Life’s Deepest Questions
Access the Search by clicking on the image above, or choose individual episodes below (click here to watch The Search in Spanish). The Search is a video series by the Augustine Institute made available through formed.org, which is available to you for free. You are very welcome to sign-up for free access to all content on formed.org using this link.
In Episode 1, we look at the question “what do you seek?” What is that deep longing in our hearts all about? We’re all living for something, and we all strive for that something out there that is ultimately going to make us happy. But what is it? For some, this question is on their minds every day. For others, life goes by in a flash without even asking the question.
To find clues as to the meaning of life, we first look at ourselves. Who am I? Is there more to me than matter? Is there more to us than meets the eye? We talk with neuroscientists, psychologists, composers, and artists to examine the mystery of you. If you’re just a body, then satisfaction in life should come from tending to simple bodily needs. Fill your stomach, be comfortable. But there’s more to you then that. You are material and immaterial. And that unseen part of you craves for so much more. As C.S. Lewis once said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
Today we seem to think we’ve moved beyond the idea of God, but this secular view of life is a very new and unusual idea to humanity. All through human history man has looked to something outside himself for the answers to life. Why have we given up on God? Do we think science has disproven him? Do we think society is better off without him? We talk with astrophysicists, chemists, Harvard professors, and more tomake the case that it’s not only reasonable to believe in God, it’s essential if you want to have a truly amazing life. Our souls seek their creator, and we’ll never be truly happy unless we seek him out. As St. Augustine famously said, “You have made us for yourself O Lord, and our hearts are restless. until they rest in thee.”
Your life is a story. And it’s caught up in the great story of humanity. This great story, as we see it in the Scriptures, shows ust he amazing love story that is God’s pursuit of man. The God that is love created so we can ultimately be with his love. We were made to be with God. Union with God is so central to the purpose of life, we even see the afterlife in these terms. Our definition of heaven is union with God, and hell is absence of him. Your life has a plot. Your life has purpose. Your life has value. We need to see how we fit into this big love story to begin to know why we exist. And that love of God isn’t abstract. It has a face and name: Jesus.
The most beautiful part of this story is this we can know God's love, personally. This is the person of Jesus. But how did this seemingly insignificant carpenter born into poverty in a dusty corner of the Roman Empire become the most pivotal figure in all of history. Christianity isn’t simply a philosophy for life – the center of Christianity is a person. We look at the life of Jesus and what he came to do. Ultimately, we need to decide if Jesus really was who he said he was. We can’t sit on the fence. Because if Jesus really was who he said he was, we need to make him the Lord of our lives, and everything changes.
What Jesus did for us through his life, death and resurrection was the greatest act of love in history. He saved us. He did this for each one of us. Personally. But some might feel unworthy of this gift of love. We may feel we have too much baggage. We may feel unlovable. But God didn’t come to reveal himself to us on a pedestal, he came to enter into our messy human condition. To fix us from within. To transform us from the inside out. Some might be surprised by how generous the love of God really is. We don’t deserve God’s love, but that’s the amazing reality of God’s mercy. This relationship with God isn’t all about our love for him. It’s about his love for us that changes our lives forever.
How do I access this man who lived 2000 years ago? How do I live this call of love? We uniquely encounter the love of God in his Church. But really? The Church? There are so many negative views of the Church. It’s out of touch. It’s full of bad people. It’s just too boring. Maybe when we say “The Church” we mean a little more. The church is the family of God that’s been lovingly gathered through our entire story. It’s the place we were meant to encounter his grace that prepares us for every step of life. The God that is love knows how we’re made – material and spiritual – we need tangible ways to live our faith. We can’t be spiritual but not religious. This is where we’ll find ultimate happiness in life. This is where the God that has been seeking humanity, who wrote the deepest desires onto our human hearts, encounters us. Jesus’ first words to humanity in the Gospel of John are “what do you seek?” The one that asked the question not only knows the answer, he is the answer. The answers to everything. And you find him most profoundly here in his Church.