4. Universal History Directed by God.
1. Through the grace of faith the Phalangist overcomes the philosophical obstacles and moral disquiet aroused in every lifetime by the reality of evil, be it limitation of being, privation, suffering, pain, disorder, moral failure, sickness or death. Leaving the philosophical problem in suspense, he refuses the temptation to set himself up as God’s judge and adversary and will not regard every disorder and suffering as unjust and intolerable, or every inequality as scandalous. Nor will he yield to those dizzy heights of pride that the rebellious Satan excites in man : “ You shall be as gods ! ”
2. He knows that the only real evil is sin, whence all other evils flow. The first sin was the rebellion of Satan who brought the other rebel angels down in his fall and who then seduced our first parents. From that moment evil entered into the world and with it suffering and death. God, however, directs universal history and draws from evil a much greater good for His glory, for the salvation of the elect, and the manifestation of His bounty. It is by accepting trials permitted by God, by submitting to His holy will, by repelling temptation and fleeing from sin, and finally by helping his brethren in moral or physical misfortune, in spiritual or material wretchedness, that man responds to the love of his God.
Thus, the Phalangist consents to God’s plan before even knowing it. He is satisfied with and thankful for his share of being and his destiny. He is resigned to unavoidable evil as to a mysterious trial ; he intends to fight against all avoidable and reparable evil, knowing that it is man’s vocation on this earth to overcome it. He bends with compassion, as the Spirit of God inspires him, over the ills and sufferings of his brothers, in order to comfort them and help them bear the weight, practising at all times works of mercy towards his neighbour for the greater glory of God.
3. Thus his supernatural faith leads the Phalangist progressively to discover the meaning of his personal life and of human history : creation is in progress from the imperfect to the more perfect ; the world has to be built as a holy city, a work of divine grace and human freedom, within the perspective of the eternal Kingdom ; each person’s life must be a conversion and a sanctification full of hope. Only at the end of this long gestation will the plan of our God’s mercy appear in all its brightness : “ The whole of creation has been groaning in travail until now. ” (Rm 8 :22)
At last, freed from evil and the devil who infests it, creation will be holy and perfect in its order according to the plan of divine wisdom full of love. It will be in the image and likeness of the heavenly Father, Whose work it is, to the praise of His glory for ever.