“Life is always a good. This is an intuition or rather, a fact of experience, whose deepest reason (man) is called to understand it” (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 25-III-1995).
We usually say that life is a gift from God, something that we have neither requested nor deserved and God with his benevolence and love has given us for our pleasure and enjoyment. Saint Josemaría Escrivá said: “You must have very much God’s love and appreciation when he sends you these creatures. Many times as a child comes to your family, there is a sign of trust from God. Be happy. In my country it is said that “every child born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth,” and, moreover, the last one will give you more happiness.”
Obviously, this human-life approach is based on faith in God because life ends well with faith, although we suffer the pains of illness and setbacks of life. At the end, we run to met God in order to be with him for all eternity. This means complete and endless happiness although the body stays in earth indefinitely until the last judgment. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” said Jesus Christ to the good thief because he regrets of his sins before he died at the crucifixion.
However, the unbeliever thinks that life can become in something unbearable caused by the intense and permanent pain due to an incurable disease or any other cause. Unbeliever also ends badly, away from God and plunged into the physical and moral pain for all eternity.
Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 2319 says: “from the moment of conception until death, human life is sacred because human person has been loved for itself in the image and likeness of God.” Part of the creation of all that is made by God, including man, as Scripture says: “Let us make man in our image and likeness” (Genesis, 1, 26).
In this act, God reflects himself and reveals to the prophet how he created man, unlike other living things: “let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth (Gen. 1:26).” He also says: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2.7).”
Man is free to act and because of that freedom it is not sure to reach his destiny in God. Self-acceptance of man is required in order to achieve the wanted happiness. That’s why human life is a gift and it requires the personal effort to orient and develop it until the end of days on earth. In order to achieve this, man has the life, the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came to earth to save us from sin and point out clearly the way and means to achieve peace and happiness.
Human life, unlike animal life, always keeps the possibility of approach and relationship with God. This possibility is the foundation of human existence and goodness and it is what gives meaning to life. However, it is sometimes difficult to understand and accept it due to our suffering, which, if it is fully accepted, it joins intimately man with God through Jesus Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI recalled how “his predecessor John Paul II imparted to all men a wonderful teaching on the Christian meaning of life and suffering from his room at the Gemelli Hospital in Rome. He testified personally the truth of the Christian message.”