(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 139

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139. No one is reformed in a state of fear, because fear takes away freedom and reason, or liberty and rationality; for love opens the interiors of the mind but fear closes them; and when they are closed man has but few thoughts, and then only those which present themselves to his mind (animus) or to his senses. Such is the nature of all fears that invade the mind (animus). [2] It was shown above that man has an internal and an external of thought. Fear can in no wise invade the internal of thought, this being always in freedom because it is his life's love; but it can invade the external of thought, and when it does this the internal of thought is closed; and when this is closed man can no longer act from freedom according to his reason, and therefore cannot be reformed.
[3] The fear that invades the external of thought and closes the internal is chiefly a fear of the loss of honour or of gain; but the fear of civil punishments and of external ecclesiastical punishments does not close the internal of thought, because the laws relating to these only prescribe penalties for those who speak and act contrary to the civil interests of the state and the spiritual interests of the Church, but not for those who think in opposition to them. [4] The fear of infernal punishments does indeed invade the external of thought, but only for some moments, hours or days: it is soon restored to the freedom it has from the internal of thought which properly belongs to its spirit and its life's love, and which is called the thought of the heart.
[5] However, fear of the loss of honour and gain invades the external of man's thought; and when it does this it closes the internal of thought from above against influx from heaven and makes it impossible for man to be reformed. This is because the life's love of every man from his birth is the love of self and of the world; and the love of self makes one with the love of honour, and the love of the world makes one with the love of gain. Therefore, when a man is in possession of honour or wealth, from fear of losing them he strengthens in himself the means that serve to promote his honour and gain. These means are both civil and ecclesiastical, and in each case they pertain to rule. He who is not yet in possession of honour or wealth acts in similar fashion if he aspires to win them, but he does so from a fear of the loss of reputation on account of them. [6] It is said that this fear invades the external of thought and closes the internal from above against influx from heaven; and this is said to be closed when it completely makes one with the external, for then it is not in its self, but in the external.
[7] Since, however, the loves of self and of the world are infernal loves and the source of all evils, it is clear what the nature of the internal of thought is in itself in those in whom these loves are their life's loves, or in whom they reign, namely, that it is full of the lusts of evils of every kind. [8] This is not known to those who, from fear of the loss of dignity and wealth, under strong persuasion hold to the religiosity which they profess, especially as it is a form of religion which involves the worship of themselves as deities and also as rulers (plutones) in hell. These can burn, as it were, with zeal for the salvation of souls, and yet they do so from infernal fire. Since this fear especially takes away rationality itself and liberty itself which are heavenly in their origin, it is clearly a hindrance to the possibility of man's reformation.


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