Secular Sanctity and the Meaning of Life

3110 Words Feb 3rd, 2018 12 Pages
While Augustine tells us that the hero saint is moved by love for God, the secular saint as the humanist thinkers of our modern age assert is moved by love for self and/or fellow man. Thus, love appears to be at the heart of the meaning of life. Throughout history love has been given many different names. For the pagan Greeks, there was eros (erotic or sexual love), agape (spiritual love), and phileos (a kind of platonic, friendly love). For the Christians, love was best described as caritas charity (a selfless love of God and neighbor). The modern world, which turned in a sense away from the Christian concept of reality, adopted a more ego-centric idea of love of love that was not selfless but selfish.
If today's secular saint finds meaning in life through love (with the object of that love subjective, i.e. different for each individual), for me the meaning of life is less subjective: Whether one is a secular or a hero saint, he is called to attain a level of holiness and virtue ultimately ending in union with God (the spirit of love). Augustine's idea of love as having its beginning and its end in God may be considered the fruit of long meditation upon the question of the meaning of life. That fruit is there for any and all to taste. Therefore, this paper will show why I believe the meaning of life to be grounded in the caritas of Augustine: the perfect love hinted at by…
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