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103. God's Governing of Things

1. We observe an unfailing order in the world. Order involves anorderer, a governor. In an earlier part of our study we saw thatthings in the world have existence and direction to their end orpurpose by the divine goodness. Therefore, divine goodness governsthe world.

2. The universe is not an end unto itself. It iscontingent being, not necessary being; it has being or goodness byparticipation. Hence it comes from a cause other than itself, andis directed to an end other than itself. It is directed or governedby the necessary being, the necessary goodness, the divinegoodness. That is, the universe is made to express and manifest thedivine goodness.

3. Ultimately, the world has one governor, not manygovernors. The harmony of the universe manifests this fact.Besides, there is only one divine goodness.

4. The effects of government in the world may be variouslyconsidered. In so far as all creatures are to manifest the divinegoodness, the effect of government is one. In so far as creaturesare divinely governed so as to be good and to dogood, the effect of government is twofold. In so far as the effectsof government are discerned in a vast multitude of individualcreatures, the effect of government is manifold.

5. All things are subject to the divine government, sincethis is the divine goodness of God himself. The divine goodness isboth the first effecting cause and the ultimate final cause (orultimate goal) of everything. No positive being can exist withoutthe divine goodness, and therefore everything, in particular and insingular as well as in general, is governed by the same divinegoodness.

6. God alone designs the government of the universe, andthis is his providence. The design is carried intoexecution or actual governing operation through use of secondarycauses (creatures) as media or means of governing.

7. Since God is the first and universal cause, nothing inthe universe can lie outside the order of his government. Whensomething seems to evade divine government, the very cause of theseeming evasion will be found in the divine government itself. Aswe saw in our study of divine providence, nothing whatever isoutside the divine rule.

8. Nothing can resist the general order of divinegovernment. Even a sinner in his act of sin aims at apparent good;it is good that the sinner is after, although he perversely seeksit in the wrong place. Sin is against God's law and will, butit cannot upset the general order of divine government. And, out ofevil God draws good, "ordering all things pleasingly," ashe "moves from end to end mightily."

"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary consists in hearing the word of God and living by it."
R. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

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