God's plan


Is it possible to stray from God’s plan for your life if you are sincerely doing your best to discern His will and praying that He will help you make the correct decision in any given circumstance?

please elaborate


If, with all you described above, you keep with the Church’s teaching, then no.


This notion that God has an individual, detailed plan for each of us is cut from protestant cloth. The Catholic Church has never taught that God has much interest in which house you buy or what job you accept - as long as those choices don’t lead you away from him.

There’s nothing wrong with praying for guidance, but you are not praying to have a part of the “plan” revealed to you (because there is no plan).

God might call someone to a particular vocation (not everyone is called to a vocation, and it is not sinful to decline the call). That’s really all there is.

Even the very big decisions (such as who to marry) are not “planned” for us by God. God has just one plan, and it’s the same for everyone: salvation through Jesus Christ.


Really!? To my knowledge, first and foremost, we all have a calling to sainthood. Then there is vocation to priesthood, to family life, to a life of celibacy, to become a religious and so forth. Everyone has a vocation. That most people in the world ignore their vocation is another topic.


Really?? What about Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” And also what anixx said, don’t we each have a specific vocation? I don’t like the idea that God is indifferent about the choices I make in life. Obviously he doesn’t want me to sin, but when I’m faced with different choices I would like to think He cares!


And also, doesn’t He place us at a specific time in history? I mean, God wills each individual soul to exist and He numbers all the hairs on our head. It seems to me like He does have a plan for each of our lives. Even just looking at John 21 and how He tells St. Peter WHAT KIND of death would glorify Him, and how each of the apostles use their lives in different ways to glorify Him… I am inclined to believe that he has an intentional purpose for each one of us to follow


Poor DavidFilmer! He really didn’t see this coming, but God did. :stuck_out_tongue:


I think I covered that…

A “vocation” is normally thought of in earthly terms (a synonym is “job”).

You cannot cite Catholic doctrine that states that everyone has a vocation (on earth).


I said that the Catholic Church does not teach that God has an individual plan for each of us. You cite your interpretation of Jeremiah. The Church has not interpreted that passage of Scripture in the manner that you do.

What I said is true. You are perfectly free to believe that God has a specific “plan” for you (because the Church has also not taught otherwise) but you are not free to claim that this is the teaching of the Catholic Church (because it’s not).

If you have the choice to work at Burger King or McDonalds, and either choice would not impede your salvation, why would you think God would care which choice you accept?


I usually (almost always) hang out in the Apologetic Forum. Believe me, both God and I saw it coming. I’m actually waiting for two additional discussion vectors which commonly arise in Apologetics when this topic comes up.


Well…Scripture is Catholic doctrine…:d
Vocation does not equal job. Your job is what you do, your vocation is what you are. Those are quite different things. As for the example you have given doesn’t illumine us at all, that’s about a job, not vocation. No one has a vocation to work at McDonald’s, but we are all called to work, if not impeded, by natural, psychological problems or other reasons.
I would guess you don’t pray very much that God may make his will known to you.
He is omniscient. He has set in motion everything that ever was, is and ever will be. He’s not just the one who started it all, but he governs over all creation, material and immaterial.
The divine providence is a mystery. We cannot hope to know all there is about it, but God has an universal plan, for all of us, and an individual plan, with each and every one of us.
For his will we must pray daily, in the morning, so that we may know what he want’s from us in a specific day, and that we may know what’s his plan with our lives.

EDIT: May I add…the Catechism?!

303 The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God’s absolute sovereignty over the course of events: “Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.” And so it is with Christ, “who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens”. As the book of Proverbs states: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.”

304 And so we see the Holy Spirit, the principal author of Sacred Scripture, often attributing actions to God without mentioning any secondary causes. This is not a “primitive mode of speech”, but a profound way of recalling God’s primacy and absolute Lordship over history and the world,165 and so of educating his people to trust in him. The prayer of the Psalms is the great school of this trust.

305 Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takes care of his children’s smallest needs: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?”. . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”

Does this count as Catholic doctrine?!


Scripture is Catholic doctrine, but your interpretation and application of it is not. This is the error or Protestantism (individuals claiming for themselves the authority to interpret Scripture).

but God has an universal plan, for all of us, and an individual plan, with each and every one of us.

Can you CITE that? If I choose to marry Gina, but God had “planned” for me to marry Jane, have I completely derailed God’s “plan” for me? Would God prefer that I divorce Gina so that I could marry Jane? And, if Jane had married, would God prefer that she also divorce her husband?

For his will we must pray daily, in the morning, so that we may know what he want’s from us in a specific day, and that we may know what’s his plan with our lives.

MUST we do this? Can you cite this requirement of the Catholic Faithful?

EDIT: May I add…the Catechism?!

Of course you may, but it does not support anything that you have claimed.


So, you really have nothing new to say? Btw, thank you for the charitable act of instructing the ignorant. I didn’t know that personal interpretation of the Holy Scripture is a protestant error. I thought that all Catholics have the authority of the Magisterium. :rolleyes:
Please illumine me on all these points, because you only denied them, without bringing arguments. God bless!


DavidFilmer, do you have links to other apologetics forums where this topic is brought up? I’m interested in learning more… thanks :slight_smile:

closed #15

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