God's Plan for Our Lives

I have heard it often said that everything happens for a reason, that God has a plan and that it will be what is best.

This works fine if you’re a Faithful Catholic, as it means that your sufferings and hardships will not be meaningless. But it gets less fine the more helpless the sufferer is.

I am uncomfortable with the idea of God sitting down, looking over his plans for a man’s life, and deciding that the man is called to be born during a civil war and to be strangled in his crib by a crazed death-squad member before ever learning how to speak.

Not all suffering teaches us a lesson, because some suffering happens where nobody can see it.

Worse yet is where some people live in such a way that precludes entrance into Heaven.

If God’s plan for people is for them to ultimately, unavoidably be cast into the lake of fire, then why even bother waking up in the morning?

I’m subscribing to this thread, since I think this will be a good discussion.

I don’t know enough to reply. All I can say is that God only permits bad things to happen. He doesn’t make them happen.


“The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14)

  1. I chose as the theme for your 15th World Day the lapidary phrase with which Saint John the Apostle describes the profound mystery of God made man: “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). What distinguishes the Christian faith from all other religions, is the certainty that the man Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Word made flesh, the second person of the Trinity who came into the world. “Such is the joyous conviction of the Church from her beginning, whenever she sings ‘the mystery of our religion’: ‘He was manifested in the flesh’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 463). God, the invisible one is alive and present in the person of Jesus, Son of Mary, the Theotokos, Mother of God. Jesus of Nazareth is God with us, Emmanuel: he who knows Him knows God, he who sees Him sees God, he who follows Him follows God, he who unites himself with Him is united with God (cfr Jn 12:44-50). In Jesus, born in Bethlehem, God embraces the human condition, making himself accessible, establishing a covenant with mankind.

On the eve of the new millennium, I make again to you my pressing appeal to open wide the doors to Christ who “to those who received him, gave power to become children of God” (Jn 1:12) To receive Jesus Christ means to accept from the Father the command to live, loving Him and our brothers and sisters, showing solidarity to everyone, without distinction; it means believing that in the history of humanity even though it is marked by evil and suffering, the final word belongs to life and to love, because God came to dwell among us, so we may dwell in Him.


For starters…




The Paschal Mystery is the culmination of this revealing and effecting of mercy, which is able to justify man, to restore justice in the sense of that salvific order which God willed from the beginning in man and, through man, in the world. The suffering Christ speaks in a special way to man, and not only to the believer. The non-believer also will be able to discover in Him the eloquence of solidarity with the human lot, as also the harmonious fullness of a disinterested dedication to the cause of man, to truth and to love. And yet the divine dimension of the Paschal Mystery goes still deeper. The cross on Calvary, the cross upon which Christ conducts His final dialogue with the Father, emerges from the very heart of the love that man, created in the image and likeness of God, has been given as a gift, according to God’s eternal plan. God, as Christ has revealed Him, does not merely remain closely linked with the world as the Creator and the ultimate source of existence. He is also Father: He is linked to man, whom He called to existence in the visible world, by a bond still more intimate than that of creation. It is love which not only creates the good but also grants participation in the very life of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For he who loves desires to give himself.

The cross of Christ on Calvary stands beside the path of that admirable commercium, of that wonderful self-communication of God to man, which also includes the call to man to share in the divine life by giving himself, and with himself the whole visible world, to God, and like an adopted son to become a sharer in the truth and love which is in God and proceeds from God. It is precisely beside the path of man’s eternal election to the dignity of being an adopted child of God that there stands in history the cross of Christ, the only - begotten Son, who, as "light from light, true God from true God,"77 came to give the final witness to the wonderful covenant of God with humanity, of God with man - every human being This covenant, as old as man - it goes back to the very mystery of creation - and afterwards many times renewed with one single chosen people, is equally the new and definitive covenant, which was established there on Calvary, and is not limited to a single people, to Israel, but is open to each and every individual.

What else, then, does the cross of Christ say to us, the cross that in a sense is the final word of His messianic message and mission? And yet this is not yet the word of the God of the covenant: that will be pronounced at the dawn when first the women and then the Apostles come to the tomb of the crucified Christ, see the tomb empty and for the first time hear the message: “He is risen.” They will repeat this message to the others and will be witnesses to the risen Christ. Yet, even in this glorification of the Son of God, the cross remains, that cross which-through all the messianic testimony of the Man the Son, who suffered death upon it - speaks and never ceases to speak of God the Father, who is absolutely faithful to His eternal love for man, since He “so loved the world” - therefore man in the world-that "he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."78 Believing in the crucified Son means "seeing the Father,"79 means believing that love is present in the world and that this love is more powerful than any kind of evil in which individuals, humanity, or the world are involved. Believing in this love means believing in mercy. For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love’s second name and, at the same time, the specific manner in which love is revealed and effected vis-a-vis the reality of the evil that is in the world, affecting and besieging man, insinuating itself even into his heart and capable of causing him to “perish in Gehenna.”


See below.

You would be correct to be uncomfortable about such an idea.

Because God does not do that.

Again…same answer that I just gave.

There is that verse that says something like it would have been better had this person not even been born, so it is strange that some people are born into certain times and situations that will likely result in them ultimately ending up in hell, Plus God knows where you will end up before you are even born, so that gets into predestination.

Really since we have free will, God should not have a plan for anyones lives, that is kind of assuming they will choose to have a relationship and recognize God in their lives.

Why God does things like this are beyond us though, we are just told Gods ways are not our ways and we are just expected to accept that as the reason…?

Then there’s the verse which says, “All things work together for good for those who are called according to his purposes.” - so does that mean only for a few? Or in the broader sense that God calls all people?

I go back and forth between two points of view–on any given day I strongly believe either one: That God has given us each a certain number of days to live, or that God allows whatever happens to happen–although he still draws all people to himself.

I have trouble with each viewpoint. I know so many people who strongly believe the former. Each hair on our head is numbered–God loves us so much that each person is in his care and God has it all planned out. (and on certain days I believe this too) But that doesn’t answer statistics that prove, for example, that people live longer as our medical knowledge advances. So God only planned for someone to live to a certain age, so he had them born in a pre-antibiotic world???

:confused: :frowning: :confused:

God is outside of time.

and “To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy.” (CCC 600)

It is not so much that God “foresees” -as “sees” .

All of time is before God–all our decisions etc are all as it were freshly before God.

They are seen as they are actually taking place a particular instant in time (and all this is present to God at once).

It is not as it if is some “play written in advance” where the actors simply come on stage at their cue and read their lines.

Our choices - are part of things.

As are the choices of others around us and circumstances that intersect (be the good or evil of others choices etc). All is involved.

Mistaken notions can yes create mistaken ideas and conclusions.

As I noted above - it is* not* as if everything is a play written in advance and persons are just actors who take their places and read there parts!!

The freedom of Man is very much involved in creation and in the going on of things! God includes freedom at part of the whole. See my post above.

And Happily - part of the reason for the Church is to proclaim the good news of the Gospel! To invite all to true life in Christ!

“If we are in relation with him who does not die, who is Life itself and Love itself, then we are in life. Then we “live”.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI (Spe Salvi)


“… there is one great Friend, who is the author of the joy of all and who fills our hearts with a joy that surpasses all other joys and lasts a lifetime: he is Jesus.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI


“In Jerusalem they hear the news of Jesus’ Resurrection and, in turn, they recount their own experience, on fire with love for the Risen One who has opened their hearts to an uncontainable joy. As St Peter says, they were “born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (cf. 1 Pet 1:3). Indeed, the enthusiasm of faith, love for the community, the need to communicate the Good News was reborn within them. The Teacher is risen and with him all life is reborn; witnessing to this event becomes an irrepressible need for them.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI


“My hand upholds you. Wherever you may fall, you will always fall into my hands. I am present even at the door of death. Where no one can accompany you further, and where you can bring nothing, even there I am waiting for you, and for you I will change darkness into light.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI


The older I get the more I believe the adage/proverb, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” If we were to all stop eating and instead pray that God will nourish us in the belief that those who survive will have done so because of God’s plan for them to survive, I’m pretty sure we’d all starve to death.

If God has a plan for us, it is that all of us will be drawn into him. That doesn’t mean that God is planning, or wants for me to get hit by a bus this afternoon, even if I do get his by a bus this afternoon.

God’s will is the cross - suffering, while we are here in this temporal place.

Yes the cross is* part *of being a Christian. An important part -but still only a part and not the whole.

Jesus Christ Is God’s Plan.



That’s all it is.

Suffering is mandatory.

If there is a pleasant thing, that’s nice, it will go away, guaranteed.

Now back to the test. I better pass.

Such an idea is not consistent with the Gospel - not consistent with the Faith of the Church.

Suffering is part of things yes…but NOT the whole.

When God refuses to give the rest of the whole, game over.

Suffering is all there is in life.

That is a bleak outlook…

And I disagree. In fact the closer to God the less the suffering IMO, especially for us first world problem people… You’d be surprised at how irrelevant certain suffering is if you have God. Irrelevant suffering = not suffering

Bleak but true.

That’s the cross - bleak.

And I disagree. In fact the closer to God the less the suffering IMO, especially for us first world problem people… You’d be surprised at how irrelevant certain suffering is if you have God. Irrelevant suffering = not suffering

Actually St. John of the Cross disagrees with you. The closer you are to God the more suffering, during the Dark Night of the Senses and then the Dark Night of the Soul. The Dark Night of the Senses begins with suffering = 0 and consolations. (note: I never had this, but I do have the dark night!)

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