Monday, September 6, 2010
The Break in the Harmony of the Divine Plan
Alas, man is free to destroy God's harmonious plan! Everything is in equilibrium, because everything tends toward God. All things cohere, because all things are submissive to the Author of life and being. But this adhesion to God is effected in a free act of love. The freedom with which man is adorned, gives to the entire creation an incomparable majesty. God thus receives a praise that is spontaneous. This very freedom, however, exposes the one enjoying it to immense peril. Let man but once refuse to spread forth his hands in a gesture of oblation, and the whole order of things falls apart. But one day man, in a gesture of pride and egoism, rejected his priesthood. His role of mediator no longer satisfied him. Man "would be like God." Through his lips, Satan once more uttered his cry of rage, "I will not serve!"
By his refusal, man shattered the universe. For the universe rested on man as the arch on the keystone. The entire universe turned against man its betrayer. In chorus, it hurled back into the teeth of man the cry that man had dared to address to God, "I will not serve!"
First of all, man's own body revolted. Man, terror-stricken, suddenly beheld within himself the unleashing of sinful passions. Henceforth, seven fetters, which theology is later to designate by the title of "Capital Sins," will shackle his formerly free impulses--Adam and Eve "perceive themselves to be naked."
Man is deeply stricken in the very harmony of his being: "I will multiply your sorrows and your conceptions; in sorrow shall you bring forth children."
Social discord now corresponds to inner imbalance. "You shall be under your husband's power, and he shall have dominion over you."
Looming up on the horizon, in addition to these "domestic squabbles" are quarrels between families, wars between city and city, between nation and nation, world war, revolution.
The animal kingdom, over which man formerly reigned, rises up in its turn. The earth itself refuses to cooperate with man. Only at the cost of a struggle, will man be able to wrest from it miserably a few meager fruits: "Cursed is the earth in your work. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you."
Man is broken, disoriented. Suffering is to be, henceforth, his earthly portion. "In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread.... In sorrow shall you bring forth children."
Man created to be the friend of Christ, has gone astray in the disobedience of Adam. Humanity, separated from Christ, is without form or beauty. Will God remain deaf, insensible, to the cry of His distressed creature? Will He punish or pardon?