From The Spiritual Exercises:
Second Point. The second is to do the same—that is, to bring the Three Powers—on the sin of Adam and Eve, bringing to memory how on account of that sin they did penance for so long a time, and how much corruption came on the human race, so many people going the way to Hell.
I say to bring to memory the Second Sin, that of our First Parents; how after Adam was created in the field of Damascus and placed in the Terrestrial Paradise, and Eve was created from his rib, being forbidden to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, they ate and so sinned, and afterwards clothed in tunics of skins and cast from Paradise, they lived, all their life, without the original justice which they had lost, and in many labors and much penance. And then to discuss with the understanding more in detail; and to use the will as has been said.
Lesson: As mentioned in the previous meditation, Adam and Eve were seduced when the serpent planted the lie that they could be their own gods. They were drawn into the temptation to have complete control over their lives and destiny. However, Adam and Eve, just like all of us, were made for the sole purpose of entering into a perfect union of love with God and others.
Thus, the first thing to meditate upon in regard to Adam and Eve is that they misunderstood who they were. Seeking to be master of your own destiny or being your own god can sound appealing. Even our pop culture presents these ideas as ideals to strive for. Be your own person! Set your own destiny! Forge your own path! Do things your own way! These are all popular ideas that many perceive as good. But are they?
If you are to understand who you are in relation to your great and glorious God and Creator, you will understand that complete and total submission of your mind and will to God and God alone is in your best interest. Only God knows what is best for you. Only God has a perfect plan for your life. Only God can forge a path toward total fulfillment in life. You, for your part, must completely submit to Him without reserve.
The effect of our first parents turning from God so as to become their own gods has had a catastrophic effect upon all of humanity. This one sin of selfish disobedience has drawn all people into the disorder of this fallen world.
Reflection: Ponder the consequences of this one sin of our first parents for a while. This one sin had the effect of separating all of humanity from God. Try to imagine the Gospel scene. Listen to the serpent, look at their reaction, consider their thought process, ponder the devastating consequences. (Silent Reflection)
You may want to prayerfully read Genesis Chapter 3. As you do so, try to see yourself in the scene, watching, listening, experiencing and comprehending the events that took place there at the beginning.
Introduction to Foundational Meditations
- God, the Creator of All That Is
- God, the Intimate Guide for Your Life
- God, the Goal, Purpose and End of Your Life
- Sin of the Angels
- Sin of Adam and Eve
- The General Effects of Sin
- Introduction to Meditations Seven–Nine
- Personal Sin: In the Light of the Divine Sun
- Personal Sins of My Life
- Humiliation and Humility
Featured Image: Benjamin West – The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise