Whatever we do from our freedom, whether we have thought it through rationally or not, seems to be ours as long as it is in accord with our reason. (Continued)

Anyone whose rationality has not been beclouded can see or grasp the fact that if we did not seem to be in possession of ourselves, we would not experience any wish to know anything or any wish to understand anything, since all pleasure and satisfaction and therefore all volition comes from feelings that derive from love. Who could set out to know or understand something unless there were some feeling of satisfaction involved? Could we have any such feeling of satisfaction unless what moved us seemed to be really ours? If it were not ours at all, but came from someone else—that is, if one person were instilling some of his or her feelings into the mind of someone who really had no inclinations to know or to understand—would that second person accept the feelings? Could that second person accept them? Could we call that second person anything but a dumb animal or a passive lump?

Clearly, then, it stands to reason that even though everything is flowing in, everything we perceive and therefore think and know, everything we intend and do in response to our perceptions, still it is by divine providence that it all seems to be ours. Otherwise, as just noted, we would not accept anything and could not be given any intelligence or wisdom.

It is acknowledged that everything good and true belongs not to us but to the Lord, even though it does seem to us to be ours. Since everything good and true does seem to be ours, so does everything that has to do with the church and heaven, with love and wisdom, and with charity and faith, even though no element of them really belongs to us. None of us could accept them from the Lord if we did not seem to perceive them as our own.

This supports the truth of the matter, namely, that whatever we do freely, whether or not it is guided by reason, seems to be ours as long as it is in accord with our reason.

from Divine Providence, Section 76

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