Divine Intimacy § 239: “Divine Providence”

Divine Intimacy § 239 is titled “Divine Providence”.
The following reflection is based upon Father Gabriel’s meditation:

When we reflect on Divine Providence as one of the divine perfections, we naturally think of Salvation History.  But we might wonder, what would Divine Providence have looked like throughout history, had Adam and Eve never committed the Original Sin, and had all their progeny also never sinned?  Surely God’s Providence still would have been at work, but certainly it would have manifested itself in a much different manner.

Salvation History is replete with examples of Divine Providence revealing God’s omnipotent Hand.  Reading and reflecting on biblical history and Church history are important not only for knowing our collective past.  They also help each of us, in turn, when we ourselves are caught up in the mire of our own personal sins, and/or those of others around us.  We learn from the lives of the biblical and ecclesial saints how to cope and how to persevere in the midst of human tragedy and folly.  We learn from these saints the many different ways in which God chooses to bring good out of evil.

In regard to Divine Providence, Father Gabriel strikes at the hardest argument against God’s care for and direction of human life, noting that “when we find ourselves in obscure, painful situations which upset or interfere with our plans and wishes, we are disturbed and our lips formulate the anguished question:  ‘Why does God permit this?’  However, the answer, as universal and infallible as divine Providence itself, is always the same:  God permits it solely for our good.”

That suffering can serve our highest good—that is, our salvation—is one of the chief existential beliefs of our Faith.  That this possibility flows from the Cross of Our Savior—and from there, to us through the Holy Eucharist—is the chief sacramental belief of our Faith.  God’s divine Providence in drawing holiness from suffering shows us not only the path of our salvation, but also the sacrificial nature of the divine love resting at the end of that path.

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen 001

To learn more about Divine Intimacy, the masterwork of Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., click on the image above.