top of page


Bishop Robert Barron

There is broad agreement that a lack of meaning in human lives creates a crisis of identity and purpose. This point was powerfully argued by Victor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning where he observed that those who had the greatest chance to survive the horrors of Auschwitz were those who could find meaning in their suffering. As Frankl pithily puts it: ‘the person who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.’ Having survived the concentration camp, Frankl went on to successfully develop a therapy known as ‘Logo Therapy’ based on helping people find meaning in their lives and thus reasons to live.

Not everyone would agree that such meaning exists. For many contemporary atheists, there is no God and therefore no meaning to anything. All that exists are material substances. Period. The French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980) once wrote: ‘Here we sit , all of us, eating and drinking to preserve our precious existence and really there is nothing, nothing, absolutely no reason for existing’ (Nausea). Similarly for the English scientist Richard Dawkins, ‘the universe has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference’ (River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life). As many people drift away from religious faith and a biblical worldview, this inevitably leads to a loss of a sense of meaning and a drift towards the scary conclusions of Sartre and Dawkins. And when this happens, our sense of purpose in life, our reason to live and even our mental health can be effected negatively.

In this article, Bishop Robert Barron offers some great advice how to find our way out of this web of meaninglessness in order to find new purpose and a sense of mission.



bottom of page