Divine Simplicity & Farm Complications
a few thoughts from Neal on walking through the recent changes in our farm
“Move to the farm and it will become the sustenance for your families.”
God’s almighty power is in no way arbitrary: “In God, power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom, and justice are all identical. Nothing therefore can be in God’s power which could not be in his just will or his wise intellect.” Paragraph 271 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (quoting St. Thomas Aquinas
“Move to the farm and it will become the sustenance for your families.” That’s what Michele and I heard in prayer many years ago. So, why now are we working with only a 5th of the previous land, about one third of our cattle, and just a small percentage of our previous income (resulting in both of us having to work off the farm)? Of course, our instinctual consideration is that we have been doing something wrong – hearing God wrong or making bad financial decisions or becoming prideful or not working hard enough or smart enough and on and on. Or maybe we are Abraham being told he will be the father of nations and then being told to sacrifice his son – or Joseph being given dreams that indicate his preeminence and then being sold into slavery – or Mary giving birth to the One she was told would save His people from their sins and then watching Him die on the cross. I don’t imagine in each of those moments – hiking up Mount Moriah or standing on the auction block or weeping at the foot of the cross – that circumstances made sense to them. But they made sense to God. Because He knows the end-game and god’s love supersedes logic. The above quote from the Catholic Catechism is called the doctrine of Divine Simplicity; it means that in God, essence and existence are one. That God is not made up of parts which compete against each other but, rather, all of who He is perfectly and completely integrated into one. That what God does or allows is in no way capricious or arbitrary but is all at once powerful and loving and just and merciful and true and good and beautiful – no matter how it seems to us. Because we see through a glass darkly – until we see face-to-face! So we—and also invite you to—continue to do what He asks us all to do, striving to be eye-to-eye, mouth-to-mouth and heart-to-heart with God – until we see face-to-face.