Does God really will everything?

Instead of asking “does God really will everything?” maybe it would be more to the point of asking “does God really want everything?”.

God as the cause of all things must will everything since he created it. If he created the universe, does he will black holes in space? Does He will volcanoes on planets?

The answer is that black holes come with the universe, and volcanoes come with planets.

Now does he want everything? Absolutely not. And so he sent his only beloved son.

Just a thought to provoke some more thoughts.

All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. So we should assume that through God’s permissive will all things work together for good for only those who love God and are called according to His purpose… anything more is presumption and conjecture.

A few scriptures to show that God is not pleased with wrong doing, and if He is not pleased with wrong doing, then can we say it is for God’s glory? "For I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they would turn from their evil way, and live" (Ezek.33:11)

‘God’s desire is that none of us should perish, but that all of us would come to repentance’.
(2 Peter 3:9)

There are many scriptures which speak of God being pleased with well doing. Therefore, doing good gives glory to God. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).

On the other hand, it is through suffering for the sake of Jesus Christ that the faith of the children of God is perfected. "That the trial of your faith (much more precious than gold which is tried by the fire) may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:7)

God’s peace

micah

This is true. God is omniscient. Before God created the world, he had a plan for the world. By one act of his infinite intellect, he comprehended everything that would happen in the world including those effects that would come about through contingent causes such as the free actions of human beings. “Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.” (Psalm 139:4).
However, God’s knowledge doesn’t impose necessity on those effects that come about through contingent causes, such as the free actions of human beings.

St Thomas Aquinas says that God’s will is the cause of things. “How could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you.” (Wisdom 11:25). God wills that we do good and it is by his power and cooperating with his grace that we actually do good. “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Phillipians 2:13). God does not will that we do evil or sin, but he permits it respecting our freedom. Theologians call this God’s permissive will.

I know, God wants to save all creatures but because some of them are bad, He sends them to hell, the same way we warm ourselves in winter and keep ourselves cold in summer even though our absolute will is to be comfortable.

It could possibly be said with qreat reserve that God loves one person more than another in the sense that, lets say, one person is born and raised in the catholic faith and another person isn’t. However, Christ died for all men without exception and every person can appropriate to himself what St Paul said that Christ “loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20). Look at the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It was her mission to bring the love of God to the outcasts and most destitute of society to show them that God loves them.

'God created us without us but he did not will to save us without us." (St Augustine, quoted in the CCC). God made human beings free. “God’s initiative demands man’s free response.” (CCC #2002). God “who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.” ( 1 Timothy 2:4).

Most modern biblical scholars say that Romans 9 refers not to an individual’s election to eternal glory but to the election of Israel as the chosen people. That God chose Israel to be his people wasn’t because Israel was better than other nations or because of their works. It was due to God’s call and his plan that he chose Israel to bring the truth about God to the world.

There have been erroneous interpretations of Romans 9 in the church’s history which probably started with St Augustine who applied it to an individual’s election or non-election to eternal glory. St Thomas Aquinas seems to follow this interpretation in his Summa Theologica. A wonderful book on this subject is “Grace, Predestination, and the Salvific Will of God” by Fr. William G. Most. I highly recommend it.

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I don’t trust G Most’s book as I’ve already read a book by John Salza called The Mystery of Predestination. I don’t think that Romans 9 SW only referring to Israel because the text and Challoner’s commentary makes it clear that God is using Israel as an example, saying that he isn’t choosing Israel because they are Israelites but because he wants to save them with the gentiles. In fact, why would God be talking about the importance of Israel being the chosen people in the modern day if the old religion of Judaism was abolished?

The scripture "I loved Jacob, but rejected Esau’’ can be interpreted I think in two ways. The first way in accord with the correct interpretation of Romans 9 which would refer to the call of Israel as the chosen people. And not to the election or non-election of Jacob or Esau as individuals to eternal glory.
Secondly, As God does not reject those who do not first reject him, we must say that if indeed Esau rejected God in life, God would have known this in advance by his foreknowledge.

Even if were to interpret the Jacob/Esau line that way, it implies that God still rejected the children of Esau and preferred those of Jacob just because at that time, He loved the Jews more than any other nation on earth. Not only that but isn’t God supposed to you know, HELP people? If He knew that I was going to be a sinner in advance and abandoned me because of His knowledge of the future, wouldn’t that be bad? Isn’t it better to try helping me and preventing me form sinning? You’ll tell me that God has no concept of time yet since He has no concept of time, He should be able to prevent the future from happening, right? Just as He prevented the disaster that was going to befall the city Johan visited.

Not only that but deciding to abandon a person on the knowledge that they were going to sin contradicts the very thing you hold, that God is responsible or permits everything to happen. If God abandoned a person beforehand, that implies that He abandons Him because of His knowledge of the future and not because that person is a genuinely bad person. It goes against His justice because God would not punish somebody for a crime he didn’t already commit, Minority Report style.

I think predestination to heaven is conditional, i.e., it depends on each person’s free response to God’s grace. The Catechism of the Catholic Church seems to point this out:

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination,” he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace.

Well it isn’t. The teaching of the Council of Trent on Justification confirm that there are people who are willed by god from all eternity to be brought up as saints in order to go to heaven. Predestination in this case doesn’t mean that no matter how wicked you are, you’re still going to heaven, it means that once God decides to show you love, He will give you a lot of grace and guidance over and above the others. Whereas you still have to struggle, you will always have God and Mary guiding you by the hand over the mountain we call earth whilst others have to follow God’s voice. Else, if predestination either to heaven or to grace is interpreted the way you just said and not traditional catholic teaching like that of Thomas Aquinas, it can’t be called predestination which means something is predetermined. Because as I said, if God determines to do something based on the future, He has no free will. He wouldn’t be deciding to save the world because He loves the world, He’d be saving it because the future told Him to.

Your devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a good thing, indeed, a very good thing. Devotion to Mary is essential for an intimate relationship with Jesus

I wish it was more intimate. I’ve always had crippling doubts that maybe Mary didn’t love me. Then I realized all those doubts were nothing but triggers from the way I was always bullied as a kid by somebody I know. Thing is, I’m still not fit to be called a child of Mary’s even though in all honestly, if it weren’t for her, I’d have stopped being Catholic or religious or caring about life a long time ago because she’s the one who taught me the value of human life and the meaning of hope.

But this is what I don’t understand. Why doesn’t God prevent evil in the first place? I’m not saying He should control people’s minds, I’m just saying that somehow, He must twarth their plans, expose sex trafficking rings without any deaths going by or brign the downfall of dictators without any blood being shed. Something that has been bothering me even more: why does God let non-catholic innocents suffer? Whilst devout Catholics have the '‘excuse’ that they’re going to heaven if they suffer and die, what about non-catholics? What meaning do the lives of those living in countries ravaged by war contain if all they can do is suffer and die without accomplishing much good or hearing the name of God? The same with sex trafficking victims. Why?

Hi;

These are very interesting questions…thank you for sharing them. I see a lot of these kinds of questions on CAF, and a lot of the same kinds of answers. Many of them seem to overlook a key theological point in these kinds of discussions which is our language about God’s will and decision making, etc. is analogical language, not literal language.

You may be familiar with the long tradition in Catholic theology of what is called ‘apophatic ‘ theology; you see it in the writings of St Paul, St Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, St Thomas Aquinas, and so on. Essentially, what this means is that God does not have a will in the sense that we have a will; God is not good in the sense that we are good, and so on. God is beyond our concept of being, and his will is beyond our concept of will. We are made in God’s image…not vice versa. Very often, we try to project our understanding, our limited and finite experience of will and good on to God, as though we might make him fit within the confines of our definitions.

Thus, to speak of God’s “will” is to use an analogical, not literal, term. You are right, of course, to say that it is pretty much impossible to see any good in human trafficking, etc. But there are two things to keep in mind here: one, that God’s redemptive act covers all of history, and not simply one-off acts. I do not know how the horrors of human trafficking will play out in history, let along in the next couple of years. But redemption does not simply refer to this or that situation, but this or that situation within the entire fabric of human history, at the centre of which is the person of Christ. Secondly, I cannot see the ultimate value of my actions in this broader context of redemption, or how time and place plays a role in my interactions with other. God could use things I do now for the good of someone in generations to come I will never meet. I do not have a view of human history, and so I cannot evaluate God’s will within the context of my own limited temporal and experimental vision.

We often find people get ‘disappointed’ in God because his actions don’t correspond to our understanding of the way we think things should be. Because we can’t see any good, we assume there isn’t any. If we can’t point to it within our experience, then it can’t be there. We want God to play by the rules of our limited imaginations. In a sense, it is the desire to cast God in the image of our own intellects. But, as we know from Scripture, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” (Is.55.8).

Our consolation that God loves us, that he has a plan that transcends our understanding, is not simply something we can generate in our own minds. That consolation and mercy begins in the tangible and concrete sacramental and teaching life of the Church. If this is our starting point, the reality of God’s love in our daily lives begins to take shape.

Pax.

If God completely prevented evil, we would not have free wills, and we do not know how many evil plans he may have thwarted through the prayers of the saints, and of his people.

“Fear not him who is able to destroy the body, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna fire”

Though this teaching of Jesus Christ was given to his disciples, the principle is the same. There is something worse than temporal suffering, as horrendous as war, genocide and sexual trafficking can be. It is the suffering of one’s soul being separated from God.

In the meantime, we are commissioned to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth. We might ask ourselves in what way are we releasing the oppressed, being charitable to the foreigners, widows, orphans and the poor? In what way are we praying for those who do not know God? Do you think it is possible that these evils would be lessened if we did our part? I know that there is more that I could do, if I was not so selfish.

May God help us to be His light and salt of the world

micah

I have multiple posts above that might partially answer some of your questions? And I want to encourage once again devotion to the Divine Mercy and reading the Divine Mercy of St. Faustina’s diary…

Anyway, I posted comments in bold in your quote above that I think are worth talking about.

Let’s see. A friend put it somewhat interestingly, if I remember right…

God is very playful. He is like a toddler riding a trikey. As he rides, he may carefully evade various obstacles, like holes in the ground. However, his stern wheels graze, ever so slightly, on those holes. I like to think that yes, God is in control. And all of us do things according to a sense of God’s love, whether consciously or unconsciously. But we have some limited free will in which we occasionally engage in sin. But, God being at the steering wheel of our love and attraction for him ensures that “all will be well” and in fact, everything is done for the best in the very end…

That is, in any case, what I can’t help but believe.

Provide quotes so we can talk about the specific meaning of the words of Trent? I do not deny what you are saying in general but I think to argue this point its important to have specifics

Council of Trent. Had to put in a hyperlink because it’d be too long a post. Also note that the website, while very good and easy to read, is made by a nutter who interprets anything and anyone he disagrees with as evil. I’m reffering to: thecounciloftrent.com/ch6.htm

The Church did not rule in favor of the Dominicans or St. Thomas or the Jesuits in the debate on Predestination. AFTER TRENT…in the 17th Century, the question was hotly debated and the Pope determined that NEITHER SIDE could accuse the other side of heresy. Therefore, both opinions are permissable. NOwadays, the Jesuit predestination view is much more adhered to. Why dont you like Fr. Most’s opinion on the matter?

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I don’t agree with the Molinistic position because it doe’sn’t make sense. I already discussed it below so look there.

What if he chooses to predetermine something based on us? or on teh future? or on his middle knowledge? Is he free to do this? I think yes. He is not bound to, but he chose too. This is called conditional predestination. God has freedom. Two similar theories involving middle knowledge exist here: 1) Traditional Jesuit- God by a resolve of his will predestines to glory those who will freely cooperate with his grace. God’s resolve to do this is totally free. 2) Fr. Most God resolves by His will to save all on the condition that none persist in the rejection of his grace offered. This resolve is totally freeHe wouldn’t be deciding to save the world because He loves the world, He’d be saving it because the future told Him to. God decides to save the world because he loves the world. He saves a man because he loves a man. God wants to save every man. Just because God respects human freedom and can see man’s rejection doesn’t mean God saves someone or damns someone because the future “told him too”

Predetermining something because he saw someone do something is still predetermining on the future. For example, if he saw Mother Teresa in the future helping the sick and said he’ll definitely bring her to heaven based on what He ‘saw’ or rather knew what was going to happen, 'God would be giving her a reward for something she didn’t do. Instead, Thomistic predestination says God gives graces to people so that after they do good, THEN he would give them the appropriate reward. The same with sinners. He doesn’t abandon sinners before they commit the act but after. Jesus still let Judas join Him at the last supper and oonly became disgusted bu him after he betrayed Him.

Is Mary not hte mother of God? Is Mary not in perfect conformity with God’s will? Then why would God reject you but Mary love you? Wouldn’t God love you, he who IS perfect charity itself, He whose essence is to love and be merciful? Remember why God made you, remember that God himself died for you. Did the God who suffered the most painful and horrible death and endured that suffering because of love really choose to abandon some to hell without a chance? Is the same God who died on the cross for our sins the same God who chooses that some will be damned simply to glorify His justice? Can we really say that the God who gave His life for love of mankind also leaves man helpless and predestined to hell?

But thats the point that I have never recieved a clear answer for. Why do people still go to hell when that could have been prevented by recieving grace? That is the thing that always boggled my mind. How can God be so loving and yet abandon sinners like Judas?

Yet just now, I realzed something. There is no such thing as preventing temptation. All the stories that had a saint calling in the name of Mary and immediately having his temptations disappear are not what they appear to be. The name of Mary is not some magical spell that removes demons; it reminded the saints that Mary was always beside them and it gave them the strength to avoid sin just for her sake.

I still hold the Thomist position that God gives graces on His own will, saves people on His own will, loves some more than others and that no one is predestined to hell and that they go there because they chose to sin. Thing is, their sins could have been avoided if God actually gave them grace and guidance. That, or they resisted His grace like Judas.

At the same time, I can’t accept the idea that by simply going to God straight on we will be saved in the best way possible. I beleive that we need the Blessed Virgin Mary, that God’s will through her is the ebst way to save this world. You know, Her immaculate Heart? Isn’t it better for Mary to unite all Catholics in the world through the power of her grace and the fact that she is the Mother of Mercy rather than having God punish all enemeis of the Church by sending a massive eclipse? What truly drives me mad in these discussions is that I mention the Blessed Virgin and nobody talks about her back. At all. In fact, I think you Tom are the first person I have ever met on CAF to actually MENTION the Blessed Virgin when discussing subjects lie God.

I’m sorry to sound rude but what’s wrong with you people? Why is discussing the Mother of God and her role in our salvation so taboo even on here? I beleive that Mary is for some people the only hope they have in getting God to love them. It’d be the biggest victory ever because convincing God to love you with the Blessed Virgin on your side is the greatest thing that can happen to anyone. An even bigger victory would be that through the power of Mary. Imagine the love She’d bear you. Why won’t anyone discuss the importance of Mary here?

QUOTE=MrSylvester;9840015]

Quote:
The scripture "I loved Jacob, but rejected Esau’’ can be interpreted I think in two ways. The first way in accord with the correct interpretation of Romans 9 which would refer to the call of Israel as the chosen people. And not to the election or non-election of Jacob or Esau as individuals to eternal glory.
Secondly, As God does not reject those who do not first reject him, we must say that if indeed Esau rejected God in life, God would have known this in advance by his foreknowledge.

Even if were to interpret the Jacob/Esau line that way, it implies that God still rejected the children of Esau and preferred those of Jacob just because at that time, He loved the Jews more than any other nation on earth.

The first way I mentioned of interpreting the Jacob/Esau line Paul quotes from Malachi in Romans 9 follows Paul’s thought I believe. God’s choice of Jacob over Esau is gratuitous (before they had done good or evil) as is the gift of salvation for both the jews and gentiles. Paul is making a point here. It may be possible to legitimately conclude here that God loved Jacob and Esau equally but chose Jacob to further his plan of salvation for the world. God’s choice of Jacob over Esau the scripture interpretes as God showing more favor or love over Esau but I think it is essentially to further his plan of salvation for all mankind. If I’m not mistaken, is it not recorded in the Old Testament that at least some of the Israelites prided themselves as being the chosen people of God to the point of looking down on the gentiles? To be God’s chosen people is indeed a great gift but I think it is not just for the benefit of the person chosen but for others as well.

My second interpretation of the Jacob/Esau line I don’t think is consistent with Paul’s thought. But it is a true statement.

Not only that but isn’t God supposed to you know, HELP people? If He knew that I was going to be a sinner in advance and abandoned me because of His knowledge of the future, wouldn’t that be bad? Isn’t it better to try helping me and preventing me form sinning? You’ll tell me that God has no concept of time yet since He has no concept of time, He should be able to prevent the future from happening, right? Just as He prevented the disaster that was going to befall the city Johan visited.

Not only that but deciding to abandon a person on the knowledge that they were going to sin contradicts the very thing you hold, that God is responsible or permits everything to happen. If God abandoned a person beforehand, that implies that He abandons Him because of His knowledge of the future and not because that person is a genuinely bad person. It goes against His justice because God would not punish somebody for a crime he didn’t already commit, Minority Report style.

I think that in the above two paragraphs you are confusing God’s omniscience and eternity with our own very limited knowledge and our living in time. God certainly knows the future free actions of human beings (how he knows this is a topic for theological debate), but this knowledge of God does not impose necessity on our free actions. As for the case with the prophet Jonah, the ninivites repented so God repented of the disaster he was going to inflict on them.

Quote:
I think predestination to heaven is conditional, i.e., it depends on each person’s free response to God’s grace. The Catechism of the Catholic Church seems to point this out:

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination,” he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace.

Actively and Passively…yes He does.

Guys, I still don’t buy the idea that good comes out of all the evil in the world or if this really is God’s plan on things, then I don’t like it one bit. And now, honestly with all my heart, I just literally declared war on God’s will and basically told him that I want to use the Blessed Virgin as the weapon to break it. Thing is, I just feel that because of the way I said it, Mary hates me or does not want to help me. I really need help now.:frowning:

I’m in a jam right now, but my choice to become an agnostic is not because I’m scared of some stinky, stupid childish punishment from God. If God wills that he punish me, then may He know this: I will learn absolutely nothing. No matter how much he makes me suffer, no matter how much he will try to emotionally break me, it will not make a better person but a worse one as I will be inclined to do thing out of fear. My onyl regret for not being a practicing catholic is that I won’t be able to pray to the Blessed Virgin much, something which really saddens me. But I need to follow my own path. She taught me the value of human life and if God sees it as a toy for his own amusement, than he is not my God. A woman who lives for life itself, never gives up, loves everyone equally even the most hardened sinner vs a man who ujses others for his own liking, be it to show justice in hell, love towards the ones he truly loves and just being an all around jerk, I;d choose the former over the latter each and every time.

And until the day I die, I will not stop spreading devotion towards Mary and what Catholic reallyt hink of her. This is my declaration of war against God’s will. It can get stuffed into a fridge, burnt into a fire and his ****** plan for saving the world can go to the garbage bin because it sucks. If God really wants the world to be saved by the Immaculate Heart of Mary, he’d have prevented most of the wars the troubles that happened during the last century. And don’t tell me people deserved it: who cares if people deserved it? If you saw a juvenile delinquent, would you want God to murder him or help him with rehab? Than screw God’s plans on punishment because they never worked. EVER. Not only that but most of these wars and social upheavals were events beyond most of the world’s control so whether the innocent or guilty were involved, both died and fixed zilch.

Dear God: This is my declaration of war. Amen. Signed Philip.

Think about it. Because love is something that has to be given freely-God’s active and passive will can not and does not violate our free will.

As a matter of fact, sometimes, depending on our awareness of God’s action, we can’t even percieve that God’s hand was in the workings.

The Blessed Mother does nothing that is not in accord with God’s will. Things like hate, jealousy, envy and such, are not a part of God or of any of His saints in heaven.

The Blessed Mother understands your “macho” approach to these matters and she still loves you with the love of God. Although, you do have a valid point in that the Blessed Mother enjoys a special priviledge of petitioning our Lord in our favor.

So, don’t stress the details of God’s active and passive will. Just know that it will not affect your personal decisions or violate your free will.

I think this sums it up very well. It is IMPOSSIBLE for us to understand everything the way that God does. We try to reason in a “human way”, but God is not human. He transcends humanity and we do not always understand the reasons things happen. I lot of people will ask in light of the damage from the hurricane, “why would God let this happen?” Some people will have their faith tested and ask, “why did it happen to me and my family? where is God?” It is certainly understandable and very difficult to imagine the pain these people will go through; however, there is always a reason. In the weeks to come, we will see an outpouring of love, assistance, and togetherness in these communities that likely hasn’t existed in years – many since 9/11. is that the reason? To show people and remind people what love is? Maybe. . .maybe not. I don’t know and wouldn’t claim to know. This is for God to know. We may never know or understand in this lifetime, but need to have faith that there is a reason.

MrSylvester:

It is the Church’s conviction, in my opinion, that God wills everything that happens - except sin. That you and I don’t know what good can come from an event is because we do not perceive through the lenses of Divine Providence. If we did, we would know exactly why God does with the world, and it’s inhabitants, what He does.

In each one of your examples, I’m sure you can come up with a salvation purpose (or, purposes) - even if it is only conjecture. That fact leads me to the conclusion that there must be a near infinity of salvation purposes known only to an Infinite Mind.

You mention that God permits sin. You are correct. While He is the Creator (or Efficient Cause) of all else, he merely permits “sin.” He creates the Good, and where the Good is absent, amidst matter and energy, there evil and sin reside. We tend to live for this existence and this earthly activity. But, this is a photon on an elephant’s derrière compared to the entirety of our lives.

A reading of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, shows that God is always engaged with his people - calling them, leading them hither and yon, providing, promising, and, despite our inability to reconcile this next reality with his Omniscience, testing them. There are those that wish everything to be handed to them on a silver platter; then, there are those that allow themselves to be led to do what it takes to earn it. Now, even though we cannot literally “earn” Heaven, or God’s affinity, according to the Church, God still wants us to offer him our filial love and to be fully worthy, by way of his gifts, of our places in Heaven, in front of Him.

And, although, presently, we can’t possibly know what we will be seeing, if we are fortunate enough to receive his gifts and find ourselves at his feet, he has expectations of his children as any parent would.

But, back to your question: think of you and I as thoughts in the Mind of God. not hard, physical stuff, as we seem to perceive, but as lattices of continuous space delineated by point particles, that give the appearance of solids, liquids and gases with the appearance of mass. This is getting pretty close to how Physics is understanding the physical universe any way. So, just as your analytical mind seems to control what we perceive and think, so, for certain, God’s Mind controls all that He perceives and thinks. That clearly points to the fact that he controls everything, except, as I said, sin.

God bless,
jd

What about the ways of damnation all this evil stuff leads to? How many people have gone to hell because of war? How many of them became corrupted and lost their innocence because of it? How many children overcame their trauma whilst being sex slaves? Also, don’t tell me that some of them were definitely saved because it shows that you wouldn’t care about the ones who weren’t saved and you’ll be as bad as the bastards who provide abortion in all it’s forms: they don’t care about human life as long as they’re happy and get all the cash or terminate their responsibility. Not only that but would you honestly if, forbid it t all costs, anyone of you became a sex slave or were caught in the middle of a war? Would you honestly say that this war, unlike the passion of Jesus, has a clearly defined purpose? How can you be sure its not God being a jerk by not caring or punishing people for some reason? Every single person matters; it’s the way Mary and Jesus have always lead Their life, something which God the father does not do as according to you lot, he looks at the world as some toy.

If God really has high expectations, why doesn’t he help people more then? Why doesn’t everyone get inspiration to change?

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