neither abstract nor random

“You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much
at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty,
but at the love with which we do them.”

St. Therese of Lisieux

(a rogue dahlia / Julie Cook / 2022)

Reading the following quote by Cardinal, now saint, Newman I must admit that I
was pieced by his words.
My heart was pricked as my thoughts now raced.

The quote took on more than just mere words once uttered by a now deceased man.
These words were suddenly very pointed and direct—not abstract nor random.

I found myself overwhelmed…
however, I must admit, I find myself rather overwhelmed as of late most days…
both in positive and negative ways…
yet this time the sense of being overwhelmed was different.

For these particular words, on this particular day, left me overwhelmed in a
most welcomed way.

I found myself amazed, awed and greatly humbled by the fact that everything
within my life—
every big and every minute thing…
those intentional and unintentional movements of all my comings and goings…
that of the time being ticked off of my day’s ins and outs,
those of all my years in and years out…
That of my birth, my in between and that of my death…
all seen and long known by One and only One…

Yet “sin excepted”

The sin is mine, not His.

And yet His is still the knowledge…knowledge of even the sin…
Those known and unknown sins, those seen and those unseen sins…
those past, those present and those sins yet to be.

Even our very sins are known.

The actions and reactions…all known.
All seen by the one Omnipotent Creator.

Yet whereas everything is precisely ordained…the sin is not.

However He knows even of our poorer choices…the good and yes, even the bad
long before we choose. Long before we even have the choice.
He knows of those reactions…be they good or be they bad…long before
we even think to act or react.

And even in that most difficult notion of our fallen nature, I find peace.

Peace that He sees what was and that which is just as He knows what will be…
even when we ourselves have neither knowledge nor clue of what we will do
in the next 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, 5 years…

We think we know.
We think we have an inkling of our own comings and goings..
and yet truly, we do not.

But what I do know, and I know with all certainty, is that God will continue
to bring good from bad….inspite of me and that of which I know and do not know.
And it is in that one fact that I find much rest and assurance.

“O my God, you and you alone are all wise and all knowing!
You know, you have determined everything that will happen to us from first to last.
You have ordered things in the wisest way,
and you know what will be my lot year by year until I die.
You know how long I have to live.
You know how I shall die.
You have precisely ordained everything, sin excepted.
Every event of my life is the best for me that it could be,
for it comes from you.
You bring me on year by year, by your wonderful Providence,
from youth to age, with the most perfect wisdom,
and with the most perfect love.”

St. John Henry Cardinal Newman, p. 103

11 comments on “neither abstract nor random

  1. Salvageable says:

    “Even our very sins are known”–yet the Lord who could deliberately forget the Day of his glorious appearing during his mission on earth also keeps for himself the privilege of forgetting our sins. They were nailed to the cross with Christ, killed with Christ, buried with Christ, and left behind when he rose again from the dead. They have been removed from our lives “as far as the east is from the west”–an infinite distance. The God who knows everything about us has deliberately forgotten our sins. And he continues to bless us in his grace and mercy and love, bringing good out of every hardship, every struggle, and every difficulty we face. J.

  2. Citizen Tom says:

    Romans 8:28 is difficult for us to understand.

    Romans 8:28 New American Standard Bible

    28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

    Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses, but I cannot imagine how God does what this verse says He does.

    Does God ordain evil? Well, God is sovereign. So, nothing happens without His knowledge or will, including what we call sin. That leaves a question. When we sin, isn’t God responsible? Apparently the answer is no because the initiative to sin come from within us. God allows us to sin, and He uses our foolish sins to bring us to Him, but He does not cause us to sin. As you say, that is a most amazing thing.

  3. oneta hayes says:

    Amen. An amazing thing! Yet when I simplify his foreknowledge, his sovereignty, his cause and effect plan, and bring it to a place that I can understand, I get a glimpse of his wisdom. When my child was learning to walk, I would stand him up, keep him well within reach, then turn him loose. I knew he would fall, but I did not cause him to fall. I even set him up into a position from which I knew he would fall, but I still did not cause him to fall. So God allows us to choose. Sometimes he sets us up, sometimes we set ourselves up, but he always supervises in reachable love – if we choose to learn from him. I can’t speak for those who choose their own will instead of God’s will. Sometimes it seems He lets them “run free.” But whom does He pursue? That’s troublesome to me. I think it has a lot to do with what prayers are being prayed by someone.

  4. Want to see abstract and random in it’s pure form? My hair in the morning. And it is not a pretty sight, unlike those flowers.

  5. […] neither abstract nor random […]

  6. Tricia says:

    This gives me peace as well Julie, Amen.

  7. Dawn Marie says:

    Oh, how I needed this post today. Thank you for following the Spirit to compose & share it with all of us. Hugs to you for the great comfort it has provided….

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