Presence of God – O my God, You order and dispose everything according to Your own exalted purposes; teach me to trust fully in Your divine Providence.
Divine Wisdom, says Holy Scripture, “reacheth … from end to end mightily and ordereth all things sweetly” (Wisdom 8:1). Divine Wisdom is thus identified with divine Providence, which orders, disposes, and directs everything to the attainment of a well-defined end: the ultimate and supreme end which is the glory of God, the proximate and secondary end which is the good and happiness of creatures. Nothing exists without a reason, nothing in the world happens by chance; everything, everything without the least exception, is part of the magnificent plan of divine Providence. In this plan, every creature, even the lowest, has its definite place, its end, and its value; every event, even the most insignificant, has been foreseen from all eternity and regulated even to its slightest detail. In this plan, as vast as it is wonderful, all creatures, from the most sublime—such as the angels—to the humblest—like the dewdrops and the blades of grass—are called upon to contribute to the harmony and good of the whole.
If certain situations seem to us incomprehensible, if we cannot see the reason why particular circumstances and creatures make us suffer, it is because we do not see the place they occupy in the plan of divine Providence in which everything is ordered for our ultimate good. Yes, even suffering itself is ordered for our good, and God, who is infinite goodness, neither wills nor permits it except for this purpose. We believe all this in theory but we easily forget it in practice, so much so, 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. We need to be firmly convinced of this so that we may not be scandalized by the trials of life. “All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth, to them that seek after His covenant and His testimonies” (Psalm 25:10); we can mistrust ourselves, our goodness and our faithfulness, but we cannot mistrust God who is infinite goodness and faithfulness.
“O God, having created the world, You govern it with admirable order. You give life to the plants and make them grow; the flowers bloom and the fruits ripen in their season. You control the sun, the moon, and the planets; You have created the universe in perfect order for the benefit of mankind. You have made man for Yourself alone, and Your desire is to live in him; You want him to find no rest or peace outside of You, You have no need of Your creature, yet in him You deign to seek Your rest, so that hereafter he may enjoy You eternally, seeing You face to face, with all the blessed in heaven.
“Your divine Providence, O God, takes care of all Your creatures as though they were but one, and it takes care of each one as though all others were contained in it. Oh! if Your Providence were only understood, everyone would forget the things of this world to be united to it” (St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi).
“Lord, You are good to all and Your tender mercies are over all Your works. Let all Your works praise You, O Lord! Let Your saints bless You…. The eyes of all hope in You, and You give them meat in due season. You open Your hand and fill with blessings every living creature, You execute judgment for them that suffer wrong and give food to the hungry. You loose them that are fettered and enlighten the blind. You lift up them that are cast down; You love the just, O Lord. You heal the broken of heart and bind up their bruises. You cover the heavens with clouds, and prepare rain for the earth; You make grass to grow on the mountains. You give to beasts their food and to the young ravens that call upon You. O Lord, at the remembrance of Your immense goodness, all creatures break forth in praise and acclaim Your liberality” (cf. Psalm 145 – 146 – 147).
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Art for this post on Divine Providence: Quintuplet Cluster, NASA, image feature 557, undated, PD. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.