The Originals

10 02 2010

The original sin of Adam and Eve plunged humanity into a new world filled with selfishness, suffering, shame, lust, and death. In relation to the “Bishop Story “ ( previous issue), this is why the bishops struggled to look at th e prostitute with dignity. In the beginning there was no such struggle.

We can learn much from their entire story, particularly the period of their experience before their first sin, which John Paul II calls original man

Moving on to the second creation account, God creates man and woman last and gives them dominion over all of the creation. John Paul II described Adam’s first experience with the animals as one of original solitude

God knew it was not good for Adam to be alone, so HE created Eve. At this point, everything was still pure. When Adam first saw Eve, there wasn’t any confusion between love and lust. When he saw her body, he didn’t want to use her. He saw and experienced his call to love her.

When God originally designed us, sexual desire was the desire to love in the image of God. In other words, a gift of self-donating to another person . In the beginning, the original nakedness of Adam and Eve was a peaceful state because there was no struggle to love. It was natural for Adam and Eve to be naked and to love rather than lust after each other.

According to Pope John Paull II their nakedness, combined with original innocence, allowed Adam and Eve to be naked without shame. (Gen 2:25) Adam proclaimed, “This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” because Eve was a person he could love as a companion. Adam and Eve were innocent and trusted in the other’s unconditional love. This is the difference between being ‘naked without shame’ and ‘shameless’.

While ‘naked without shame’ refers to nudity that exists within the context of innocence, purity of heart and freedom. Being ‘shameless’ in today’s society refers to flaunting the body without inhibitions or conscience.

Because of the purity of their hearts, Adam and Eve’s naked bodies revealed their call to make a gift of themselves to each other. This is what Pope John Paul II called the nuptial meaning of the body. In the physical design of their bodies, Adam and Eve saw that their bodies literally fit together, they knew they were made for a communion that is sacred.

God made them as a gift for each other and , by giving themselves to one another, Adam and Eve were able to mirror the very life of God. This initial experience of perfect unity between the man and woman is what Pope John Paul II called original unity, included in this was a complete integration of the soul and body.

The second chapter of Genesis concludes with a core teaching about how marriage came to exist : ‘Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife and they became one flesh.’ Gen 2:24. It is the participation without shame in the sacrament of marriage – instituted by God – that not only brought Adam and Eve unity but also original happiness.

The happiness of Adam and Eve came in living and loving in marriage as God loves : freely, totally, faithfully, fruitfully. These four descriptions of God’s love can be briefly described like this:

Free: God’s love is freely given to us.

Total: God’s love is complete and He gives all of Himself to us, withholding nothing.

Faithful: God never abandons us and never stops loving us.

Fruitful: God’s love brings us life. Jesus died for us so that we could have new life.

Remember, God’s love for you is a perfect and all-encompassing love. Amen!

Glossary:

original sin: The first sin of Adam and Eve when they distrusted God’s plan and chose their own will over the will of God.

original man: The era of humanity in the original experiences before the Fall, up until the original sin of Adam and Eve.

original solitude: The original state when Adam realized he was alone because he was without a true companion, it also refers to the human experience of being alone in the world as a person, as someone fundamentally different from the animals.

original nakedness: The first experience of Adam and Eve when they were naked without shame. Before original sin, lust did not even exist and all sexual desires were pure.

original innocence: The state of Adam and Eve prior to their knowledge of sin, when their minds, hearts, and bodies were perfectly innocent.

original unity: The initial experience of perfect unity between man and woman  as they lived in perfect communion with each other and gave themselves to each other through the mutual gift of their bodies.

original happiness: A happiness that was rooted in the perfect gift of love that was initiated by God, received in love, and shared in love.

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