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Chapter 40

Abandonment to
Divine Providence

 

The exercise of continual abandonment
of one’s self into the hands of God
includes in the most excellent manner
all other (spiritual) exercises (and virtues)
in their greatest simplicity, purity, and perfection.
—St. Francis de Sales

 

 

God’s marvelous and mysterious providence is at work in all of history.  Everything is either brought about or allowed by God, without exception.  “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt. 10:30)  Unconverted sinners, who pursue their own will, fall under His justice and become more lost and empty, which is also mercy because then there is hope for repentance and a turn-around.  The converted, who pursue God’s will, are lifted up by His mercy and become more fulfilled and satisfied over time, more at peace spiritually and in every other way, eventually, which is also justice because they are willing to sacrifice and suffer for Him and to die to their “old man.”  “All things work together for the good of those who love God.” (Rom. 8:28)  Divine Providence is at work in everything that happens and does not happen.  There is a reason for everything in God’s plan of salvation if we could see the infinite loving wisdom behind it all.  From the Catholic spiritual tradition, we have some understanding of this mystery of Divine Providence, especially as it relates to converted Christians.  Crosses carry us forward.  Consolations keep us going.  Everything keeps us growing towards a greater and more stable union with God through a deeper and more complete spiritual freedom from the “world” (the sin in others), from the “flesh” (the sin in us), and from the devil (demons/evil spirits).

When we can see to some degree, with the eyes of faith, God at work in the world and in our own soul, we are able to let go and let God be God.  We can trust in His mercy, wisdom and love.  We can depend upon His providence and power to take care of us, one way or another, if we cooperate with Him, to the best of our ability, by fulfilling His will and then accepting what He allows or brings about.

Are you unable to change your situation for the better?  Accept God’s will for you and continue faithful.  Either He will change it Himself or give you the grace to use it as a way of growing closer to Him, of dying to yourself— your “old man”—and of rising anew in Christ Jesus our Lord to a higher and deeper spiritual life of grace and virtue, of charity and humility.  God is infinitely creative in bringing good out of evil—even more good than would have been without the evil—for those who do His will the best they can.  The greatest evil in all of history was the Crucifixion of Christ.  The greatest good in all of history was His Resurrection.  “Where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more.” (Rom. 5:20)  Free will is free, but God All-Powerful is able to use whatever there is for the greater good of those who love Him.  What a magnificent mystery!  Only the Almighty could make everything serve those who serve Him.  Trust Him.

 

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