Providence Takes Care Of Everything

Reading this post on Father Z’s blog, I thought I would give my personal, imperfect, and possibly, wrong, but deeply felt perspective on the matter of those who will not be with us when (if) we get to Heaven.

I am getting fairly old. As such, very many of the generation before me, and everybody of the generation before them, have died. As I get older, the memory of old relatives and their friends become, in some way, more vivid. It’s difficult to explain it but yes, it is true what they say in Italy, that as it gets more difficult to remember what you had for breakfast, it gets easier to remember episodes many decades away.

It is, therefore, unavoidable to think that, realistically, if I make it to Heaven one day I will not find a number of people I have loved down here.

From an earthly point of view, this is something that can never be repaired, that can never be made whole. How can one be happy knowing that people he loved all his life are suffering, and will suffer for all eternity?

My answer to that is very simple and reverts around 1) the kind of happiness those in Heaven enjoy and 2) the way God organises things. Before I start, mind that I am not a theologian. As the man said, si sbalio mi corigerete.

Whilst on this earth, we are only able to think of happiness in a natural way. There is, in other words, only so much happiness we can imagine. Where the, so to speak, computing ability of our little brain stops, there ends our conception of happiness. This is, as I understand, the happiness of the souls in Limbo; who are, as it is commonly said, “happy as can be”, because they have natural happiness.

However, the happiness of the Saints it’s not a natural happiness, but a supernatural one. It is a kind of happiness that simply surpasses everything our little brains can even imagine, a happiness that is infinitely vaster than anything our our minds can even fathom.

I have read that the state of ecstasy has been described as a happiness without wishes; a state, that is, of such complete joy that nothing, absolutely nothing, could be desired by a person in such a state. The person who is experiencing a state of ecstasy is unable to harbour even the slightest desire, because his cup is already so full that there is no possibility of even another drop of happiness.

This state, my friends, is, unless I am mistaken, still a state of natural happiness, because the brain can experience it. Granted, there is a Divine “kick” that is, in fact, nothing more than the faintest hint at the immeasurable joy the saints experience in Paradise; but it is, still, something that our little “head computer” can still work with.

If, therefore, already on this earth, and be it in exceptional circumstances, a person can experience a happiness that is so absolute, so (humanly) perfect that it harbours no desire at all, how much more complete, how infinitely vaster will the joy of those in heaven be? And how can they, then, be “sad” (as in: in mental pain, suffering) for anything?

The other way I look at it is from a different angle. God loves us more than we can imagine. He orders all things so that they can be used for our profit, in one way or the other. But he “never disturbs the joy of his children, unless it is in order to prepare for them a more certain and bigger one”.

Providence works in everything God does, it is the in-built, Divine modus operandi. This does not apply solely to our little lives on earth, but to all of Creation, including heaven and hell. Why would Providence fail to operate in our little human events, but then make us eternally sad as we “miss” some of our loved ones? No. For a soul in heaven, Providence must be all-encompassing, and seen with a keenness and a depth that we could never have here on earth. As we are nearer to God, we will think more like him and understand more of Him. As we understand more of Him, we will immediately love His every judgment. We will see the Goodness (that is: the Mercy and the Justice) of everything God does, and this will be our supernatural fulfillment.

Providence means that everything is, and always will be, exactly as it has to be. Mind, I do not think that this means a kind of stupefied state, as if one were on drugs and unable to see the suffering of others. Of course, we will be aware of the suffering of those in hell, and we will be acutely conscious of all that they are missing. But there will be no sadness in this, as there can be no sadness where there is perfect, indescribable, supernatural joy. It will be, I think, the same as if you saw, whilst in a state as of ecstasy, but infinitely more powerful than that, the execution of Saddam Hussein. Yep, it’s not pleasant for him. Yep, you still know that if he had behaved differently, he would have ended differently. But in the end, this does not disturb your joy as you know, in an extremely intimate way, that everything is exactly the way it should be.

Whenever I exert my little brain with that kind of considerations – which, between you and me, happens more and more often as the years advance – I always end up with the same conclusion: that, ultimately, and when all is said and done, there is only one thing I have to achieve. If I achieve it, my life will have been an infinite success, vastly superior to all that Jeff Bezos or John D Rockefeller have achieved on earth. If I fail to achieve it, I will have been a total failure, no matter if, in life, I was another JP Morgan or John D Rockefeller.

That one thing I need to achieve is Salvation. If I do that, everything else will take care of itself.

Posted on August 10, 2021, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Best… post…. ever. You’ll not top this one, Mr. M.

  2. At nearly 87 I am of the same mind Mundy.

  3. Joanne O Beirne

    As I read this, I am thinking about all my friends and family who have been jabbed and may die of it in the not too distant future. I suspect my cousin has. I hope he is in heaven 🙏🏻

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  4. Great post, Mundabor, and you will only know your own impact on the other side. With this blog you have reached a lot of souls, we benefit! Many times your blog has given me consolation, these are tough times, and you get it and express the fallout of it so very well. Thank you.
    As to your reflection here, it it reminds me of a Protestant book that to me, described a Catholic experience, it was a book written by a Protestant pastor about 20 years ago, “90 Minutes in Heaven”. It was a totally fascinating account of a pastor, a man with what seemed excellent credibility, who describes how he left a conference and was hit head-on by a truck as he was driving home. Protestants always say “Absent from the body, present with the Lord”, but that’s not at all what happened to him. He talks about being given up as dead, but he wasn’t, and a fellow pastor drove (also Protestant) and had the unstoppable urge to stop and pray for him. He got in the car with him, though the police thought he was crazy, and he prayed for a long time. The man was found to be alive, and the book is about what he experienced. He said as much as he loved his wife and children, and he did, he never gave them ONE thought while he was going through his experience. People he knew who had passed greeted him, and he felt incredibly loved and welcomed. When he “came back” from his experience, he was depressed and couldn’t tell why. He missed being there, the amazing colors he never thought of, but most of all the heavenly sounds of multiple choirs praising God, that you had the capacity to join in with or not, and despite the multiplicity of sounds, it was never, ever “too much”, it was bliss. He missed it. Thankfully he did go on to make a great recovery, as far as I knew, although he suffered a great deal.
    What I got out of this book was the fascinating description of heaven by a man who had been extremely wounded and pronounced dead, the importance and direct impact, even necessity, of intercessory prayer, and the fact that his happiness was complete.
    Sorry for the long post, I’ve often shared this book with others, because to me it’s a compelling story and a consoling one. Maybe it would comfort someone.
    Michael Dowd, you’re 87! God bless you! Still a warrior for God.

  5. If you have loved someone, or pitied someone who is now not of this earth, I find the most consoling thing I can do is enroll them in a purgatorial society. That way, numerous traditional Latin Masses will be said daily for their suffering soul. No cost, just submit their name and town of residence at time of death.
    Rorate Caeli has provided me with this address:

    athanathiuscatholic@yahoo.com

    I find that when I hear of an especially tragic life and death I enroll them, Catholic or not. It takes but 30 seconds on my phone. If they are in heaven or hell, the prayers go toward another suffering soul—that’s the “economy of salvation”.

    • In regards to using a “Purgatoriall Society”, I recently enrolled, Bix Biederbecke, the great jazz musician, and Quentin Roosevelt, son of Teddy, who was shot down over France in the waning days of WW I. They were both very young when they died. I hear of their stories and take great pity. Rather than helplessly shed a tear I am able to help them in this way. Maybe it is a mother’s heart.

    • Love Bix Biederbecke!

    • Rorate Caeli wants Catholics everywhere to send names of dead souls to their purgatorial society. They say, “Be greedy!” Send in hundreds, thousands of names if need be! We must get souls to heaven! It’s a spiritual work of mercy. Get started, everyone! Look how good Our God is by giving us the Internet to do this. Thank you M for allowing me to spread the word.

  6. Excellent post, Mundabor. As usual, I smiled & prayed for you Sunday when we sang the Asperges.

  7. “And how can they, then, be ‘sad’ (as in: in mental pain, suffering) for anything?”

    I have often wondered about this. The Church has stated that the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin at La Salette and Fatima are worthy of credibility. And yet, in those phenomena, we find:

    La Salette: “The two children, going up the mountain towards the Planeau did not know anything about all this, but before evening they were destined to see that same Virgin in tears…”

    “Memin (note: Maximin’s nickname) saw it too. A globe of dazzling, supernatural light, which seemed to become more intense and brighter than the sun rested on top of their ‘paradis.’ It opened slowly, revealing a woman seated, with her head in her hands, as though she were overcome by a great sorrow.”

    “The Lady lifted her head, and with her arms folded on her breast, arose and looked tenderly at the two shepherds. She was weeping quietly, and her tears were like drops of light.”

    “The woman continued to weep gently, but she hastened to reassure the two shepherds, ‘Come, my children,’ the woman said, ‘do not be afraid, I am here to tell you something of the greatest importance.’”

    “And the Blessed Virgin (for it was she) gently began to tell the children and through them the entire world, the cause of her sadness…”

    https://www.michaeljournal.org/articles/roman-catholic-church/item/the-apparition-of-mary-at-la-salette-in-1846

    Fatima:

    “The beautiful Lady proceeded to reveal the second part of the secret. We then looked up at Our Lady who said to us so kindly and so sadly: ‘You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go.'”

    https://dailyrosaryfamily.com/the-story-of-our-lady-of-fatima-detailed-to-lucia-sainthood

    “The vision lasted only a moment during which Lúcia let out a gasp. She remarks that if it were not for Our Lady’s promise to take them to heaven, the seers would have died of fright and terror. Frightened and as though pleading for help, the seers raised their eyes to Our Lady, who said with kindness and sadness…”

    https://www.tfp.org/what-our-lady-said-about-hell-in-july-1917

    Letter of Sister Lucia:

    “Dear Father, the Blessed Virgin is very saddened…”

    https://catholicletters.com/times-last-sister-lucia-responds

    How is it possible for the Blessed Virgin to be sad in Heaven? She is the highest creature and enjoys the Beatific Vision in a way that no one else will ever achieve.

    And if She can be sad while in Heaven, what are the ramifications of that for the rest of us?

    • You are worrying yourself too much. It seems to me that the sadness and the tears of the blessed virgin come from a place of perfect happiness, and this sadness is allowed by God so that Sister Lucia & Co. understand the point. Think of the execution of Saddam I wrote of in my post. Imagine the Blessed virgin crying because, say, he could have been a great saint. Still, imagine them as the tears of a perfectly happy soul. It is the same when, say, in the Dialogues of St Catherine, you see God The Father grieved, or saddened. Yes, God allows Himself to be saddened, but His joy is obviously boundless. The same, I think, is true for the imprecatory psalms, God’s rage against Sodom etc.

  8. Very good and timely post that chimes with my own meditations on (1) God’s infinite love and kindness, and (2) His unfailing providence. These are things I strive to keep at the forefront in a world that is obviously going to hell in a bucket. It is only I who am not in control, not God.

    Helpful to this is Ven. Mary of Agreda’s Mystical City of God, which I thought ridiculous in my younger days, but which now I find invaluable. One of its great lessons is how God is really in control of everything, down to the last detail, even when it appears He isn’t.

  9. grassrootgonzo

    You’ve answered a question for me. That is similar to an explanation I have read about why people who have promised to contact loved ones after death, but do not. I console myself with the idea that many people convert at the very end, as imminent death has a way of clarifying priorities and limitations. Now if I can just get to heaven, myself.

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