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Trusting God with Our Fate

Did you see the recent solar eclipse in North America? Were you awed or unimpressed?


What about your anticipation of the eclipse? Those with an interest in astronomy eagerly looked forward to this uncommon event. Many marveled at the majesty of God, who created the Heavens and the Earth, putting into motion the natural laws that govern the paths of the heavenly bodies.


Some anticipated the eclipse with fear, viewing it as an omen of doom or a warning of some kind. Maybe even the harbinger of an apocalyptic event.


It’s easy to get caught up in prophetic-sounding messages that play on our fears. Our ears are tempted by voices that seem to have a special knowledge or ability to see the future: historical “prophets,” fringe religious leaders, astrologers, visionaries and their private revelations, card readers, and, these days, anyone who sets himself up as an expert or insider and has access to social media. Messages spread quickly, far and wide, and even when we know intellectually that these claims are nonsense, they can easily play on our natural fear of the unknown.


These things are not new. They are ancient. As human beings, we are in many ways powerless to control our futures. We can plan and prepare, but we cannot control the weather, natural phenomena, or even political upheaval.


It may be hard to accept that we cannot control everything, nor can we even know everything. In the case of the latter, we are in good company. Jesus Himself knows not the day nor the hour.


In Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 24, he speaks of the Coming of the Son of Man, saying, “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36)


Given that uncertainty, in whom will we place our trust? The podcaster with a habit of fearmongering? The anonymous face behind an Instagram account that has been connecting all the dots sealing our collective fate? The friend who can’t make basic daily decisions without consulting her horoscope?


The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses this issue handily:


“God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. (CCC 2215)


It goes on to reject all forms of divination, which is foretelling the future or discovering hidden knowledge.


Should we plan for the future—especially our immortal future? Yes, of course. Whether by apocalypse or (more likely) our natural death, our end will come. We should live ready to die, remaining in a state of grace, receiving the sacraments, and living a life of virtue and Christian charity.


Beyond that, we must remind ourselves when the temptation to fear arises, as it regularly does, that it is God alone in whom we place our trust. He will protect and preserve us.


Whether it’s the grand movement of celestial bodies or the ordinary movements of our daily lives, Our Heavenly Father is whom we should trust, confident of His unfailing love and protection.


About the author: Carolyn Astfalk resides with her husband and four children in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it smells like either chocolate or manure, depending on wind direction. She is the author of the contemporary Catholic romances Stay With Me, Come Back to Me, Ornamental Graces, and All in Good Time, and the coming-of-age story Rightfully Ours. Carolyn is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild, Catholic Teen Books, Pennwriters, and is a contributor. True to her Pittsburgh roots, she still says “pop” instead of “soda,” although her beverage of choice is tea.

Images by Apachewolf and Dave Davidson from Pixabay

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