Day 53: Man in Paradise (374-384)
We’re almost to Day 365!!
We are closer than we were on Day 1!!
The last couple of days we have been talking about HUMAN BEINGS
We have been talking about MAN (OH MAN!! 😉)
There are four aspects that we believe
Well there are a bunch of things we believe
Here are the 4 CATEGORIES in this section
Male and female are made in the image of God
Human beings are made body and soul
We have this UNITY of the spiritual and material words
Human beings are created MALE AND FEMALE
Today we will learn that God established us IN FRIENDSHIP
THIS IS US!!
Paragraph 374 starts Article IV which is MAN IN PARADISE
Then we have some MCNUGGETS at the end
So what are we talking about today?
MAN IN PARADISE highlights the reality that God made us for FRIENDSHIP WITH HIM
God didn’t make us to live apart from Him
God didn’t make us to exist because He wants us to be out there somewhere
He created us to be in RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM
When God ORIGINALLY created us we had this thing called ORIGINAL UNITY
It was a state of ORIGINAL JUSTICE
Paragraph 375 says, “This grace of original holiness was ‘to share in…divine life.’”
God’s plan FROM THE VERY BEGINNING was NOT for us to be broken and separated from Him
It was NOT for us to learn how to love in this valley of tears
God made us and brought us into the Garden of Eden
A world that was COMPLETELY GOOD
God made us COMPLETELY GOOD
Because of that, we were NOT MADE FOR DEATH
It was ONLY through SIN that DEATH ENTERED THE WORLD
What else happened because of SIN?
We were DIVIDED FROM GOD
We were DIVIDED FROM EACH OTHER
We were DIVIDED IN OURSELVES
Paragraph 377 says, “The first man was unimpaired and ordered in his whole being because he was free from the triple concupiscence that subjugates him to the pleasures of the senses, covetousness for earthly goods, and self-assertion, contrary to the dictates of reason.”
This was in 1 John
The LUST of the FLESH
The LUST of the EYES
The PRIDE of LIFE
Man originally was NOT afflicted by this
The original HARMONY that existed between us and God…
That FRIENDSHIP that existed…
That HARMONY that existed between human beings…
That INNER HARMONY that we lost…
St. Paul expresses the problem that so many of us experience in Romans 7:15, “I don’t do what I want to do and I do what I don’t want to do.”
He is at war WITHIN HIMSELF
We find ourselves at war within OURSELVES
God made us in the beginning was NOT at war within ourselves
Paragraph 377 calls it MASTERY OF SELF
MAN IN PARADISE teaches us SO MUCH about God’s ORIGINAL PLAN for friendship with us
It highlights the fact that when we lost that friendship in disobedience and sin, we LOST that friendship
God DID NOT ABANDON US to the domain of death
God DID NOT ABANDON US to go our own way
God has done EVERYTHING to pursue us
So God gives us this REDEEMED LIFE
God gives us this NEW LIFE in Jesus Christ
WHICH IS JUST ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!
So let’s say a prayer!!
This is how God made us originally, to share in His Divine Life
We LOST that through disobedience
God has made it possible to have Divine Life
God has made it possible by His Grace
God has made it possible by His Life, Death, and Resurrection
God has made it possible by the gift of the Holy Spirit
God has made it possible for us to be friends with Him AGAIN
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, help us to be your friends. You have made us your children, even though we wander away from you. Even though you have given us every good gift and we turn our backs on you, you have never ceased to call us to yourself. So we ask that you please keep calling us. We ask that you please don’t just keep calling us, but help us to turn back to you. Especially in those moments where we want to keep running away from you. You created us for Yourself. Help us to be completely yours. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen”
God did not JUST create us GOOD
God also ESTABLISHED US IN FRIENDSHIP
In HARMONY with Himself
In HARMONY with Creation around us
In HARMONY with each other
Remember this HARMONY
Paragraph 374 says, “The first man was not only created good, but was also established in friendship with his Creator and in harmony with himself and with the creation around him, in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ.”
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!
Fr. Mike did not say it in the introduction so we have to assert this NOW
This is a state that God created us ORIGINALLY
This is a state that would be surpassed ONLY by the glory of the new creation in Christ
What does this mean?
Because of Jesus Christ, God actually raises us up EVEN HIGHER than when He FIRST created human beings
A STATE OF HOLINESS
A STATE OF FRIENDSHIP
A STATE OF RELATIONSHIP
A STATE OF HARMONY
One of the reasons we say, “O happy fault…”
We are going to talk about the Fall and Original Sin tomorrow
At one point St. Augustine said, “O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam that won for us so great a Redeemer!”
We pray that in the Easter Vigil
Because of Jesus and what He has done in our brokenness, we are to be elevated EVEN HIGHER than our first parents Adam and Eve
The REDEMPTION of God is EVEN GREATER than the CREATION of God
THAT IS BANANAS!!
THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
Paragraph 375 says, “Adam and Eve were constituted in an original ‘state of holiness and justice.’ This grace of original holiness was ‘to share in…divine life.’”
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US!!
Paragraph 376 says, “By the radiance of this grace…”
That grace of ORIGINAL HOLINESS
We are created IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
We are created IN HARMONY WITH THE WORLD AROUND US
We are created IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER
We are created IN HARMONY IN OURSELVES
“By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man’s life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die.”
OH MY GOSH!!
GOD DID NOT CREATE DEATH!!
The Book of Wisdom says this SO VERY CLEARLY
GOD DID NOT CREATE DEATH!!
IT IS THE RESULT OF SIN!!
Wisdom 2:24, “By the envy of the Devil, sin entered the world and so with it death.”
The price of sin is that this HARMONY…
This INTIMACY that God made us with and made us for…
It is STILL GOOD
This goodness became BROKEN
We became BROKEN
We experience this brokenness every moment of our lives
We also experience this incredible gift of God’s Grace
God enters into our brokenness
That is the GRACE that makes it possible to surpass the ORIGINAL glory that God had given human beings by this NEW glory won in Jesus Christ
Let’s talk about MASTERY OVER THE WORLD
We talked about this yesterday
We are STEWARDS
We do not dominate
We are called to live in HARMONY
Mastery doesn’t just mean we master the world around us
Paragraph 377 says, “The ‘mastery’ over the world that God offered man from the beginning was realized above all within man himself: mastery of self.”
THAT IS SO SO IMPORTANT!!
There is a book Fr. Mike read called LEAD YOURSELF FIRST
It was written by a man with a military background and a background in education
He led, taught, and trained people
One of his principles is, “How can I lead others if I can’t lead myself?”
“How can I be influential for others if I can’t even influence myself?”
So lead yourself FIRST before you can lead others
The MASTERY OF SELF is the most INCREDIBLE gift that God can give any one of us
By God’s Grace we can achieve a degree of INTERIOR FREEDOM
By God’s Grace we can achieve a degree of INTERIOR HARMONY
So we should continue to pray for that
Paragraph 378 says, “The sign of man’s familiarity with God is that God places him in the garden. There he lives ‘to till it and keep it.’ Work is not yet a burden…”
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!
We’ve asserted this before and Fr. Mike hasn’t read it in official Church documents
It is pretty clear from Genesis Chs 1 & 2
God put us in the Garden and made us for three things
God made us for LEISURE because He RESTS on the 7th day
God made us for LOVE because it is not good for the man to be alone
God made us for LABOR because He places us in the Garden to till it and keep it and be fruitful and multiply
Maybe these are three things that we are called to do
Because of SIN, every single one of them has become BROKEN
Instead of LEISURE we WASTE TIME
Instead of LOVE we LUST
Instead of LABOR it is now DRUDGERY or we get our IDENTITY from our labor
We will talk more about this as the year unfolds
In the beginning God made us to COLLABORATE with Him
Paragraph 378 continues, “Work is not yet a burden, but rather the collaboration of man and woman with God in perfecting the visible creation.”
In some ways there is a HIGHER CALL
Because Genesis talks about how the Universe is made as a COSMIC TEMPLE
The terms that are used are WORSHIP TYPE TERMS
We are called to SERVE THE LORD
The term SERVE means WORSHIP in the Bible
What does that mean?
It can mean that our WORK can redound to WORSHIP OF GOD
When we work we are collaborating with God in a unique way
When we offer Him our work it can redound to His Glory
There is something POWERFUL about that
Our original state of holiness and justice in the Garden was LOST
It is not given to us anew in Jesus Christ in a UNIQUE WAY
Love that was turned into lust can become love again IN CHRIST
Leisure that has turned into collapse can become leisure again IN CHRIST
Labor which was twisted into drudgery or our identity can become what we offer to God where we collaborate with Him for the perfection of this world
We offer it to Him as WORSHIP
So let’s offer our LABOR as WORSHIP TO GOD
“God, help me to collaborate with you in this world for your Glory.”
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
Fr. Mike isn’t going to forget to say that again
This is a community of people
This is different, right?
You’ve gotten the sense that this is a different kind of journey
IT IS REMARKABLE!!
IT IS NECESSARY!!
Because we are not called to have MORE INFORMATION
We are called to have TRANSFORMATION
This isn’t about learning more
This is about allowing the Lord to do something in our lives through the TRUTH that gets communicated to us
So today maybe that thing is the invitation and responding to the invitation
To offer God our WORSHIP
To offer God our WORK
To recognize that God has done so much to restore us in Jesus Christ
Tomorrow we will talk about The Fall and the Mystery of Sin
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!
Scripture References & Reflections
- compiled by Andrew Adamany
Bible Translation - RSVCE
CCC 374 "The first man was not only created good, but was also established in friendship with his Creator and in harmony with himself and with the creation around him, in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ."
"And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day."
CCC 375 "The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice". This grace of original holiness was "to share in. . .divine life"
"But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17 If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ."
CCC 376 "By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man's life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die. The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman, and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called "original justice".
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”
“And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.
“To the woman he said,
“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
CCC 377 "The "mastery" over the world that God offered man from the beginning was realized above all within man himself: mastery of self. The first man was unimpaired and ordered in his whole being because he was free from the triple concupiscence that subjugates him to the pleasures of the senses, covetousness for earthly goods, and self-assertion, contrary to the dictates of reason."
1 John 2:16
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world."
CCC 378 "The sign of man's familiarity with God is that God places him in the garden. There he lives "to till it and keep it". Work is not yet a burden, but rather the collaboration of man and woman with God in perfecting the visible creation."
“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed."
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it."
CCC 379 "This entire harmony of original justice, foreseen for man in God's plan, will be lost by the sin of our first parents."
“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”