Rome,,Italy,-,August,24,,2018:,Throne,Bernini,Holy,Spirit

He Judges with Clemency

All wisdom comes from the Lord God, we find in the Book of Ecclesiasticus, and with him it remains forever, and is before all time . . . and he has poured her forth upon all his works. How manifold are your works, O Lord! exclaims the Psalmist, In wisdom thou hast wrought them all.

It could not be otherwise, for God, being infinite wisdom and acting by Himself, cannot act except in an infinitely wise manner. For this reason many of the Doctors of the Church hold that, having regard to the circumstances, His works are so perfect that they could not be more so, and so good that they could not be better.

‘We ought then,’ says St. Basil, ‘to ponder well on this thought, that we are the work of a good Workman, and that He dispenses and distributes to us all things great and small with the wisest providence, so that there is nothing bad, nothing that could even be conceived better.’

The works of the Lord are great, the Psalmist again says, exquisite in all their delights. His wisdom is especially shown in the right proportion between the means He employs and the end He has in view. She reaches from end to end mightily and governs all things well. She (Wisdom) governs men with admirable order, she leads them to their happiness mightily but without violence or constraint, with sweetness and not only with sweetness, but still more with circumspection.

But though you have might at your disposal, says the Sage, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us.

You are endowed with an infinite strength that nothing can resist, but with us you do not use the absolute power of your sovereign authority.

You treat us with extreme condescension and, adapting yourself to the weakness of nature, design to place each one of us in the best and most suitable situation for working out our salvation.

You dispose of us with great favor as persons who are your living image and of noble origin and who, because of their condition, are not to be ordered in the voice of a master as if they were slaves, but with care and consideration.

You treat us with the same circumspection as one handles a vase of precious crystal or fragile pottery for fear of breaking it.

When it is necessary for our good for you to afflict us or send us some illness or make us suffer some loss or pain, you always do so with a certain respect and a kind of deference. As a surgeon who has to operate on a person of importance takes extra care to cause him as little suffering as possible and only what is strictly necessary for his recovery, or as a father unwillingly punishes a son he loves dearly only because he is obliged to do so for his son’s good, so God treats us as noble beings for whom He has the highest regard, or as beloved children whom he chastises because he loves them.

This article is taken from a chapter in Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, S.J. and St. Claude de la Colombière, S.J., which is available from TAN Books.

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