Meditating on God’s Providence in Unsettling Times

Through His prophets, God would often remind Israel that He not only has foreknowledge of all things but determines them:

To whom would you liken me as an equal, compare me, as though we were alike? ...I am God, there is none like me. At the beginning I declare the outcome; from of old, things not yet done. I say that my plan shall stand, I accomplish my every desire (Is. 46:5;9-10).

The Psalmist writes of God’s sovereignty over nations,

For he spoke, and it came to be, commanded, and it stood in place. The LORD foils the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples. But the plan of the LORD stands forever, the designs of his heart through all generations (Psalm 33:9-11).

All leaders of nations are themselves governed by God:

He causes the changes of the times and seasons, establishes kings and deposes them (Daniel 2:21).

A king’s heart is channeled water in the hand of the LORD; God directs it where he pleases (Proverbs 21:1).

Climate change is solely God’s domain:

With his breath God brings the frost, and the broad waters congeal. The clouds too are laden with moisture, the storm-cloud scatters its light. He it is who changes their rounds, according to his plans, to do all that he commands them across the inhabited world (Job: 37:10-12).

Recall how easy it was for Jesus to calm the sea:

He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm (Mark 4:39).

God has control over our infirmities and they work to accomplish His will:

Moses, however, said to the LORD, “If you please, my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and tongue.” The LORD said to him: Who gives one person speech? Who makes another mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? (Exodus 4:10-11).

Even the super rich are subject to God’s sovereignty:

Good and evil, life and death, poverty and riches—all are from the LORD
(Sirach 11:4).

Notice that even evil is subject to God’s authority and used to accomplish His will, as St. Paul taught:

For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ… (1 Cor. 15:21-23).

Repeated in these passages are references to God’s plans, desires, and purposes. We learn from the New Testament what these are, our adoption as His daughters and sons through Christ. And it was all motivated by love:

In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:5-6).

…rjt

Being ‘Fruitful and Multiplying’?

God commanded Adam that he multiply and demographically “subdue the earth” (Gen. 1:28; He repeated the order to Noah after the flood, Gen. 9:7). It’s certainly happening today, but not by Catholics. The following is amazing to watch. It’s only a few minutes long. It starts in 1946 when Catholics ruled the roost. Keep your eye on ‘Islam Sunni’ and notice the trend that began in the late 1980s. Then see what happens after 2000:

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An Era of Confrontations and Strife

Joe Biden plans to unite the country and heal the nation. But under one condition, as long as the 70 million plus who voted for Trump prostrate themselves to the radical left, whose accumulation of power in the democratic party suggests that during the Biden administration the divide will only deepen. A look at recent history reveals that this is inevitable.

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Praying the ‘Our Father’ to Resist Pride

Human pride is something God detests:

Every proud heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured that none will go unpunished (Proverbs 16:5).

But pride is sought after in our society and respected. It forms the basis of advertising, the pursuit of money, advanced degrees, physical perfection, etc. Since humans are so inclined toward it, scripture abounds in warnings to resist it. Jesus warned,

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St. Augustine’s Sleep Disorder

“Give what You command, and command what You will.”

Towards the end of the autobiography of his conversion, The Confessions, Augustine had come to terms with his past life, which had been devoted to earthly pleasures and in particular, sexual immorality. There was just one more consequence of his dissolute past that he still needed to put behind him; it pertained to his sleep:

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Six Schemes of Satan to Guard Against According to St. Paul

“…so that we might not be taken advantage of by Satan, for we are not unaware of his purposes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

The word for “purposes” comes from the Greek noema and is usually rendered “device”, “scheme”, or “purpose”. According to St. Paul these “schemes” are well-known. Digging into Paul’s epistles we can uncover six, as well as the strategy he offers for dealing with them.

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Six Scriptures on the Fear of God

Theologian Brian Harrison, O.S. compared the calendars of scripture readings between the traditional Latin mass and the mass of Pope Paul VI, concluding that they are essentially the same. He added, however, that the true disparity between the two forms comes from the pulpit: Continue reading “Six Scriptures on the Fear of God”

St. Louis de Montfort on Reciting the ‘Our Father’

In writing his classic The Secret of the Rosary (ca. 1700), Montfort wanted to elevate the experience of praying this medieval devotion as well as underscore its spiritual power:

It is not so much the length of a prayer as the fervor with which it is said which pleases God and touches his heart. A single Hail Mary said properly is worth more than a hundred and fifty said badly.

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The Resurrection as the ‘First Fruits’

The first letter of St. Paul to the members of the Church in Corinth includes a harsh correction. The apostle had learned that there were among them those who did not believe in the resurrection of the body. Paul’s response provides a theological perspective of Christ’s own bodily resurrection and the five consequences had it not taken place: Continue reading “The Resurrection as the ‘First Fruits’”