things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the liv
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.
The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude
of divine providence is
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.”
And so it is with Christ, “who opens and
no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens.”
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.”
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
and so of educating his people to trust in him. The prayer of the
Psalms is the great school of this trust.
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.”
161 Vatican Council I,
1: DS 3003; cf.
22; 32; 35; 103; 138;
6:31-33; cf. 10:29-31.