What is the end of man? That which will satisfy him? Will riches, pleasures, travel, society or knowledge? There is no truth in life except living for eternity. Jesus Christ is once and for all, and for all eternity, the end of man. Therefore the least act done in imitation of Jesus Christ is of more value than a life spent in attainment of the highest end of mere mortal endeavor. A glance at the crucifixion has a merit that the knowledge of all human philosophy and graceless science cannot possibly give.
Our object in this world is to know, love and serve God. We cannot know God without loving Him; we cannot love God without wishing to serve Him. We must overcome ourselves by suffering in imitation of Jesus Christ; this is our work and our destiny on earth. The end of man and all his efforts is contained in the words of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done on earth as in heaven.”
Christians believe that humanity has been created in the image of God by the Father; redeemed by Jesus the Son; and with the coming of Pentecost, has the capacity to be the vessel of God the Holy Spirit. Our purpose in life is linked to God, or as Servant of God Father Hecker writes, “there is no truth in life except living for eternity.”
Recently I house-sat for some friends which included their dog, an English Springer Spaniel named Jimmy. This beautiful animal was initially bred to retrieve aquatic birds for hunters and while Jimmy is not used for this original purpose, he loves nothing better than to dive into the family pool to retrieve a frisbee or a ball. He is consumed with retrieving toys, leaving a frisbee at you feet and patiently staring at you, waiting with one single purpose; for you to throw it, again and again across the pool.
I was thinking as I read Father Hecker’s words, how our world would be such an amazingly grace filled place if each of us lived in such a way that reflected our eternal purpose with the same intensity and patience as Jimmy and his frisbee. We have been given an extraordinary purpose in life, how wasted our lives could be if we don’t act in imitation of Jesus Christ.
Publishing and disseminating the writing of Servant of God Isaac Hecker is the work of the Office for Hecker’s Cause. Paulist Father Paul Robichaud, CSP is Postulator of the Cause of Father Hecker. His office is located at the Hecker Center in Washington, DC.