Don't be angry with God (2)
Author: Paulino Quevedo PhD.
Faced with the phenomenon of annoyance with God, felt by many, because they think He is not handling things well, imagine how interesting it would be that God granted us to act and govern according to our criteria.
Who has not played God, daydreaming? Maybe not everyone, but certainly many, if not the majority of us. Maybe we did it as children, or maybe we last did it not too long ago. Why not do it again?, but now seriously, trying to do our best to analyze and decide how things should be done. It is not an invitation to imagine that one —you, me, each one— is God, because we would probably feel disoriented, but to imagine that God grants us the power to do things —create, act, govern, etc.— following our very personal criterion, almost as if He were a genius who came out of a bottle.
I do not intend with this invitation to venture into the field of children's literature, but to use a peculiar literary resource, an intellectual exercise, a trick that helps us better understand why things are as they are, and why God works as He works and rules as He rules. As we go on taking this exercise seriously, it may seem somewhat difficult; my reflections will help you along the way, but each reader can venture on through more personal paths.
Obviously we start from our current situation as responsible adults, with rights and obligations, with experience and knowledge, and probably Catholic in faith for the mere fact of reading my articles. Therefore we have at least some, or much, religious formation: we know that God is One and Triune —Father, Son and Holy Spirit—, that he is omniscient and omnipotent, that He loves us, that He became incarnate in the womb of Mary, that he died for us, rose again, founded a Church and everything else. We simply don't understand why he doesn't handle things more effectively.
Well, here is our opportunity, thanks to this literary resource, to give some advice to God, taking this very interesting intellectual exercise seriously. I just want to warn you: doing this exercise seriously can change one's life. It's not a game; and considering it a game, it can be a very "dangerous" game. It can be as overwhelming as one of those experiences of clinical death, in which when they return to life, people see the world differently and change radically.
Although the articles in this series can be read independently, there is a relationship between them; due to which, the reading of each one will be better understood if it relates to that of the others, which can be found by activating the link offered immediately:
Body of the article
At the beginning of this series I preferred to write and present the first article
The reader can now consider whether he would prefer things to have been done differently in regard to the points indicated, even if they are very synthetic. In case of doubt or requiring more information, you can always resort to reading the previous article.
In the first article of this series I said the following: “You and I, dear reader, are of those goods with a mixture of evil. Honestly, it doesn't seem to me that the best of all worlds was a world where I was missing, or where you were missing. What do you think?". I certainly would not like the best of all worlds if I were not included in it. The best of all worlds would not be such if it did not include me
This is true. But it is also true that God could take away my defects in order to include me in the best of all worlds; and we could think the same of the rest of creatures, and in this way the best of all possible worlds should not include evils.
A world of absolutely perfect creatures
Undoubtedly the argument of forgiveness, mentioned above, is decisive; but let us put it aside now in order to get the most out of what was said in the previous paragraph: if God would take away all my ills, my defects, my deficiencies ... and then do the same with all creatures ... it seems that He would avoid presence of evil in the best of all worlds. And so, the best of all worlds, the most perfect Creation, would be the one that included only maximally perfect creatures.
Then I, Paulino
What we are seeing is that if the perfection of the best of all worlds was that all creatures were maximally perfect, that world could only include Gods; but since there is only one God, the consequence is that the claim of such a world leads to no creation. In the best of all worlds, so considered, there could only be God. God would not have the freedom to create the best of worlds, but only the freedom to create mediocre worlds.
A world with the full range of perfections
All this does lead us to understand that the best of all worlds is not one in which all creatures are perfect to the fullest, but one in which there is the full range of perfections in creatures, from the Humanity of Christ to the most minuscule subatomic particle, and also until reaching the extreme of creatures with a mixture of moral evil, as we men and demons are. And in that better world, each creature accepts its own nature, with all its limitations and deficiencies, and with its fallible character, which will lead to faults, omissions, both physically and morally ... and there we have it, evil!
Perhaps at this time we begin to understand something about the divine project. God has wanted to allow evil
Undoubtedly evil affects us and makes us suffer, but not because of can we blame God, nor should we be angry with Him. God has the right to create the best of all worlds, even at the price of the inclusion of evils. Today that it is so fashionable to talk about human rights is imperative that we also talk about divine rights.
It is very likely that the reader did not know
A quiet and hidden God
But new problems arise. How difficult it is to silence our disagreements! Why doesn't God make our way easier? Why doesn't He tell us his plan clearly? Why have we had to wait for that Leibniz or for this Quevedo, or for anyone else to come and tell us these things? And also all of them, why did they have to wind their brains trying to elucidate, as if it were a puzzle, something that God could have told us from the beginning? Why leave us in ignorance of the things that most provoke our rebellion?
At every moment of our life we have to think about what we should do, and with the possibility of making mistakes. Wouldn't it be much better if God were telling us what to do at every step? Wouldn't it be better if He had given us infused science? Here is another line of thought, which naturally ends in the wish that God would have created us already in Glory. Of course, wouldn't it be much better if God had already created us in Glory? That way we would have nothing to suffer in this world.
Certainly, God could have created us already in Glory. So, why didn't He do it? Why doesn't he do it with those who keep coming? He does not do so because our glory would be less, since we would not have earned it, we would not have collaborated in its achievement, we would not have that merit nor that satisfaction. We would be like young gentleman in Heaven. Undoubtedly, our glory would be less.
The more God helps us reach Glory, the lower our participation. If He were to show us clearly and take us as if by the hand, or if He would speak to us clearly and tell us what we should do at each step, our collaboration would be less. And also the other way around, the less clearly he speaks to us and manifests himself to us, our participation in the conquest of our glory will be greater, and this will be fuller. That is why God tries to hide from us in every possible way, and thus it is explained that he is a quiet and hidden God.
God works like the parents who teach his son to walk; one of them
Our whole life is a journey towards the goal, and God works with us as the father behind the child. We are all like children before God, and "anyone who does not welcom the kingdom of God like a little a child will never enter it" (Luke 18, 17). Here we have the foundation of spiritual childhood.
Our relationship with God is not like the one we have with our human parents, from whom we become independent at a certain age; We can even continue to live, already on our own, after they die. It is not the case that God puts us into existence and that, some time later, we can continue to exist on our own., even if there was the absurd case of God’s death.
Creatures are absolutely insufficient to exist; God not only gives us our whole being at first, but he continues to give it to us at all times, what has been called conservation in being. If God forgot about us for a single moment, if he was only distracted, if he "blinked", then we would cease to exist. He takes care of us "as the pupil of his eye" (Deuteronomy 32,10).
We cannot become independent from God as we do from our parents, to whom we claim a majority of age. Before God we never become adults: we are always children! And in this, perhaps more than in other things, I would not like to correct the actions of God; I don't know what the reader thinks. And so, once again, I come to the same thing: we must not be angry with God.
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