(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 97

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97. VIII. THEREFORE IT IS OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE THAT MAN SHOULD ACT FROM FREEDOM ACCORDING TO REASON. To act from freedom according to reason, and to act from liberty and rationality are the same thing; and so also is to act from the will and the understanding; but it is one thing to act from freedom according to reason or from liberty and rationality, and another thing to act from freedom itself according to reason itself or from liberty itself and rationality itself. For a man who does evil from the love of evil and who confirms that evil in himself acts indeed from freedom according to reason; nevertheless, his freedom is not freedom in itself or freedom itself, but it is infernal freedom, which in itself is slavery; and his reason is not reason in itself, but it is either a spurious or a false reason, or what by confirmation appears to be reason. Still, however, they are both of the Divine Providence; for if freedom to will evil, and by confirmation to make it appear in harmony with reason, were taken away from the natural man, there would perish liberty and rationality, and with them will and understanding; and it would not be possible for him to be withdrawn from evils and reformed, and consequently to be conjoined to the Lord and live to eternity. Therefore the Lord guards freedom in man as man guards the pupil of his eye. Still, however, the Lord continually withdraws man from evils by means of his freedom; and as far as He can withdraw him by means of freedom He implants by means of freedom what is good. Thus in the place of infernal freedom the Lord successively endows man with heavenly freedom.


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