(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 285

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In every man, whether good or evil, there are two faculties, one of which constitutes the understanding, and the other the will. The faculty which constitutes the understanding is the ability to understand and to think, and is therefore called rationality. The faculty which constitutes the will is the ability to do these things freely, namely, to think and consequently to speak and to act, provided only it is not contrary to reason or rationality; for to act freely is to act as often as one wills and according as one wills. Since these two faculties are unceasing, and are continual from first things to last things in all things, in general and in particular, which man thinks and does, and since they are not in man from himself but are present with him from the Lord, it follows that the Lord's presence in these faculties is also in the individual, indeed in the most individual, things of man's understanding and thought and also of his will and affection, and consequently in the most individual things of his speech and action. If you remove these faculties from even the most individual thing, you will not be able to think or say it as a man.
[2] It has been abundantly shown above that man is man by virtue of these two faculties, that he is able to think and speak, to perceive what is good and understand truths, not only those that are civil and moral but also those that are spiritual, and also to be reformed and regenerated; in a word, that he can be conjoined to the Lord and thereby live for ever; and it was also shown that not only good men but also the wicked possess these two faculties. Now since these faculties are in man from the Lord, and are not appropriated to man as his own, for what is Divine cannot be appropriated to man as his own but can only be adjoined to him and thus appear as his; and as this Divine with man is in the most individual things pertaining to him, it follows that the Lord governs the most individual things in a wicked man as well as in a good man; and the government of the Lord is what is called the Divine Providence.


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