Catholic Verses - Bible Meditation #0003 - Genesis 3 - There is no other way

Author Recorded Thursday December 29th, 2016


We need to go to Christ. We need to go to him in the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. Go to sacramental confession. If you're not a member of the church get in the church. You're going to suffer either way--but your suffering needs to have meaning. Give your suffering meaning. Give your suffering to Christ. He can handle it--he carried it for 33 years. You know that the work is done, so you can go to him. There is no other way.


Catholic Verses - Bible Meditation #0003 - Genesis 3 - There is no other way

Author Recorded December 27th, 2016

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Chapter three the fall of men now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God had made so here we have the introduction of this serpent of course in Middle Eastern tradition this was viewed as an evil creature not a God as such I don't think but certainly a spiritual creature that was malevolent but we understand today that all of God's creatures are ontologically good including Satan Satan is good by nature evil by choice just like the rest of us so the serpent represents Satan and he's the most clever he's the most beautiful angel he's the most powerful angel he's the Light Bearer he's Lucifer so he's certainly an important character in the story and he'll play a very important role and the comical and tragic irony of Satan's role in God's plan is that he's always doing God's will he's always serving God he's always facilitating God's plan because God can bring good out of evil Satan is evil by choice those choices are limited there are constraints put on evil by God so I think it's fitting in God's perfect justice that those who rebel against God's plan discover ultimately that they have been part of God's plan all along unwittingly unwillingly they're frustrated they didn't want to help but but they did help God and no one feels this frustration and this anger and this exquisite torture more than Satan the serpent asks the woman did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden Satan is a liar he's the father of lies and here we have a classic example there's a kernel of truth in what he's saying here God did command Adam and Eve not to eat of a tree but it was one tree he wasn't all the trees so there's an exaggeration here this subtle and crafty lie of the serpent is trying to portray God as an enemy of freedom the serpent plants a little bit of doubt in Adam and Eve's Minds maybe God doesn't want what's best for them it's just a little bit of doubt it's called temptation it was very subtle and that's why we always need to be on guard against Satan because he is very subtle the woman answered the serpent we may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said you shall not eat it or even touch it lest you die the serpent demonstrated an exaggeration from one tree to all the trees Eve is mirroring this now back to the serpent by performing the same sort of operation God didn't say not to touch the tree he said don't eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil so she's doing the same broadening the same exaggerating move that she just learned from the wily serpent so we see how quickly this way of thinking can propagate and how contagious it is how subtle it is but the serpent said to the woman you certainly will not die no God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad when the serpent says if you eat of the tree you will not die what's implied in that is a threat I think Scott hog mentioned this if you do eat you won't die the implication being if you don't eat you will die remember this is a serpent in the ancient Middle Eastern culture the serpent wasn't viewed as a cuddly pet or a fascinating exhibit in your local family zoo behind 2 inches of Plexiglas the serpent was a real viable threat to these people so we need to trust and believe that when the serpent says you will not die if you eat the fruit of the tree there was a threat in that and the role of Adam who has remained silent his role as husband and protector of Eve is being neglected seriously neglected they're on their honeymoon and he's silently sitting back like a coward as this serpent threatens them he should have been willing to lay down his life for his wife and this is what Christ will do later the new Adam will lay down his life for his bride the church and when Christ hung on the cross and died the first thing he did is he went down and he took Adam and Eve he brought them out of Gehenna it was very fitting that we see here the failing of Adam in anticipation a long torturous anticipation of the do-over and Jesus Christ got it right the woman saw that the tree was good for food pleasing to the eyes and desirable for gaining wisdom the fruit that hung on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was beautiful it was tasty it was good so it's important to realize that when Satan tempts us he tempts us with the good gifts of God always it's not a rotten fruit it's not a worm eat and fruit it doesn't smell of maggots and the death and sulfur it smells sweet its flesh is plump and ripe it's good this is how Satan works he's giving us the good gifts of God always always and he's giving it to us with God's permission each and every time he tempts us each and every time he offers us God's good gifts he goes to the court of the king and he gets permission not 99 percent of the time 100 percent of the time there is no exception he is going before god almighty each and every time and getting permission it's essential to understand that and it's essential to understand that each and every temptation that he brings to you and that he brings to me is something good it's always something good otherwise we wouldn't you we wouldn't choose evil we always choose Goods but sin is the choosing of a lower good the choosing of a lesser good over a higher good when we knowingly do that it's sin may be a mortal sin or it may be a venial sin but it is sin objectively speaking so she took some of its fruit and ate it and she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it it's funny how Adam now appears as a sort of afterthought in the story but he's been standing there I won't say he soiled his pants cuz he's not wearing any pants but let's just say his knees were knocking I picture him gobbling that fruit down like a maniac the fear in this weak willed man now how did his will get weak if he's a perfect creature in a perfect paradise how how do we explain the weakness in his will how do we explain the darkness of his intellect before he takes that first light we need to explain that and I think the explanation is that the seed that fell into his heart and into his mind the seed of doubt planted by the serpent it fell not on rocky ground but on fertile moist dark rich soil that seed fell and it took root and it grew and it sprouted and it blossomed we're talking about the Garden of Eden here things aren't inhibited in their growth when that seed of doubt came in small as it was it had to have fallen on some good soil and it certainly took hold quickly and that's why I think that he gobbled down that fruit like there was no tomorrow petrified so we see how subtle sin is the sin was actually committed before his lips touched the fruit the sin of Adam and Eve was very subtle a lot of people like to think of it as having tasted the fruit no that's a formality at this point when you sign your soul over to Satan the actual signature on the contract is a formality at that point you've already been broken you've already given in it's just a formality it's the same thing with the fruit I don't think Adam and Eve even needed to touch the fruit in their hearts they had accepted and nourished doubt about their maker then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized that they were naked so they sewed fig leaves together and made loin cloths for themselves how satisfying do you think that was for Adam and Eve they were given this opportunity hey do you want to be like gods and know the difference between good and evil do you want to there's a psychological phenomenon called buyer's remorse where you regret having made a purchase there's a sort of veil that falls from your eyes the intoxication and the inebriation and the euphoria are replaced by a sort of dread what have I done I've been had this is not what I expected this is not what I signed up for this is not what I wanted the knowledge of good and evil isn't what they expected because they're immediately faced with their nakedness there immediately scrambling to cover up their nakedness their eyes have been opened and they're not enjoying this there's no account given of the wonders and the marvels and the beauty and the sublime knowledge of goodness much less a good act that comes from this or a good consequence that stems from this or a super power oh now I can turn invisible no they're sowing fig leaves onto their crotches this is not a step up for them okay so I think they realized that they had been in possession of the good and now that they've come to possess knowledge of good and evil they wish they'd never had tasted the evil they wish that they had just stayed on track with their good God and been obedient it was a big mistake and they knew it when they heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the Breezy time of the day the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden I'm picturing them now hiding with these fig leaves on their nether regions hiding from their Creator hiding from their father this isn't too far from hell here this is a bad trip they had a level of intimacy with God in the Garden of Eden where God will walk around with them openly there's a privileged relationship that they had and they lost it and they knew it because now they're shivering hiding in the bushes as God walks through the Lord God then called to the men and asked him where are you he answered I heard you in the garden but I was afraid because I was naked so I hid myself I think it's important to note here that Adam and Eve live a life of fear in a perfect paradise they are living a life of fear shivering and hiding in the bushes vulnerable insecure and afraid and that that fear came as soon as they let that serpent in to their hearts and minds I'm not saying it was easy to defeat the serpent I'm not saying it would have been easy to say no to the lies and the temptation I like to think that it was pretty much inevitable that if they had successfully rebuffed Satan's attempt that first time I'm pretty sure he would try ever more subtle and ever more manipulative games until he got what he was after I'm pretty sure that that's how it works when you have freedom and there's a sort of unstable equilibrium you're a marble placed by God atop a cannonball and it doesn't take much I think to send you toppling off the edge I think it's important to address this issue now of condescension because God the ineffable the infinite the perfect the almighty omnipotent omniscient omnipresent God doesn't lack anything he's not ignorant of anything so when he comes and asks Adam where are you he doesn't lack that information he doesn't need to come and check he doesn't need to ask a question this is condescension which means that God is speaking to us because God is the primary author of Scripture God is speaking to us through his word through his written word in Scripture he's speaking to us on our level we are finite we are limited our intellects are dimmed since the fall our wills are weakened our imagination is still very powerful but there are limitations on our imagination and we need help God knows that we needed help so he communicates to us in a way that we can understand and so when God says to Adam where are you he knows we should not be surprised that God communicates to us in a way that doesn't literally correspond with his nature he can't communicate to his finite creatures in a way that reveals his full glory and his full majesty and his pure simplicity he can't not because of any limitation in him but because of the limitation in us we need to understand that we are limited we are finite we are fallen there are many communications about the truth of God's nature that we'll be able to understand that we will be able to receive and accept and process once we see God face to face in heaven if God willing we'll get there we're particularly limited here in this fallen state but we shouldn't in any way let his condescending language in Holy Scripture affect our knowledge our certain absolute knowledge about the attributes of God and the perfections of God that's a temptation then he asked who told you that you were naked you have eaten them from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat the man replied the woman whom you put here with me she gave me fruit from the tree and so I ate it the Lord God then asked the woman why did you do such a thing the woman answered the serpent tricked me into it so I ate it we humans are fond of passing the buck we like to play the blame game we like to project we like to unburden ourselves of responsibility we like to rationalize our actions and Adam and Eve were no different Adam blames Eve Eve blames the serpent the funny thing is that the serpent doesn't blame anyone anyone today can quite easily blame their parents and of course those parents can easily blame their parents circumstances weren't ideal for them either and they can pass this blame back and back and back and back and back and back and I don't think anyone should be surprised that we have this creation story with our first parents because that's naturally where we go when we play the blame game and when we pass the buck and when we don't take responsibility that's inevitable because the game will hot potato then the Lord God said to the serpent because you have done this you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures on your belly shall you crawl and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers he will strike at your head while you strike at his heel right at the very beginning there's an enmity established between the Serpent and the woman and between the offspring of the Serpent and the offspring of the woman and it's interesting to note that the offspring of the woman is referred to as a male as he and of course this refers to Jesus Christ the offspring of the woman Mary and I think that the venom of the snake is deadly I think also that there's an antidote for that poison and if you step on the head of a serpent you will kill it you will crush it its tail will flail and flap and there may be a stinger on the end of that tail that inflicts one last blow out of sheer malice as it dies and I think that's where we are today since the serpent is still flailing the serpent is nailed to the cross of Christ and that tail is flapping and his venom is spraying and it still is dangerous right until the end it will be dangerous but make no mistake he is now to the cross so there's a danger there's also a hope to the woman he said I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing in pain shall you bring forth children yet your urge shall be for your husband and he shall be your master there's a certain subordination or a subjection that woman naturally has to man but here we see that it's exaggerated and that there's a punitive element to it and it's not healthy it's not normal it's not natural it's not what it was supposed to be there's a weakening on every level of society there's a weakening in the marriage as a weakening in the family there's a weakening on every level there's a punishment here and we will suffer because of that punishment and part of that punishment entails the weakness of woman and how that is exploited it's not a good thing it's evil it's a consequence of original sin but we can't blame God for that God's justice and His mercy work together always and if we stick our finger into the fire we will get burnt we don't celebrate the burning but we do bow to reality and we do submit to God Almighty who allows suffering and we do understand that our loving father can bring good out of suffering so this will temper I think some of the fanaticism that we see with gender politics with extreme feminism and with some of the social justice movements that are frankly out of control and that missed the entire point that are completely out of touch with reality the reality you've seen the reality of cause and effect and the reality that we come from God we've offended God and we have been redeemed by God and we need to freely choose to come back to God and to heal to heal ourselves and to heal others and to you all the relationships that are damaged by saying to the man he said because you listen to your wife and eight from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat cursed be the ground because of you in trial shall you eat its yield all the days of your life thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you as you eat of the plants of the field by the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat until you return to the ground from which you were taken for you are dirt and to dirt you shall return we come from dirt and we go back to dirt this idea of humility has to stay with us through our entire reading of the Bible it's an essential component of Christianity humility the thorns and thistles that choke the earth today are a consequence of original sin that rich damp dark fertile soil of the Garden of Eden is just a dream for us now it's a dream from the distant past and it's a dream of our eternal abode in the future in heaven we need to have hope and we need to wait and we need to strive to enter the eternal rest of the Sabbath and we need to cultivate the soil of our hearts and minds even though it is choked by weeds and by thistles and thorns we need to work with what we have in this fallen world and we need to acknowledge reality we're in a pilgrimage here we've been exiled from one paradise and we're on our way to a better paradise if and when God willing we arrive in heaven we will understand that this pilgrimage is nothing the suffering here below in this fallen world is nothing it's the twinkling of an eye it's a refreshing cool breeze and I'm talking about all the horrendous tragedies of war and selfishness and betrayal m-net II I'm talking about all of it since the fall to the end of the universe all of the evils that man has endured all of that is a cool refreshing scented breeze when put in its proper perspective it really is just like all the pleasures in this fallen world all of the pleasures all of the sensual pleasures all of the love all of the joys that we experience in this fallen world are nothing compared to the joys of a heaven there nothing we need to understand that if we're gonna keep our eyes on the prize because we are sojourners we are pilgrims the man called his wife Eve because she became the mother of all the living the man names his woman he names her Eve because she is the mother of all the living Mary is our mother Mary is subject to an inferior to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ has Dominion and authority over Mary even though he subjected himself to her he submitted to her authority he was obedient to Mary there is an objective superiority of man over woman just like there's a superiority of Jesus over Mary there is to say anything different is Antichrist but that doesn't mean that we can introduce selfishness or any other evil no look to Christ look at the way Christ submitted himself to the woman so when we talk about the master morality in the slave morality only Christianity gets the mixed rate only Christianity balances the two if you want to be the greatest then be the servant of all we can't forget about this essential Christian teaching for the men and his wife the Lord God made leather garments with which he clothed them then the Lord God said see the man has become like one of us knowing what is good and what is bad therefore he must not be allowed to put out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life also and thus each of it and live forever I think it goes without saying that the early pagans were not Christian they were not even monotheists so all of the traditions that this tale draws on will talk about the gods and when God says Adam and Eve will be like one of us you could try to explain that away as being a reference to the three persons in the Trinity but I prefer to look at it in its traditional pagan roots of the story and just say it's condescension God's talking to the people of the time they understood God was saying hey they're gonna be like one of us we don't need to be afraid of this reality that is the historical reality of humanity we're in a fallen world of course there are errors in religion of course there's superstition of course there's idolatry of course to deny that would not serve anyone in a firt holy scripture to whitewash and to just completely ignore the reality of paganism would not have been as effective now there's a sort of animalistic component we're wearing the hide of the animal we're not quite lowered to the level of the beasts but there is a denigration because of our sin and perhaps wearing the skins of animals symbolizes that to a certain extent on the other hand we could see it as a step up from the fig leaf so there's a sort of a makeover that God gives Adam and Eve here know the tree of life imagine if Adam and Eve had tasted the tree of life in this fallen state what would that mean it wouldn't mean heaven it wouldn't mean paradise it would mean perpetual agony perpetual punishment we can think of the tree of life as a sort of hyperdrive only when God and God alone is the target can we hit hyperdrive and go into warp speed and launch ourselves in our spaceship into that source of everything it is good every perfection we can thank God that he banished us from the Garden of Eden that he prevented us from eating of the fruit of the tree of life and that he made us wait to eat the manna that comes from heaven the body blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist we can thank God for that the Lord God therefore banished him from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he had been taken when he expelled the men he settled him east of the Garden of Eden and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword to guard the way to the Tree of Life the imagery of the cherubim and the flaming swords this also comes from ancient pagan tradition and they were actually set up as images menacing images at the gates of towns to frighten and discourage strangers so there's a lot of colorful stuff in the Bible that will encounter it that is bewildering and baffling and is shrugged off by armchair atheists of the 21st century just because they don't understand it and frankly there's too much rich cultural data in the Bible for anyone to grasp there's just too much but when we have a few examples the principle then becomes ever-present in our mind when we're looking at the Bible and when were struggling to interpret the Bible and it will prevent us from interpreting rashly and judging harshly and it will open our minds to say there's much here that confuses me that I'm unable to grasp it's humbling it really is but we are banished we are in a fallen state we can't have our cake and eat it too we can't lounge around the Garden of Eden now that we fall and we eat soil by the sweat of our face the women will suffer during childbearing and the serpent will be nipping at our heels until the very end we just have to remain confident that Jesus Christ has accomplished what he says that he accomplished he said it is finished his work is finished and now it's up to us to unite ourselves to that work and the toil that we engage in and the suffering that we endure and the drudgery of war and the pains of childbearing and the pain of loss and the pain of death and all the suffering that we have to endure and are declining health and are weakening bodies in the age and death that's coming for all of us or the tragic accidents that befall us when we least expected or natural disasters disease war selfishness betrayal the emotional pain of problems and family divisions and families there are friendships that end abruptly there's selfishness our selfishness seems to have no end that's why we need to believe that the work is finished and that we can unite all of those trials - the sufferings of Jesus Christ because he endured them Jesus Christ is God Almighty so he does know everything he's omniscient he knows all the suffering that we endure throughout all of history but he's not some distant God who has some sort of cold knowledge of facts as if they were tables of numbers and statistics in a book oh he is love and mercy itself and he took all our flesh he took on our weakness in all things but sin he felt pain he felt the pain of betrayal no one was more betrayed than Jesus he felt the pain of betrayal he felt the heartache not only that he felt every physical pain he felt the accumulated sum total of all physical and emotional pain of all humanity of all the wars of all the diseases of all the boredom and drudgery of all the confusion he felt all of it and I'm not speaking metaphorically he literally felt all of it it would crush any of us instantly and he felt all of it and was rational and sober and aware of all of it during his whole life from a single cell in the womb of Mary all the way up until his death he was aware and cognizant and viscerally feeling the sorrow of the entire history of the world so we need to remember that our sufferings really are a drop in the ocean their personal sufferings are nothing there are literally nothing and we can exaggerate them we can catastrophize our miseries and our lot in life but if you look to Christ and if you think about it just think about what he did for us and if you think about the pain and suffering that he endured it puts your problems in perspective it's mind-boggling and we need to thank him every moment of every day and we need to go to him we need to go to him in the sacraments particularly the Eucharist go to sacramental confession if you're not a member of the church get in the church you're gonna suffer either way but your suffering needs to have meaning give yourself wring meaning give your suffering to Christ you can handle it he carried it for 33 years you know that the work is done so you can go to him there is no other way other way

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