The Sin of Adam and Eve
Genesis 3:1 ff
Note: Adam and Eve were created and placed in the Garden of Paradise. By their sin they lost original justice and for the rest of their lives they lived without it.
A MEDITATION ON THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE
1. I come into God's presence and offer myself to Him.
2. Then, I compose myself in my real world. I am one of many human persons. I hear about many wars, about dictators who make fortunes dealing in drugs. I read about murders every day, in my own city. I breathe air that people have filled with harmful and noxious chemical. I eat foods that clog my arteries, tax my digestive system, and alter my consciousness. Perhaps I learned to smoke before we knew it harms us. Perhaps I have gotten used to some drugs. I help pay for weapons systems that are so deadly that they make impossible the security we intend them to achieve and threatened the entire earth. I am sold on things by advertising that skirts the truth. My culture is sated with pleasure, and it makes life choices simply because of pleasure. When the media do not tell me outright lies, they deceive by error and false world views. Even if I wanted a more equitable distribution of healthy water and nourishing foods, I know that millions die of diseases while I can drink water from any tap and eat cuisines from all over the earth.
So I continue listing wrongs and evils until I get a deep sense of how
my life world really goes on. This is my real world, however secure and
safe I may feel in my own situation. Without being lugubrious or silly,
I see my life world and myself in it ? for what they truly are.
3. And now I ask of God what I yearn for: I ask God to let me feel shame at my thoughtless sins and my deliberate sins; I want to feel confounded by the truth that others suffer such dire things because of human sinfulness, and I have suffered so little, although I know I have sinned and do sin.
Now, about Adam & Eve:
1. I recall what St. Paul said to the Romans: "Well then, sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned" (Romans 5:12).
2. Then I think about this. Even though I may believe that God brought humankind onto the face of the earth through evolution, I have to believe that at some point in time and on some spot on the globe, the earliest humans came into life. They grew intellectually aware of right and wrong, and some among them (the Church has always believed it was the very first) chose to do evil. They abused what was given to them. They chose to use what was forbidden by their own consciences. They decided willfully to make their own value system instead of letting the Spirit of God instruct them. From that sin came others, more and more. From that sin came death. So, from this earliest sin cam flooding down all the misery, wretchedness, evildoing, and death?dealing in the world today.
3. What they did (some ordinary human action) can it have been so enormously, overwhelmingly worse than what I have done, and perhaps do? Yet, what comes from my sin? Why does God deal so differently with me? So I consider how I feel about all this.
Finally, I make my colloquy with Jesus crucified. How did You come to this? And the questions form in me:
What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What ought I do for Christ?
I talk this over with Him and, as always, I end with the Our Father.