Cleansing Tears

In the Gospel Luke, Chapter 7, Jesus enters the house of Simon, a Pharisee.  Simon calls Jesus teacher, so we understand that there is some recognition of Jesus’ abilities by the Pharisee.  Somehow though, a sinful woman, a common lady of the street has also entered this house.  We are unsure what her sins are, what her name is, and we do not know how she came to be in the house of Simon other than she learned Jesus was around and sought Him out.  It has been suggested that this woman is Mary Magdalene and perhaps also, one in the same, the woman who Jesus’ saves from being stoned.

All three, perhaps more, are in this house and the woman is weeping.  She is weeping so much that a sufficient amount of water is being produced.  From this water, she is washing the dirty feet of our Blessed Savior.  This scene, to me, is dramatic and strange and to add to it, she is now cleaning His feet further with her hair and kissing His feet.

“Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears.  Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:37-39

There is much to this story.  The Pharisee seeks a teacher while the woman seeks a savior.  The woman’s sins, which are great, are forgiven and thus loves Jesus more than another.  Finally, we come to understand and appreciate the love of Jesus, who can even love a great sinner, where most turn their heads away in disgust.

What strikes me is the scene.  If I saved a person’s life from a burning building, would they seek me out if I were in town, hysterically crying at my feet?  My reaction would likely be of humility, giving all glory to God for saving her (right place, right time).  I most certainly would not nonchalantly continue with my dinner party as if all were normal, while a woman wept.

The woman pours out her sins in tears onto the Blessed Saviors feet, unburdening her heart as Jesus forgives them all.  Jesus, as a man, is made clean by her tears, her soul is made clean by her actions through His great Mercy.  Jesus doesn’t demand her repentance by accusing her of her sins but she freely and dramatically repents and weeps.

I’ve wept.  I wept when my daughters were born.  I wept when I told my wife about the time an Angel saved me, even though I wasn’t deserving.  I wept during a difficult time in my life when I went to adoration and couldn’t control myself.  Each time I wept, I felt better but never have my tears been so great as this woman in the story.

Finally, Jesus doesn’t admonish her actions, weeping and cleaning and kissing Him.  He is not humble of the fact that He has forgiven her and ask her to stop.  He allows her to wash His feet with her tears and clean them with her hair.  He let’s her do these things to Him for her own sake.  It is for her that it is good.  It is perfectly alright and recorded for all history of her actions.

Jesus is better than us and He knows it.  The woman’s actions aren’t over the top, so He doesn’t fake modesty.  Jesus allows her to fuss over Him because He knows that He truly is the Savior and we should run to Him, weeping away our sins as He wipes them away with His great mercy.

God Bless!

Worried

I am human and I worry.  I get stressed and am impatient.  I THINK I worry less and get less stressed than others, but I don’t really know.  I’m sure there’s many who do better and do worse than me. 

When I am particularly worried, I often turn to google for good advice.  I often find, the first thing I’m told to do is to breath.  You might be told to go for a long walk and take stock in the things in life that are important.  You might even read that you should drink three cups of chamomile tea.  My favorite advice was to not google how to worry less.

I’m not saying its bad advice, but with Christ at the center, to be honest, I’m not sure why anyone would think it will all work out.  Why will it work out if Christ doesn’t love us and want what is best for us? 

Well, here is my advice for how to worry less. 

For the next 9 days (the days don’t really matter, it’s not magic, but 9 is a Novena, so let’s go with 9), do this:

-Find a quiet place and pray the Rosary, good and slow.  Mediate for a minute on each mystery prior to the Our Father prayer.

-Read the following, which is a short prayer from Dag Hammarskjöld followed by Matthew 6:24-34 and then meditate on the meaning of the prayer and passage:

The road, I shall follow it

The fun, I shall forget it

The cup, I shall empty it

The pain, I shall conceal it

The truth, I shall be told it

The end, I shall endure it

  

Matthew 6:24-34

 

Jesus said to his disciples:

“No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

Why are you anxious about clothes?

Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.

But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’

All these things the pagans seek.

Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.

Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”


God Bless!

Woman

Throw me the ball woman.

Come on woman.

Get out of here woman.

Answer me woman.

 

Throw me the ball man.

Come on man.

Get out of here man.

Answer me man.

 

Do they ring differently in your ear?  How did you read the first few lines versus the last few lines?  Tone matters and your perceptions matter.  What is in the heart matters.  If the first few lines are stated with malice in your heart, its offensive and the same is actually true with the last few lines.  If when you read these lines, you assumed hate, then you possibly misunderstand the intent.

Does Jesus have malice in His heart?  No and never assume that He does.  He is Love.  So why, when we read these lines at the wedding at Cana, would anyone ever think Jesus is admonishing His Mother?

Mary, the Mother of God, notices first that at the wedding in Cana that the feast has run out of wine.  It is a concern she has and “prays” to the Lord.  She prays with complete confidence that He will answer her prayer.

“They have no wine.” John 2:3

“Woman, what is that to Me and to thee?

                My Hour is not yet come.” John 2:4

 

First, Jesus has no malice in His heart.  Consider this though, when Jesus says His Hour, he is referring to His passion, His brutal death on the Cross.  The first good work of Jesus’ ministry is done at the bequest of His Holy Mother.  She is, in effect, giving her consent to start the journey that ends in His Blessed giving of His life – His Hour.

Second, woman is not a negative connotation.  Curious though that He doesn’t call her Mom.  Rather, she is something more than just another mother and He is signifying that changing of roles here with a new title, Woman.  She is THE WOMAN or THE MOTHER.  Just as Jesus is THE SON.  When Jesus calls her woman, He is calling her THE woman or as many consider her rightly, the new Eve.  She is the replacement of our first mother as we are all sons and daughters of Eve, but now, Behold, your Mother, we are now the children of Mary and look to her rather than to Eve.

While dying on the cross he states:

“When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”  Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” John 19:26-27

Notice, He doesn’t call John, Man but He does call Mary, Woman.  It is significant that Jesus calls her woman.  While dying on the cross, He would not be cruel to His mother by negatively calling her woman, obviously!  No, the title woman means more here.

Read the wedding exchange this way, less elegant, but to illustrate a point.  (Forgive me St John!)

Mary:  Jesus, the joyful feast will end without more wine.  Please, do something.

Jesus:  Mother of God, Mother of Mercy, future Queen of Heaven and Earth, I can do something, but it will start the process that ends in you watching me dying, horribly on the cross.  Life will change, and it will be difficult.  It must be done this way, but I just want you to know, by me doing this miracle, it begins.

Mary:  Let it be done according to His will.

From Bishop Fulton Sheen’s great work, The Life of Christ, page 90:  “As soon as He had consented to begin His “Hour,” He proceeded immediately to tell her (Mary) that her relations with Him would be henceforth changed.  Until then, during His hidden life, she had been known as the mother of Jesus.  But now that He was launched on the work of Redemption, she would no longer be just His mother, but also the mother of all His human brethren whom He would redeem.  To indicate this new relationship, He now addressed her, not as “Mother” but as the “Universal Mother” or “Woman.”

If you enjoyed this post – I own it all to Bishop Fulton Sheen, who I’m confident would give all glory and honor to the Holy Spirit.

God Bless!

Our Blessed Savior didn’t laugh on the cross

In the garden of Gethsemane:  “Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death.”  Matthew 26:38 Again, in Mark 14:34 “Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death.  Remain here and keep watch.”

“Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is it that struck you?”  Matthew 26:67

“…he (Pilate) had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified.” Mark 15:15

In John’s gospel, John 19:28 while dying on the cross, our Blessed Savior cries out, “I thirst.”

 “Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.”  Mark 15:37

Jesus walks to His death but not with a smile on His face.  He hurts.  He thirsts.  He cries out.  With all the power to call down a legion of angles, He doesn’t.  Jesus could have ran for it but He doesn’t.

Nowhere in the gospels does Jesus laugh manically at what he’s accomplishing.  He is accomplishing what no man has or ever will do.  The innocent, only innocent man to ever walk the earth, who doesn’t deserve to die, is killed in a brutal fashion.  All men deserve to die for their sins; Jesus, sinless, doesn’t deserve death.

Jesus comes for us, our salvation.  He comes to proclaim the good news.  He comes and tirelessly preaches to turn away from sin towards God.  He comes, fully knowing His death will come at others’ hands.  In the Garden, He’s in anguish, knowing what will come.  He must carry His own cross after being beaten, scourged and crowned with thorns.  Jesus makes all things new with His laying down of His own life and it is hard.

Jesus dies on a Friday, the worst atrocity of all time, yet we call it Good Friday.  It is good what He has done for us, our salvation is purchased through His life, death and resurrection.  “Oh God, whose only-begotten Son by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life;” Jesus knows what He is doing is good.

He suffers but He doesn’t smile through it all.  Jesus makes everything new, re-writes the covenant with man and purifies us with His most precious Blood.  “(B)ut one soldier thrust his lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.” John 19:34 He purifies the world.  Jesus does all of this suffering for us and it’s the best thing ever, yet it is still hard.

In life, we too, must endure.  We must get up and go to work so that our children can be fed.  We must pull our children to Church, even when they are acting up and sleeping in is easier, because we must do the right thing.

Sometimes, God teaches us lessons in the most painful ways.  St Pio, bearing the marks of the stigmata, was wrongly accused of being inauthentic and was not permitted, for a time, to celebrate mass publicly or to hear confessions.  He did not complain, but endured this pain so he could be a standard bearer for how to suffer the difficulties of life by you and I.  St Pio must suffer so we can learn from his enduring strength.

St Maximilian Kolbe went to his death in place of another man that was a father and husband so that you and I can appreciate the importance of loving our God, even if it means our death.  St Kolbe loves another child of God and lays down his life in place of another.  The martyr a special person in history loves his God so much that he or she is willing to go into the depths of misery, even death for His sake.  A man doesn’t lay his life down for Zeus or for his dog but when he does so for God, we are made better for it.  “The blood of the martyr is the seed of the church.” Tertullian

Things in life that are good, true and righteous are not always easy.  To not do them is worse.  If Jesus doesn’t die on the cross, we’re not saved.  It doesn’t mean Jesus should be gleeful while having His hands nailed to the cross.

When God is teaching you a painful lesson or when you must suffer for those that you love, its ok to cry out.  It’s ok to hunger and thirst.  It’s ok to shed tears.  A mother woken at night to care for her newborn doesn’t have to skip with a smile into her daughter’s room – but she must go to her child for love.

Endure my friends for Christ and His ways.  It won’t always be rocky but when it is, know to turn and run is worse.  Salvation has been paid for and there are many rooms in the Father’s house.

God Bless!

Smile, God is Great…

The company I currently work for set out to do an ad campaign on positive social media messages.  They are, in theory, combating the negativity of social media that is currently on display.  I think it’s actually a veiled anti-Trump message, but who can really argue that social media can be very negative.

My Facebook and Twitter account is actually filled with positivity.  I follow a lot of great Catholic thinkers and news organizations that are filled with the Good News.  Perhaps our social media accounts should be like our real friends, where we need to be careful of the company we keep!

Nevertheless, back to my company’s ad campaign.  They put a big sign in one of the hallways that is in the shape of a conversation box, like you’d see in a comic strip.  The sign states: “Smile, you are great!”  My first thought was to take a selfie-picture of me below the sign and send it to my wife and caption it: “see”!

My next thought was, to scratch out “you are” and insert “God is”.  “Smile, God is Great!”  That’s right, you should smile because God is great, but don’t think of this in terms of the world.  God is great, but that doesn’t mean you are going to have a comfortable life.  Life is messy and it can be very messy.  If a loved one passes, no one would expect you to smile.  If you get fired from your job because your boss is a jerk and co-workers were gossiping about you maliciously, it’s ok to cry.  I don’t like to be told that I should just go joyfully smiling because God loves me.  After all, Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb.  “And Jesus wept.”  (John 11:35) Jesus wept because he does not take delight in our suffering even if He knows it’s for a greater glory (the raising of Lazarus from the dead).  To appropriately deal with this world, we must cling to the Father and our Blessed Trinity.  We can only endure this life by knowing in our hearts that at the end of the door at life’s hallway stands Jesus, ready to embrace us for fighting the good fight.

My next thought on the sign was what if someone really terrible walks by?  We hate to think that it’s possible that someone really terrible exists, but they do in fact walk the earth.  There are terrible people.  The sign is indiscriminate, and we just know life is not like that in fact.  In the US, we state, all men are created equal, but they are not equal in the fact that all men are as good as the next.  No, all men are created with rights and in those rights, they are equal, but clearly, not all men are equal.  All people deserve dignity and respect and certain inalienable rights.

Finally, I rested on, the sign should express, yes, we are great, Thanks be to God.  We are loved and that is what makes us great.  To define how uniquely we are all great, we can only come back to the fact that we were made out of love, in spite of our sinful nature handed down to us by our first parents, Adam and Eve.  We are sinners and we are loved.  There’s an endless supply of mercy from our great Savior and that makes us great.  We are not like the animals of the earth, we are more loved by our God then those creatures, and we are therefore great.  So yes, the sign is right, but not complete.

“You are great because God loves you; give all thanks to God!”  That’s how the sign should read.  Perhaps I won’t let HR know though…

I have clearly overthought this sign!

Be well and God Bless!

All I need is a Miracle

Lately, I’ve been struggling with some emotions and difficulties.  I’ve been praying and obsessing over God’s plans and my role.  I’ve wanted something to happen and have been asking God for mercy and blessings.

It has been hard during this time, but it’s also been transformative.

During a moment of difficulty, I prayed to God, all I need is a miracle.  Suddenly, the song, All I Need is a Miracle sprang into my head.  I went home and played it on YouTube.  I know the song is not about Christ, but I was singing it to Him – all I need is you (Christ).

A few days later and I could see that God had started to answer my prayer.  I was really feeling it was going to work out and all would be right.  I decided to go for a celebratory cup of coffee at Starbucks.  I hopped in my car and the song playing didn’t suit me.  I flipped the channel up one and of course, wouldn’t you know it, All I Need is a Miracle started playing.

I laughed; God was truly playing a joke with me.  I knew He thought it would be funny to put that song on the radio.

I actually didn’t know who sang the song, so when I looked at the digital display, it showed Mike and the Mechanics as the artist.  Ha!  Being a Mike, how fitting that me and the great Mechanic of the world should be singing this song.

How true in life it is, that we live with the great mechanic, who through His grace, we are fixed.  It was then that a tear of joy sprang forth.

God Bless!

Blessings in Disguise

I have a good friend that has a genetic disorder that makes walking difficult.  With age, his ailment has become worse and he must use a cane to walk now.  His walk is labored but he always wears a smile.  He has learned to live with this difficulty and although at times it does weigh on him emotionally, by and large, I know him as a good and trusted friend.

On a drive, we got to discussing about a time in his career when he was at odds with his boss.  He commented that he hated his boss and hated his work.  One morning, dreading work, he took his sweet time getting to the office.  He was in no rush to be scrutinized for any perceived shortcomings.

The sun was shining, there was a slight chill in the morning but it seemed like the day would warm.  His ailment made riding the subway difficult so on that day, he decided to take a cab.

As he got out of his cab, he looked up to see a giant hole and smoke emanating from the world trade center’s tower 1.  He got back in his cab and went home to his wife and two children.

My friend would have never made it out of that tower given his handicap and he would have been early to work if he wasn’t at odds with his boss.  The difficulty in his career was God’s plan to save him that day.

Men flew that plane into those towers on that awful day.  God saved my friend that day and Jesus saved souls.

Sometimes God is at work and we don’t know it.  Sometimes, trials have reasons that we can’t see.  I can’t explain every tragedy or hardship, but I know God loves us, he allows free will even when that free will yields sin and through that sin, God can bring about good as it did with my friend.

Do your best to let life unfold before you.  Try and make sound decisions based on the Church’s teachings.  Use your brain and conscience in life and work hard but know one thing, you are not in control and you can’t always see the Blessed Trinity hard at work.  Trust in the Lord.  God Bless!

Familiarity breeds Contempt

I have heard the statement that familiarity breeds contempt and it got me to thinking about some of my own relationships.  I have been married for over 15 years and I love my wife more today than I did when we were married.  I also have close friends in town that we will vacation with from time to time and often spend Friday nights drinking beer and eating pizza while our kids run around and play.

I do not appreciate the statement, familiarity breeds contempt.  It should be stated that if you believe that familiarity breeds contempt, you’ll never be close to anyone, and the devil would have won, isolating you from loving deeply those you know. 

We do bicker from time to time but we’re committed, all of us.  My wife and I are committed to each other.  My good friends are committed to us as we are to them.  We know we’re not perfect and we’re ok with that imperfection.

We forgive and we are forgiven. 

I prefer this expression: I love my wife and my friends, warts and all!  I even told my friends, what I cherish the most is that we’re friends, through thick and thin. 

On a deeper level, Christ calls us to love each other to the point where it hurts and He goes on to say, it will be worth it!  There is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for another.  While you don’t have to jump in front of a train for another you can do things for another for selfless reasons.  If dying for another is the highest form of love (love is good) then helping others is great. 

With your friends, spouse and those around you, tell yourself, I’m all in with this person.  No matter what, I’m going to care for this person.  Unless something drastic happens, commit!  Be there for those you care for, don’t let contempt creep in. 

Jesus states we should love God with all our heart and related to that first law is to love your neighbor.  To love God is to love your neighbor. 

I care for my wife.  Does she need a ride somewhere – I’m in.  Will I clean up around the house – I will, even knowing if I don’t, she will.  If she’s hungry, I’ll cook for her.  When she needs me, I’m there, even if it’s not easy.  If she’s sick, I will still love her and care for her.  If she needs me, I’ll be there. 

With my friends, I’m here for them.  Need a couch moved – I’ll be over.  Need someone to walk your dog while you’re away – I’m in.  Need to complain over a beer – I’m there.  If we fight over something stupid like politics, that’s ok, I still care for them.  Forgiveness is just a step away. 

Familiarity breeds contempt for those that aren’t willing to go deep for their friends and their companions.  Commit yourself for others and you’ll find that familiarity will breed a lasting and joyful life!  God Bless!

Paul, Apostle of Christ (the movie)

Here is my review of Paul, Apostle of Christ, released by Affirm Films; I really enjoyed it.  Prior to going to the showing, I hadn’t read any reviews and went in only knowing what I know about St Paul.  I expected the movie to be about St Paul and his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus to persecute and kill Christians.  I thought there’d be the martyr of St Stephen as well. 

Surely those stories are in the movie, but not as one would expect, and are weaved in during the movie to illustrate a point I hadn’t seen as well as build some of St Paul’s character.  Instead, we start with seeing St Paul, fully converted with a vigor and joy for Christ amidst the horrible circumstances of Rome’s bloody killing of a loving burgeoning Christian community.  The movie is not about St Paul mainly, but rather the growing of Christianity during troubled times.  St Paul is the guide that everyone looks to who is illuminated by Christ and St Luke is the servant that risks everything to spread out the teachings from St Paul.  

It is truly amazing to think how Christianity grew so fast and so far despite major opposition. 

We get to see St Paul as a man that amongst every good reason to want to lay down and die and to shut his mouth, beautifully and dutifully carries out Christ’s work.  An unwavering love of fellow man is on full display.  Its not a coming of age story, where at the end, we see Paul going out to do his good works, rather, we start with Paul having done his good works and we get to know the best version, the final flesh version of St Paul.  By showing St Paul in his fully realized role, we get to see what it means to be a saint and we can better realize our aspirations at our own sainthood pursuit (which we all should strive for in life). 

The story follows St Luke mostly, partners with St Paul, who is tending to a community that is hidden within Rome, surrounded by enemies.  The Christian Community fiercely wants to return hate with love as Christ has taught.  While widows and orphans are cast aside, the Christians take them in.  When faced with death, the Christians persevere through it, refusing to abandon their city, knowing without Christ’s love and His people, the city will fall further into sin.  Some in the community want to rebel and kill but we can hear the nonviolence of the Christ coming through.

Even as I watch the movie, how predictable for Hollywood would it be if there were an uprising and the Christians won out.  The strange thing is though, that’s not how the movie unfolded and not how Christ conquered.  If you want the Christians to up rise, you’ll find yourself with the Jews that wanted Jesus to come into Jerusalem to rule as King, not be crucified.  You’ll be the one shouting, come down from that cross!  Christ came in with a bold proclamation of love and won in such a counterintuitive, non-worldly way.

My favorite part of the movie is when we see St Paul reject an uprising.  St Paul comments that he knows what its like to hate a group, hunt them down and kill them.  Paul, as Saul prior to his conversion, hated the Christians and he killed them and by doing so, wounded his soul to a level he can only withstand through Christ’s mercy and forgiveness.  As the Christians cried out for someone to save them from Paul (Saul), Christ sent Paul (Saul).  Who better now 30 years later, in Rome, to speak from knowledge of the costs of hate then St Paul?

There is also a warden of the jail that houses St Paul that is struggling emotionally as his young daughter dies of an illness.  The prefect is sacrificing to the Roman gods to no avail and his wife is blaming him for a lack of faith.  I found myself thinking that Jesus was going to save the young girl and convert the prefect in a dramatic way.  I expected the candles on the alter of the false god to be blown out, the sun light to darken and the prefect to run to Christ. 

Instead, St Luke, a physician, comes to the girl’s aid at the time of need to save the girl.  How such is life!  That’s how life works with Christ, he works through others and a conversion occurs.  We are unsure if the prefect repents, but it would seem that he in fact does start turning to Christ and makes St Paul’s suffering easier, although not such that he can spare the saint’s life.  We often expect Christ to swoop in like superman and save the day, yet the Holy Spirit and the angles are hard at work, saving the day in a much more perfect and no less dramatic way.

Why doesn’t Christ save Paul?  There are some that are called to a higher purpose, to live a dramatic live, even risking life, and losing life, for a greater purpose.  St Paul gives his life to Christ and is willing to pay the highest price, death.  We are taught by St Paul’s life and we get to see it on full display in this movie. 

Are there holes in this movie, probably, but I did love how we get to see true Christian faith, amongst major adversity, as they keep the faith.  Truly, those Christians and St Paul, fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.  God Bless!

Adam, Eve and Football

I’m a bit of a Book of Genesis junky.  I don’t know how that happened!  I think its just a great depiction of how life came to be as it is and how God called to His people in the most perfect of ways.  I also teach a baptism course a few times a year to new parents entering their child into the Church, which drew me into the Book of Genesis.

As a result of my studies, I’ve shared some information with my children.  My son keeps brining up the story of Adam and Eve.  Just the other day, while throwing the football around, he was explaining to me that he loves sports and if Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten the apple, football would be boring.  Under his logic, each play would result in a touchdown.

That’s a stumper!  I couldn’t say to him, yeah, and there’d be no cancer either – a little too harsh for a 7 year old!

I told my son that Adam still did things, he tended the fields, just that it wasn’t burdensome.  (The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.) Gen 2:15. I also went out on a limb and explained that football would be played but without malice, jealousy or hatred.  A player would get tackled and he’d get up and say, nice tackle to his opponent!  There’d be no poor sportsmanship either.

My son also explained that to live life, Adam and Eve had to eat the apple.  Such an old lie, renewed through the eyes of a young child.  The lie that God and Man are opponents.  With God, we can’t do what we want, when in truth, without God, we couldn’t do anything, since all things come from God.

Here I did say that to live in union with God is always better.  Adam and Eve thought they knew better than God, so they decided to eat the apple and become like Gods, discerning good from evil, and this world is what we got.  God wanted us to know of sin and death but like a doctor, not like a patient.  A doctor knows of cancer without experience it, as such, God wanted us to know of life in such a manner.  In the garden, in union with God, we wouldn’t experience death or illness.

Finally, what I think hit home, was that even though we live on earth, in a fallen world, that doesn’t mean we can’t experience joy.  God still loves us as he loved Adam and Eve after their fall.  In this world, there are times I see Eden and there are times I see the fallen world.

My son was relieved, I think deep down, he was worried that his joys shouldn’t be experienced because of Adam and Eve’s sin.  No, joy would just be greater in union with God in the Garden, but joy still exists.

Right after the fall:  I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. Gen 3:15.

I will put enmity (Jesus!) between you (The devil) and the woman (Mary!) and between your seed (the line of Cain) and her seed (the line of Seth, leading to Abraham – David – Joseph – Jesus); he (Jesus!) shall bruise (crush) your head, and you shall bruise (cross) his heel. Gen 3:15.

This is why most statues of Mary show her standing on the head of a dead serpent, signifying the devils defeat and the conquering of death.  Through Mary’s perfect yes, we usher in the Blessed Savior, making Mary the portal for the devil’s failure.

Adam and Eve have fallen, foolishly and full of pride.  Not a few seconds later, God is promising a Blessed Savior, His Son.  That’s great love!