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 Blooming Stars

What are We on Earth for

             Our theology and the world-view proceeding from it need to be our way of life. It needs to be our philosophy of life. We are in this world but not of this world. This world is a temporary training ground that prepares us for eternal life. Religion is a modality. Theology is applied principles of religion. When there is a unity of religions, and a unity of theologies, a spirituality that goes beyond religions and theologies can be formulated. A spirituality that is the essence of all religions and theologies is the only hope for humanity. This spirituality rooted in unshakable faith, generates hope, and blooms and flourishes in love. It is not without reason that faith, hope, and love are aptly called theological virtues. These virtues, more than others, help us encounter God. We have faith in God because God had faith in us first by creating us.

            Without hope we will be dead. We love God because God loved us even before we could love God. God modeled love for us. God communicated and still communicates to us through our conscience and also through prophets and sages. A place without love is pure hell. That place is also without God. Our life needs to be guided by the cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. Thomas Aquinas, a Christian philosopher and theologian, clearly stated that whatever is good anywhere comes from the Holy Spirit. And there is good everywhere if our hearts and minds are trained without prejudices and biases to see it. We need to respect everyone as God respects. Our relationships with other humans need to be modeled on our relationship with God. The purest example of our relationship with God is the relationship that a man has with a woman in marriage where both gift each other to each other in the deepest commitment of intense love. That is how a family, the nucleus of any society, is formed.

            Absolute acceptance and tolerance are necessary for humans. Strife, tensions, and conflicts are inevitable. They need to be dealt with creatively and in fairness. There really is not any just war, notwithstanding all theologians, moralists, and their hair-splitting distinctions. War-mongers are trouble-makers and self-destructors. When all avenues for a just and fair solution of the conflict have been explored, and since humans are limited, a war can be a necessary evil. An example of such a war in modern times was the one against Hitler’s Germany. The menace that Hitler was had to be stopped for a greater good. The good there of saving an overwhelming majority of innocent persons outweighed the lesser evil of suffering and death of relatively fewer innocent ones. Another example might be the war against Afghanistan that grossly violated the human rights of so many persons. Effective interventions of the world community are needed in nations where religious or ethnic cleansing takes place. The role of an effective UN reorganized on the basis of proportional representation to keep world peace can never be overemphasized.

            Humaneness can never be abandoned even in the midst of the most inhuman provocations and violations. A person of God should never harbor or nurse hatred, revenge, and retaliation. A person of God while living in a nation abiding by its just and moral laws belongs to the entire world and works for the welfare of all human beings. Tragedies and traumas can temporarily disrupt or interrupt our lives. But our search for truth continues even with greater determination. Paying attention even to the nuances of truth can make a difference. Many things that we consider to be major happenings in our life are mere trifles from the point of view of eternity and our own final end in death. The most important question – what are we in this world for? – has to be always in front of us. We also need to rest assured that God has a way of bringing everyone to the safe harbor. Finally or in the ultimate analysis, the only thing that really matters in a theology for the modern world is to love one another as God loves us, to forgive one another as God forgives, and to deal with each person as God deals with us. These are simple concepts that everybody can grasp and act on. Let us rejoice, celebrate life, and live in bliss.


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