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If It’s All About Me…

Relativists say you can believe whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone. For relativists, the truth is what you want it to be. For them, it seems, it’s all about me. We pray for them to know God’s Truth. “Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

There are people whose first question when they are asked to do something is, “what’s in it for me?”. For them, it seems, it’s all about me. We pray for them. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40).

I write this on January 29, 2021. My TV is on right now with live coverage of the March for Life going on in Washington, DC. There are various reasons a person may choose abortion (see my webinar series, Treating Life with Dignity and Love, at www.renewaloffaith.org/prolife. One of the reasons is the child is not wanted because the child will get in the way of the mother being able to live her life in the way she wants. For them, it seems, it’s all about me. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me” (Mark 10:14).

I do not claim to know what any of the types of people mentioned above are thinking. That’s why I say each time, “For them, it seems, it’s all about me.” I pray for them as I pray for all of us to give our lives to God.

That said, if it’s all about me, where does that leave us? Does this mean we are always in competition with everyone else? If it’s all about me, what about our relationships with family and friends.  Can we only communicate with those who share our thinking?

If it’s all about me and there is no universal truth, what can we base our laws on?  Is Utilitarianism, the greatest good for the greatest number, the only possibility?  If there is no universal truth, who determines what is the greatest good?   Is the best we can do for our laws, only what is good for the greatest number (Utilitarianism)? Where is “love” in this?

“Freedom” is a frequently used word today. Justice Anthony Kennedy uses the word “liberty” for “freedom” when he wrote, “at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” (Reilly, America on Trial, 6.  interior quote “Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. et al,. v. Casey, Governor of Pennsylvania, et a, 505 U.S. 833, 851  (1992)  https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-744.ZS.html.”).

If we are born without “meaning” and no defined “concept of existence,” do we ever have any “meaning”? I think we only find “meaning” and understand “the mystery of life” when we look beyond ourselves. It is NOT all about me. God is the author of life. We have meaning because God is our creator and gives us meaning (for more on our dignity, see Part I in my webinar series, Treating Life with Dignity and Love).

I end with the words Jesus spoke in John 15:13, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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