Gods divine plan and our free will

Greetings all,

I have been thinking about this recently and I’ll tell you how it popped into my mind. My mother-in-law (Southern Baptist) recently moved out of town and her home is on the market. She had mentioned how “God has one person in mind” to purchase her house. It got me thinking, does God work this way? On one hand, I know that he has a divine plan for us all, his presence is everywhere, miracles are happening on a regular basis around the world, and He answers our prayers (especially in ways in which we do not exactly see:)). At the same time, as in the case with my mother-in-law, does God single people out in this way? Whether when buying a home, meeting a spouse, getting an A on a test? It seems like, to me anyway, that we are then some sort of pawns on a chest board in which He is playing, and I don’t believe that to be the case.

So, just for my own understanding, how do I tackle this question, Gods divine plan and our own free will? I’m sure it’s right there in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I’m just to lazy to look for it, LOL!

Thank you all and God bless!

There is nothing in Catholic theology that supports any idea of an individual divine plan. This is a protestant invention. God does not pre-ordain us to seek a particular college degree, or to marry a particular person, or to live in a particular city.

Convert here. This is new information for me! God does not have a plan for each of us? God does not lead us to Him and it is our choice to listen? Could you please explain this further? I’d really appreciate more information :slight_smile:


I highly doubt this, DavidFilmer, if this is true then we wouldn’t have the doctrine of Immaculate Conception, where a part of it states that Mary was chosen and prepared since before time to be the mother of the Son of God.

But I think I get what you are trying to say. God may have plans for us, but it is not our duty to know what these plans is, but to trust in the Lord one day at a time

I love a scene in G.K. Chesterton’s ballad “The White Horse” where King Alfred sees an apparition of Our Lady, and asks her whether he and his kin will win against his enemies. She says (among other things):

"The men of the East may spell the stars,
And times and triumphs mark,
But the men signed of the cross of Christ
Go gaily in the dark.

"The men of the East may search the scrolls
For sure fates and fame,
But the men that drink the blood of God
Go singing to their shame.
"The wise men know what wicked things
Are written on the sky,
They trim sad lamps, they touch sad strings,
Hearing the heavy purple wings,
Where the forgotten seraph kings
Still plot how God shall die.
"The wise men know all evil things
Under the twisted trees,
Where the perverse in pleasure pine
And men are weary of green wine
And sick of crimson seas.
"But you and all the kind of Christ
Are ignorant and brave,
And you have wars you hardly win
And souls you hardly save.
"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.
“Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?”

God expects us to use our intelligence guided by faith. I’m sure God doesn’t care who buys the house. All he cares about is that we do his will. Of course, occassionally he will intervine in our lives, but we would not likely know when that might be.

Read the CCC #s 699-740ish, you might find something there.


These paragraphs from the Catechism may be helpful:
God Carries out His Plan: Divine Providence

302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created “in a state of journeying” (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call “divine providence” the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:
[INDENT]By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, “reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well.” For “all are open and laid bare to his eyes,” even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.

Providence and secondary causes

306 God is the sovereign master of his plan. But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures’ cooperation. This use is not a sign of weakness, but rather a token of almighty God’s greatness and goodness. For God grants his creatures not only their existence, but also the dignity of acting on their own, of being causes and principles for each other, and thus of cooperating in the accomplishment of his plan.[/INDENT]
So you see, God has a plan, but part of his plan is for us to act freely, cooperating with him to bring about his will.

God provides for the needs of his people. One way that God provides is by creating us to provide for each other, each as we are able. As we serve one another, help those in need, seek the truth and share it, and love God and one another, we do our part to carry out God’s plan.

Respectfully disagree. This concept may not be championed as dogma within the Church, but it is indeed a very Catholic concept.

“…everything that happens, happens for a reason” (or "…according to God’s Plan, or “…according to the Will of God”).

Many Saints have even written along these lines, even before there was a thing known as protestantism.

NB: this does not deny or negate free will; free will occurs within God’s plan.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.