Sunday, January 30, 2011

4th Sunday After Epiphany, The Providence of God

The following is not from a Missal, but is taken from a book by Fr. Leonard Goffine.

Please also read: St. Augustine on Evil


  1. God allows suffering on account of sin. God is a just God that punishes evil, and we ought to bless Him and convert when He punishes us in this life, since by accepting punishments in this world with a contrite and humble heart, we may be spared punishment in the next life. We are punished, not only for sins we commit, but also for sins that we desire to commit, but do not for fear of some consequence or another. Desiring to commit an act is culpable as committing the act. We must desire to avoid all sin, for the love of God, whom we wish never to offend.

    Look at how many times God threatened the people of Israel in the Old Testament, saying "If you walk not in my commandments...". He told them very plainly that their sins (if they should commit them) would lead to terrible suffering.

    But the providence of God works even here, hoping for the conversion of sinners, who ought to recognize that the evils they experience are brought upon them by their own evil deeds.

  2. Also, fear of hell is a good thing, because by it we fear the Lord who has the power to cast sinners therein. So to avoid sins from this motive (the fear of God) is good, if we truly desire to grow spiritually so that we may one day avoid sin, not from a fear of punishment, but solely for the love of God who deserves to be loved through childlike obedience to His commands.

    St. Luke 12:4-5: "And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will shew you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him."

    Ecclesiasticus 25:16: "The fear of God is the beginning of his love: and the beginning of faith is to be fast joined unto it."