I thought about Genesis today as part of my Lectio Diviina (Phil 2:5), specifically the idea that The Garden of Eden described what our original destiny as humanity was, to live in harmony with God, conscious of our nature, content to act our nature. Enter Adam and Eve, whom God made to tend the Garden. these gardeners were not content to be who they were but wanted to be God, creator of the Garden.
It may not seem significant to think of any in Genesis as significant, much less the Garden of Eden, but it was what my Lectio meditation presented me when I thought about the original pupose of the Garden, to be one with who you are as a human. Genesis, provides many layers of neuances about why humans are they way they are. As I try to tease meaning from its sophistocated stories, four different traditions combined in one narrative, according to Scripture Scholars.
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WE WERE CREATED TO LIVE IN HEAVEN…FOREVER
With the disobedience of Adam and Eve, one that goes back to the very heart of what it means to be human, one that places Adam and Eve at the center of life, not God, a recognition that everyoone has the right to choose their own way, truth, and life and not God, sin entered the world. (Romans 5). All sin is idolitry because all sin means I am god.
Sin, if you remember, is like an archer missing the target, missing it a little, when they aim for the bulls eye and barely miss it or missing it a lot, when they air for the bulls-eye and miss the whole target. Scripture is a holy record of the relationships between humans and God and what happend whey humans choose themselves as god. Sin could be a state of existence where God is not God and you are not you but you remain in error, or heresy or in opposition to what God gave us as principles. Just look at the recent vote of Catholics in Ireland over the legalization of abortion. Do Catholics approve of abortion? Maybe some of them do, but enough Irish citizens thought that is was okay to make it legal. There are always consequences to sin, we pay the price, maybe not now but later. The morality of the disciples of Christ is not popular. It is a choice to be make, one that upholds that God is God or what is convenient for man. You can just see Adam and Eve in people who choose their own false selves rather than their true selves. What is the consequence? Nothing. One one is going to come down from Heaven with fire and brimstone and kill all those who go against God’s wishes. Remember, there will be a reconing, a payment for what you choose. Read Matthew 25:31-46, if you don’t believe me. II we have to vote for morality, that is a sign that we have shot the arrow and already missed the target and will never see it.
As a Lay Cistercian, I try to focus as best I can on what God is telling me, not just in my own heart, but be open to the Holy Spirit in the community of other Lay Cistercians. If all your friends are thieves and you ask them if stealing is wrong, don’t be surprised if the answer is no. The world does not agree with the spirit in many things. Be care what you believe. I am called to test my belief with humiliity and obedience to the will of God from my spiritual leader (Pope, Bishop, Abbot or Abbess, Lay Cistercian Council).
Heaven is not a place where everyone goes automatically, but those who follow the command of Christ to love each other as He loved us. Read Matthew 7:21-27. Everyone, all humans are saved by the redemptive love of Christ, but will be judged according to their works and how close their hearts are to the heart of Christ. Don’t be in the judgement game thinking you know what is in God’s mind (the sin of idolatry) but let God judge those who think they are correct. For our part, we must remain firm in our faith
Read this passage from Colossians 2:6-8 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) and think on it for fifteen minutes. What does it say to you?
Fullness of Life in Christ
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives[a] in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe,[b] and not according to Christ.
Praise be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen. -Cistercian doxology