(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 227

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227. These are the causes which give rise to such an enormity; but as they are in obscurity because of ignorance respecting them they must be so explained as to make them clear to the understanding.
First: Whatever a man thinks, speaks and does from his will, whether good or evil, is appropriated to him, and remains. This was shown above (n. 78-81). For man has an external or natural memory, and an internal or spiritual memory. Upon this internal memory is inscribed everything in general and in particular that he has thought, spoken and done in the world from his will, and that so completely and particularly that no detail is lacking. This memory is man's book of life, which is opened after death and according to which he is judged. Regarding this memory much more has been recorded from actual experience in the work HEAVEN AND HELL (n. 461-465).
[2] Second: The Lord by His Divine Providence continually , foresees and disposes, that evil may be by itself and good by itself, and thus that they may be separated. Every man is both in evil and in good, in evil from himself, and in good from the Lord; and he cannot live unless he is in both. For if he were in himself alone, and thus in evil alone, he would not have any life; nor if he were in the Lord alone and thus in good alone, would he have any life; for a man in the latter state of life would be as if he were being suffocated, continually gasping for breath, or like one dying in agony; while in the former state of life he would become devoid of life; for evil without any good is in itself dead. Therefore every man is in both, the difference being that in the one case man is interiorly in the Lord and exteriorly as if in himself and in the other case he is interiorly in himself but exteriorly as if in the Lord. In the latter case the man is in evil and in the former in good; and yet in each case the man is both in good and in evil. The wicked man is in both because he is in the good of civil and moral life, and also outwardly in some measure of the good of spiritual life, besides being kept by the Lord in rationality and liberty, in order that it may be possible for him to be in good. This is the good by means of which every man, even a wicked man, is led by the Lord. From these considerations it may be seen that the Lord separates evil and good, so that one may be interior and the other exterior, and thus provides that they may not be mingled together.
[3] Third: This cannot be done if man first acknowledges the truths of faith and lives according to them, and afterwards departs from them and denies them. This is clear from what has just been stated; first, that everything a man thinks, speaks and does from his will is appropriated to him and remains; and second, that the Lord by His Divine Providence continually foresees and disposes that good may be by itself and evil by itself and that these may be separated. Moreover, they are separated by the Lord after death. With those who are interiorly wicked and outwardly good, the good is taken away and they are thus left to their own evil. The reverse happens with those who are interiorly good and who outwardly like other men have acquired wealth, have sought positions of dignity, have taken delight in various worldly activities and have favoured certain lusts. With these the good and the evil have not been mingled, but have been kept separate, like the internal and the external. Thus in their outward form they have in many respects resembled the wicked, but not in their internal form. On the other hand there are the wicked who have appeared in their outward form like the good in piety, worship, speech and deeds, and yet inwardly were wicked; with these also the evil is separated from the good. With those, however, who have first acknowledged the truths of faith and have lived according to them, and have afterwards gone contrary to them and have rejected them, and especially if they have denied them, good and evil are no longer separated but are mingled together. For such a man has appropriated to himself good and also evil, and has thus joined them and mingled them together.
[4] Fourth: He then mingles good and evil to such a degree that they cannot be separated. This follows from what has just been said, and if the evil cannot be separated from the good and the good from the evil the man can be neither in heaven nor in hell. Every man must be either in the one or in the other; he cannot be in both, for in that case he would be now in heaven and now in hell; and while in heaven he might be acting in favour of hell, and while in hell he might be acting in favour of heaven. Thus he would destroy the life of all around him, heavenly life with angels and infernal life with devils, whereby the life of everyone would perish. For the life of everyone must be his own; no one lives a life foreign to his own, still less one opposed to it. Hence it is that with every man after death, when he becomes a spirit or a spiritual man, the Lord separates the good from the evil and the evil from the good; the good from the evil with those who interiorly are in evil, and the evil from the good with those who interiorly are in good. This is in accordance with His own words:
Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath (A.V. not), from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Matt. xiii. 12; xxv. 29; Mark iv. 25; Luke viii. 18; xix. 26.
[5] Fifth: Since the good and the evil in every man must be separated, and in such a person they cannot be separated, therefore he is destroyed as to everything that is truly human. Everyone has what is truly human from rationality, in that he can see and know, if he will, what is true and what is good, and also that he can from liberty will, think, speak and do it; as was shown before. This liberty, however, with its rationality has been destroyed with those who have mingled in themselves good and evil; for they cannot discern evil from good nor can they recognise good from evil since the two make one. Consequently they no longer have rationality in faculty or in power, nor therefore any liberty. For this reason, as was said above, they are like mere fantastic hallucinations; and they no longer appear like men but like bones covered with skin; and therefore when they are referred to they are not called "he" or "she", but "it". Such is the lot of those who in this manner mingle together what is holy with what is profane. However, there are several kinds of profanation which are not quite of this nature, and these will be treated in the following section.


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