741. Do human beings have the power to avert the terrors that now afflict them?
“Some of them, but not as is commonly believed. Many of those plagues are the consequence of their lack of foresight; therefore, as they acquire knowledge and experience, they are able to avert them. They can prevent their occurrence when they have determined their cause. Consequently, among the misfortunes that plague humanity, there are some of a general nature that are imposed by God’s plans, and the effect of which is felt more or less by each individual. Human beings can do nothing but accept God’s will, yet they often aggravate their own pain and suffering due to their negligence.”
Destructive calamities with natural causes, which are independent of human actions, include epidemics, famines, foods and weather events that destroy the fruits of the Earth. Human beings have used science to discover methods for achieving agricultural improvements, through crop rotation, irrigation, the study of hygienic conditions, and the means of offsetting or at least mitigating many of these disasters. Are many countries today not protected from terrible calamities that once devastated them? Imagine what people could accomplish for their physical well-being when they learn to leverage all the resources of their intelligence, and when they add a true sense of charity for the whole human race to their concern for their own self-preservation. (See no. 707)