My friend was saying everything that occurs is God’s Will, even things such as a tyrant’s rise to power or the election of pro-abortion officials. Is that true? I understand that God allows evil in order for good to come from it, but it seems my friend is saying even seemingly negative occurrences are part of God’s plan.
Negative occurances are not part of God’s plan.
His plan was for man to exercise his free will and get to Heaven.
But since evil men could not do evil to others and exercise their free will unless these others were susceptible to harm,
God allows a dangerous world.
Yes, everything and all is a part of God’s wonderful plan of eternity. That includes even the bad and hideous parts. They are necessary to our growth. Remember though that “all things pass” except God’s love, and “all will be well” to quote Julian of Norwich.
I am also fond of Julian’s saying that "He said not ‘Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased’; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome.” In our standing firm in the light of who we are (which is oned with Christ) we can be like a silent, steadfast witness overseeing and enduring all, while ourselves not being compromised in terms of our essential goodness.
I’ve read several books that make the point that everything that happens is either by the direct action of God’s will or with his permission (in the case of a human acting against us with evil intent).
Thus, everything that happens is somehow good for us, and an opportunity to grow in love, even if the intent of the action against us was evil.
God loves us beyond anything we can imagine, and every microsecond of every day of our lives is a gift. The gift may involve suffering. But even suffering is a gift in that it allows us, if we use it correctly, to participate in Christ’s redemptive suffering. Our “passion” and “crucifixion” and “cross carrying” becomes joined to Christ’s for the purpose of our own redemption and the redemption of others.
I would recommend the following books:
*]Surrender - by Fr. Larry Richards
*]Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence (2 parts, 1 each by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint Jure, and one by Saint Calude de Le Columbiere)
*]The Fulfillment of All Desire - By Ralph Martin
*]The Gift of Faith - by Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
We need to absolutely have full trust on God, that everything that happens is ultimately for our good. We need to somehow, some way see how everything that happens to us is an opportunity. Because when we stand before God in judgment, and see his face - the face of infinite pure love - we will understand in full how everything that happens is connected to that love.
One book, from a Jewish paster point-of-veiw, is Rabbi Harorld Kinsners (not sure of spelling of last name) When Bad Things Happen To Good People. :) It uses the Book of Job as a base.
Oh right!!! I forgot the Book of Job. Chapters 38 - end are particularly good. I’m not sure what’s in Kisner’s book, but I suspect that the Jews don’t look at suffering as a potential redemptive act (an act of love, that can benefit others as well as ourselves).
I’ve heard (and not sure where so take it with a grain of salt), that Catholics have the best answer to the mystery of why God allows suffering. Of course, I’m Catholic so I’m a bit biased…
“Whatever the LORD desires he does in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths” (Psalms 135:6).
“Indeed, she (Wisdom) spans the world from end to end mightily, and governs all things well.” (Wisdom 8:1).
St. Thomas Aquinas says that God’s will is the cause of things (Summa Theologica Pt. 1, Q. 19, article 4).
Nothing happens by chance in the world, or outside of God’s will and knowledge. But we have to understand this correctly. It does not mean human beings are without free will. If we do good, we do it by cooperating with God’s power and grace. St Paul says “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phillipians 2:13). And in Acts 17:28 “For In him we live and move and have our being”. And Jesus said, without me you can do nothing. If we sin, we still need God’s power to act but he does not will that we sin, he permits it respecting our freedom.
Moral evil, Sin, is not part of God’s plan. He allows it to happen because he created us with a free will. Some physical evils he clearly wills for his own purposes, as signs, punishments, or for the good of nature, or simply as a part of natural " functioning. "
But he allows no evil from which he will not draw a higher and better good.
In my opinion, yes - everything except sin.