(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 140

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140. No one is reformed in a state of misfortune, if only then he thinks of God and implores His aid, because this is a state of compulsion; therefore as soon as he comes into a state of freedom he goes back into his former state in which he had thought little or nothing concerning God. It is otherwise with those who had, while in a free state, feared God before misfortune. By fearing God is meant fearing to offend Him, and to offend Him is to sin. This is not a matter of fear but of love; for anyone who loves another fears to do him wrong, and the more he loves the greater is his fear. Without this fear love is insipid and superficial, a matter of thought only and not of the will. By states of misfortune are meant states of despair arising from peril, as in battles, duels, shipwrecks, falls, fires, imminent or unexpected loss of wealth, also of office and consequently of honour, and other similar dangers. To think of God only when in these states is not from God but from self; for the mind is then as it were imprisoned in the body; thus not in liberty and therefore not in rationality; and without these no reformation is possible.


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