I wonder about what meaning life has. Might I find it in helping others?

I have never known God. The fact that I am writing these words is astounding to me. I have suffered many things throughout my life, and so I often ask what life is all about? I do not have the answer for this question. Recently, I have been studying to become a doctor so that I can use the skills and knowledge to help others. I wish through helping others I could find some meaning in life. However, the study is difficult, and I doubt my ability. Would you please let me know what God would say to me about this matter? Thank you very much.

Answer: 

This is what I believe God would say to you: “You astound me!” I believe you are astounding to God for many reasons. He created you out of nothing and this means you exist in distinction from God in a way that even God finds amazing! You were created free. In fact the freedom of consent you give to anything, lays hold of its object as efficaciously as God's “yes” to God's own Self.   This means you are in very truth an image of God, which is astounding. You have suffered greatly; you have seen the face of evil – a phenomenon for which there is no explanation because evil is blackness and nothingness and can in no way be made intelligible to our understanding. You have seen it's face, but have not been defeated and aspire to the noble vocation of a doctor and healer. That is astounding. Most importantly, you are gradually coming to awareness of all this, which is clear in the words you write: “The fact that I am writing these words is astounding to me.” You are astounding. God always thought so. Now it is dawning on you. Give thanks to God that you are a creature “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Praise Him. Thank Him. Express your thanks by pouring out your life for others. Love – make sure your motivation is love, and then do what seems best. Finally, I would encourage you to consider making a retreat at one of our monasteries. Many people have experienced a retreat at a Trappist monastery to be most helpful at a moment of decision in their lives.

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