.
Detailed Church teaching on the meaning of human life and the way to achieve the goal, can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I would like to get to know him for every person who is looking for the meaning of life.
✝️ And do you personally know the meaning of your life? Did you know her when she was young?
In Soviet times, when I was in high school, I was a geek and read a lot of atheist books. They almost destroyed my childhood faith because they raised many questions and arguments against belief in God.
Doubts are simply worth looking for, what arguments are based on faith in God and Jesus Christ.
Fortunately for me, at that time I found many good and interesting books in the library of a priest, in which I found answers to my questions. I felt very happy and that made me want to share my joy with others. This was one of the reasons for choosing the priest's path.
It was an unpopular choice at the time, as one could only expect trouble from the Soviet government. The choice of the priesthood determined that I received a ten-year prison sentence for my active religious activities, which I do not regret at all.
✝️ The Christian church is sometimes seen as a sanctuary of traditional rules, where there is little freedom for the individual. Is it true?
Who thinks that the Church is only an institution of strict moral views, has a rather incomplete picture of it. Why incomplete?
Many people today have a distorted perception of freedom - as if freedom is only an opportunity to act irresponsibly. Irresponsible freedom leads to the greatest captivity. I met a lot of people who think like this in prison. Such freedom leads to addictions to alcohol, drugs and others.
True freedom is the choice of good when there is a choice between good and evil. But such freedom is not easy. The Decalogue and Christianity only help a person to orient himself more easily, so that he does not have to say at the end of his life: "Well, I was a fool for not understanding such elementary things and I went astray so much."
✝️ And can the church help people who are used to today's self-help slogans and other similar information?
I dare say that no one can help modern man as much as the Church can.
Can't we see how lost even the leaders of the EU are. They decided in their time to ignore Europe's roots - which are entirely Christian - and build the EU on purely humanitarian grounds.
We see the consequences: the inability to solve the problems that arise, the devaluation of the family, terrible demographics, and more. Can there be more to lose? Christianity gives a person a very clear understanding of what is needed to make life meaningful and happy.
Recipe: to let God into your life and to do good to every person, because everyone carries the image of God in themselves. "As you did it to the least of my brothers, you did it to me," Christ's words.
✝️ I wonder what Christianity says about simplicity? Does it promote asceticism? Or maybe not?
St. Augustine left a winged phrase: "Love and do what you will." This means - choose the path of self-sharing love and you will be the freest person, the least you will have to worry about what to do and what to avoid. Christianity teaches that love is as necessary in human life as faith in God.
Asceticism is necessary only as a means, but not as an end. In order for us to have harmony between the spirit and the body, it is sometimes necessary to use ascetic measures.
Among other things, women who don't even believe in God, just want to maintain a beautiful figure, practice much more asceticism than some monks. Therefore, asceticism and renunciation are not too much to fear.
Christianity encourages that a man be a seeker, so that he would strive for good and, having achieved something, share that good with others.
Based not on any theory, but on the long experience of my life, I boldly assert: faith has never confused me anywhere, and in many places even helped me a lot, especially when there were difficult years of trials.
✝️ What do you think is the most important and relevant teaching of Christianity for today's people?
Christianity is based on the Gospel, so in order to understand it well, we need to pick up the New Testament, read it, study it, and discuss the more difficult passages with people who know those things.
And to put it briefly, the man of today is anointed from the Gospel the three most important things: faith, hope and love. Then there will be a guarantee that he will be happy himself and will do a lot of good for others.
✝️ And finally, what one book, movie, or teacher would you recommend to people who want to find their calling?
If I were to suggest someone next to Jesus or people who faithfully tried to follow the path of Christianity and thereby did a lot of good for humanity, I would have to admit that Jesus is only one among the many creators of world religions, and perhaps a better way can be found than the one he showed
But I am deeply convinced that He was the only one who could say of Himself, "I am the Truth, the Way, and the Life."
Since the civilization and culture of the present world was basically built on a Christian foundation, in my opinion, first of all, you need to get to know the Creator of these foundations well, because looking for another "magical" book that will teach you everything, there is a real danger of getting lost in some 21st century "New age" in the labyrinth.
Folk wisdom says: don't leave the road for the sake of the track.
✝️ Thank you very much for the interview, Sigita!
Oops! A little bit not what I expected myself, but I hope you found this conversation useful. I hope it answered at least some of your questions. And if he didn't answer, at least he formed a more favorable opinion on the answers provided by Christianity.
...Because it's also very cool. Be open to ideas and beliefs! 💡🙏
It will take me a while to digest everything that has been said. And I will be happy about that! So good insights and discoveries to you too!