I’ve been thinking about Jennifer’s recent post a lot today and yesterday, using her incredibly selfless take on the issue as an example for me, looking at how I deal with the problems I face in my own life and how I might turn them over to God like she does rather than my usual route of whining and feeling sorry for myself.
But I keep running up against a theological stumbling block that has been tripping me up constantly since I started this spiritual endeavor last year: how do you know what is God’s will and what is not? I tried looking it up in the Catechism and couldn’t find a clear answer (I probably just missed it), so I turn to you readers.
For example: let’s say something bad happens to me today. Let’s say my house burns down. When I turn to God with this problem, am I to assume that this was his will? Or is it possible that it was either a) the devil or b) just random. It seems that many Catholics assume that everything that happens in their lives is the will of God. But is there no room for the work of evil forces, or the plain old randomness that comes with free will? And if these two other forces can be causes, how do you know which one caused your particular problem?
Surprisingly, in all my reading I have no idea where the Church stands on this. I am totally confused about this issue.
I know this is a big subject so if this is a larger question than can be answered in the comments field I’m happy to be pointed to a good book on the subject.
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