What, dear friends, is our purpose for living? According to the inspired teaching of the Holy Scripture, the purpose of our lives is sanctification; that is, to throw away the old man, the evil in us, and put on the new man-virtue-to live a Christian life, one as Christ did, and to be awarded the Kingdom of Heaven. This purpose in life is not felt by many people, however.
Most people live for other purposes. Some live for riches, others, for pleasures and amusements, some for fame and worldly glory; and still others for knowledge. There is no thought of sanctification or eternal life. Others, however, believe in Christ and listen to His divine teaching, for they know that beyond any worldly purpose, there is a divine purpose for living, i.e., to become holy. "Be ye holy; for I am holy" (I Peter 1:16).
Sanctification is the greatest purpose for living. Without sanctification, everything else is vain and perishable. Life only has meaning when it is intent on this purpose. To be sanctified, to become like a small Christ on earth and be given the Kingdom of Heaven! The beast which lives inside us, the proud ego, has to be annihilated, and we must become Christs to destroy the hells which our lives now are, and make them into heavens."
Metropolitan Augoustinos N. Kantiotes,
On the Divine Liturgy: Orthodox Homilies
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