Day 53: Man in Paradise (374-384)

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”

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."

Genesis 1:29–31 

"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"

Romans 5:15–17 

"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".

Genesis 2:15–17 

“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.”

Genesis 2:25

“And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 3:16–19

“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."

Genesis 2:8

“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed."

Genesis 2:15 

“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."

Genesis 3:22–24 

“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.”