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God upholds and sustains creation


God upholds and sustains creation

With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act, and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence.


For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.


Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth completely from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created "in a state of journeying" (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call "divine providence" the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection.


By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, "reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well". For "all are open and laid bare to his eyes", even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.


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The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events: "Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases. And so it is with Christ, "who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens". As the book of Proverbs states: Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.


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