391. IV. THAT THE SPHERE OF THE LOVE OF INFANTS IS A SPHERE OF PROTECTION AND SUPPORT OF THOSE WHO CANNOT PROTECT AND SUPPORT THEMSELVES. It was said above (no. 386), that the bringing into operation of uses by the Lord through the spheres proceeding from Him is Divine Providence. It is this Providence, therefore, that is meant by the sphere of protection and support of those who cannot protect and support themselves; for it is provided from creation that things created shall be preserved, guarded, protected, and supported, otherwise the universe would go to ruin. With living creatures to whom is left freedom of choice, this cannot be done by the Lord immediately; therefore it is done mediately through His love implanted in fathers, mothers, and nurses. That the love is a love that is in them from the Lord, this they do not know, for they do not perceive the influx and still less the omnipresence of the Lord. But who does not see that this is not a thing of nature but of Divine providence operating in nature by nature? and that a universal of this kind is not possible except from God by a spiritual sun which is in the center of the universe, and whose operation, being without space and time, is instant and present in things last from things first?  As to how that Divine operation, which is the Lord's Divine Providence, is received by animate beings, this shall be told in what follows. Mothers and fathers protect and support their infants because these are not able to protect and support themselves. This, however, is not the cause of the love of infants but is a rational cause due to the coming down of that love into their understanding. From the rational cause alone, in the absence of a love breathed in and inspiring it, or without the compulsion of law and punishment, man would no more provide for his infants than a statue.