Catholicism 101: Why Are We Here?
Catholicism 101: Why are we here?
If a five year old child asks you, "Why are we here?" how would you respond? It's a hard question and anyone who does not know the faith much cannot answer this adequately. He needs to answer this in a manner in which the five year old will gain some knowledge, and would keep it in his head and heart for the rest of his life. How should we answer the question?
We are here in this world because God is not selfish. God is Almighty. He is powerful. He is Perfect. He is loving. In fact, He is love. Since He is love, and love is good, then God is good. He has infinite power, blessedness, and love. Since He is Perfectly Good, Perfectly Love, then everything He does must be good. His will and action must be good because He is good. Knowing this, did God have to create us?
No, He did not have to. But because He is so good, He wanted to create us. It is like having a secret or knowing something which you did not already know. Because the knowledge or secret is so good, you do not want to keep it to yourself. You can keep it to yourself whenever you want, but there is some urge to tell it to others because you do not want it to be a secret. This is like how God is. God can keep His glory and blessedness to Himself, but He did not want to. He chose not to keep his glory to Himself. He wanted to share it. This is why we are here. God created us so that we can know and love Him and be happy with Him in heaven forever.
But why can't God create heaven and put us there instead of putting us here on earth? Because if He did, then we would be like robots. We would not have the choice of doing what is right or wrong. When a father buys a son a bike, he does not put his son on the bike and let him ride it alone. Nor does he force him. He does not say, "Go ride your bike!" It would make the son scared. Instead, a father would say, "Son, here is a bike. If you want to ride it, tell me and I will help you, but don't do it yourself because you will get hurt."
This is like how God created man. God created man good. He gave him happiness as long as he did not abandon him. He did not make him a robot and force him to do the things He wanted because if He did, then man would not truly be happy. A son can only truly be happy if he wanted to ride the bike. So too, man can only truly be happy if he wanted to love God. So God gives us this choice, of wanting to love Him or not just as we have the choice of riding the bike or not. We would not truly be happy if we were forced to do something. Only when we want to, when we choose it ourselves, which makes your desire of happiness satisfied. This is why God created us here on earth first.
Are we here alone? No. God is with us. God helps us to come to Him. He helps us to become happy. To become happy is to do what is good. And since God is good, then we should do everything which leads us to Himself. And since God is good, He leads us to Himself. It is like a father who teaches his son to ride a bike so that when the father sends him out, he can come back. So God helps us to do what is good so that we can come back to Him.
This is why we are here. As the Catechism says in its opening paragraph:
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