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80

Part One

things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the liv­

ing.

160

V.

G

od

C

arries

O

ut

H

is

P

lan

: D

ivine

P

rovidence

302

Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but

it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The

universe was created “in a state of journeying” (

in statu viae

)

toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has

destined it. We call “divine providence” the dispositions by which

God guides his creation toward this perfection:

By his providence God protects and governs all things which

he has made, “reaching mightily from one end of the earth

to the other, and ordering all things well.” For “all are open

and laid bare to his eyes,” even those things which are yet to

come into existence through the free action of creatures.

161

303

The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude

of divine providence is

concrete

and

immediate;

God cares for all,

from the least things to the great events of the world and its history.

The sacred books powerfully affirm God’s absolute sovereignty

over the course of events: “Our God is in the heavens; he does

whatever he pleases.”

162

And so it is with Christ, “who opens and

no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens.”

163

As the book of

Proverbs states: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is

the purpose of the Lord that will be established.”

164

304

And so we see the Holy Spirit, the principal author of Sacred

Scripture, often attributing actions to God without mentioning any secon­

dary causes. This is not a “primitive mode of speech,” but a profound way

of recalling God’s primacy and absolute Lordship over history and the

world,

165

and so of educating his people to trust in him. The prayer of the

Psalms is the great school of this trust.

166

305

Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of

our heavenly Father who takes care of his children’s smallest

needs: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’

or ‘What shall we drink?’ . . . . Your heavenly Father knows that

you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteous­

ness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”

167

160

Wis

11:24-26.

161 Vatican Council I,

Dei Filius

1: DS 3003; cf.

Wis

8:1;

Heb

4:13.

162

Ps

115:3.

163

Rev

3:7.

164

Prov

19:21.

165 Cf.

Isa

10:5-15; 45:5-7;

Deut

32:39;

Sir

11:14.

166 Cf.

Ps

22; 32; 35; 103; 138;

et al.

167

Mt

6:31-33; cf. 10:29-31.

269

2568

2115