(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 281

Remove Highlights | Highlight Search Terms


281. IV. THUS THE PERMISSION OF EVIL IS FOR THE SAKE OF THE END, NAMELY, SALVATION. It is well known that man is in full liberty to think and to will, but not in full liberty to say and to do whatever he thinks and wills. For he may think as an atheist, deny God and blaspheme the holy things of the Word and of the Church.* He may indeed desire by word and deed to destroy them even to their extermination; but this is prevented by civil, moral and ecclesiastical laws; and he therefore inwardly cherishes these impious and wicked things, by thinking and willing and also purposing to do them, but not committing them. One who is not an atheist is also in full liberty to think many things that are of evil, such as things fraudulent, lascivious, revengeful and otherwise insane [spiritually]; and at times he also commits them. Who can believe that unless man had full liberty not only could he not be saved but would even utterly perish?
[2] Hear now the reason for this. Every man from his birth is in evils of many kinds. These evils are in his will, and whatever is in the will is loved; for that which a man wills from his interior he loves, and that which he loves he wills, and the will's love flows into the understanding and there causes its delight to be felt; and from that it enters into the thoughts and also into the intentions. If, therefore, man were not permitted to think in accordance with the love of his will, which is implanted in him by inheritance, that love would remain shut in and would never be seen by him; and a love of evil which does not make itself apparent is like an enemy in ambush, like matter in an ulcer, like poison in the blood and like corruption in the breast which, if they are kept shut in, cause death. But when a man is permitted to think the evils of his life's love, so far even as to intend them, they are cured by spiritual means, as diseases are by natural means.
[3] It will now be shown what man would be like if he were not permitted to think in accordance with the delights of his life's love. He would no longer be a man, for he would lose his two faculties called liberty and rationality, in which humanity itself consists. The delights of these evils would occupy the interiors of his mind to such a degree that they would open up the door.** Then he would not be able to do otherwise than speak and commit such evils, and thus his insanity would be manifest not only to himself but also to the world, and he at length would not know how to cover his shame. In order that a man may not come into this state he is permitted indeed to think and to will the evils of his hereditary nature, but not to say and commit them; and in the meantime he learns civil, moral, and spiritual things. These enter into his thoughts and remove such insanities, and by means of this knowledge he is healed by the Lord; but yet no further than to know how to guard the door, unless he also acknowledges God and implores His help that he may be able to resist the insanities. Then so far as he resists them he does not admit them into his intentions, and eventually not even into his thoughts.
[4] Since, then, man is at liberty to think as he pleases, to the end that his life's love may come forth from its lurking places into the light of his understanding, and since otherwise he would not know anything of his own evil, and consequently would not know how to shun it,* it follows that the evil would so increase in him that there would be no possibility of amendment in him, and scarcely any in his children, should he have children; for the evil of the parent is transmitted to his offspring. The Lord, however, provides that this may not take place.
* Worcester Latin edition (1899) inserts "et," wanting in Original Edition and Tafel Latin edition (1855).
** The verb is "recludo" which means either to open or to close, according to the context.
*** The text is ". . . et quod alioquin non sciret aliquid de suo malo, et ita nec fugare illud, sequitur" meaning "and since otherwise he would not know anything of his own evil, and consequently would not know how to shun it, it follows. . ." Tafel Latin edition (1855) and Worcester Latin edition (1899) change "fugare" to "fugaret," and Ager's 1899 English version translates it "could shun."


User-Contributed Related Pages

Be the First to Find a Related Page!

Add a Related Page

Translate This Page

Add Small Canon Search to Your Website

Add a Small Canon Search™ button to my Google Toolbar

Add Small Canon Search™ to my Firefox Search Bar!

Add to Google

Daily Bible Verse

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Green Hosting

5 FREE Domains with Select Hosting Plans. Get yours!