Aspire to Love

Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, reflects on his Auschwitz experiences during WWII in his book Man's Search for Meaning. His reflections are enlightening.

"And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise.

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth-that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way -an honorable way-in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory."

May marriages everywhere teach us to love in the same way we have been loved by the one whose image we all bear.

Meaning in Every Moment

In Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust Survivor writes about his experiences that later became a catalyst for his founding of logotherapy. Rather than answer the question, "What is the meaning of life?", Frankl makes a different observation from his Auschwitz experience.

"For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment."

No matter your situation, may you find contentment through understanding and fulfilling a purpose in every moment, whether big and small.

Attitude is a Choice

From his Auschwitz experience, Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl shares a personal encounter about attitude in his book, Man's Search for Meaning.

"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms –to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

May you overcome moments such as loss, jealousy, and injustice. May your attitude be a cherished memory in place of suffering.