[Valtorta: "Says the Sweet Guest":]
The Holy Spirit:
To understand well the words of Paul, it is necessary to consider well Original Sin [Gn 3].
It is a lesson given many times, but never too many. Because the painful reality of that Sin, and its painful, real consequences are often denied or put in doubt by many, too many. And among these are not lacking those who, more than all, should be convinced of the reality of Original Sin and its consequences—through the studies they completed, and above all through their ministry experience. For this continually puts under their eyes samples of the decadence of man, who changed himself, by Original Sin, from a perfect creature into an imperfect creature, feeble against the assaults of Satan and all that is around and within man: a marvelous creation, troubled by the envy of God's Enemy.
Someone will say: "A repetitious lesson, therefore a useless one." It is always useful, because in your need, you never know enough, neither for yourselves nor for others.
It is too important to Satan that you not know it! And therefore he creates clouds, in you, to obscure from you the correct knowledge of this episode—which had no end or limit in the day that saw it, or in the beings who wrought it. But as all men have inherited life (existence) through seed and blood from Adam and Eve—and in the last man born on Earth there will still be the lineage of those two First Progenitors of Man2—so is it too for the disastrous heritage. This heritage is propagated by the first begetter, Adam, from progeny to progeny in all the sons of man until the last one begotten.
Paul is the desolate voice of all men who, wanting to perfectly accomplish goodness, feel themselves powerless to execute it with that desired perfection. To better understand Paul's confession, it is necessary to contemplate the fruit of that first Sin, and thus also the first Sin itself, so as not to find its condemnation and consequence unjust.
Paul confesses: "I am carnal, sold and subject to sin." And he continues:
"I do not know what I do; I do not do the good that I want [to do], but the evil that I hate. Even if I do what I do not want [to do], I likewise recognize that the law is good (in prohibiting or commanding what it prohibits or commands), but (when I do the evil that I hate with my better part while I do not do the good that I want to do), it is not I, in these moments, who work, but sin that dwells in me... Good does not dwell in my flesh... The will to do it is in me, but I do not find a way to accomplish it... When I want to do good, evil is already at my side... I delight in the Law of God according to the interior man, but I see in my members another law which opposes the law of my mind and makes me a slave of the law of sin which is in my members..." [Rm 7:14-25]
Adam, too, was formed from flesh as well as spirit. But he was not carnal, insofar as his spirit and reason ruled over matter. And his spirit, innocent and full of Grace, had a marvelous likeness to his Creator. To the extent that he was intelligent, he understood how much he surpassed all natural things. The elevation of man to the supernatural order, that is, to sonship of God by means of Grace, had elevated man's intelligence. This was already very vast through the preternatural gift of knowledge that was infused and thus capable of understanding all natural things. Grace had elevated it to a supernatural intelligence of being able to comprehend what is incomprehensible to anyone not so disposed by a supernatural gift. That is, the gift of being able to comprehend God and, in a lesser measure, to be a faithful image of Him through order and justice, through charity, through wisdom, with freedom from any humiliating restriction.
Splendid freedom of man full of grace! A freedom with respect to God Himself, and not endangered by external forces or internal urges. Sublime royalty of deified man, son of God and heir of Heaven, a royalty ruling over all creatures, and over that which now is often tyrannical: the I [ego, self] in which the poisons of the great Wound3 unceasingly ferment.
When it is said: "Man, king of sensible creation, was created
with the power of dominion over all creatures," one must reflect that,
through Grace and through the other gifts received—even from the first
moment of his being—man was formed to be king also of himself and of his
lower part. This was through the knowledge of his last end, through the
love which made him tend toward it supernaturally, and through his dominion
over matter and over his senses4
existing in it. United to Order and a lover of Love, he was formed to know
how to give to God what was due Him, and to his own I [ego,
self] what he was permitted to give to it, without disorder
in his passions or unbridling of his instincts. Spirit, intellect and matter,
these constituted a harmonious whole in him, and he arrived at this harmony
even from the first moment of his being —not by successive phases, as some
would have it.
Evolution or Devolution?
Only God can put order in chaos, and populate it with the innumerable creatures that form Creation. And this most powerful Creator had no limitations in His creating—which was manifold—nor in creating creatures already perfect, each one perfect according to the end for which it was created. It is foolish to think that God, wanting to give Himself a Creation, had created things unformed, waiting to be glorified by them when the individual creatures, and all creatures, had reached the perfection of their nature with successive evolutions, whereby they would be suited to the natural or supernatural end for which they had been created.
And if this truth is certain for the lower creatures with a natural and limited end in time, it is still more certain for man, created for a supernatural end, and with an immortal destiny of Heavenly glory. Can one think of a Paradise whose legions of Saints, singing Alleluia around the throne of God, are the final product of a long evolution of beasts?
Present-day man is not the result of an ascending evolution, but the sorrowful result of a descending evolution [a "devolution" —trans.], inasmuch as the Sin of Adam has wounded for all time the physical-moral-spiritual perfection of the original man. So much did it wound that perfection that, even though the Passion of Jesus Christ restores the life of Grace to all the baptized, even this Passion could not annul the remnants of that Sin. These remnants are the scars of that great Wound, that is, the urges, the incitements, that are the ruin of those who do not love God, or love Him little. They are the torment of the just, who do not want to have even the most fleetingly attractive thought of those urges. And for their whole life, they struggle in the heroic battle, just to remain faithful to the Lord.
Man is not the result of an evolution, just as the Creator is not the product of an autogenesis. To have an evolution, it is always necessary to have a first creative source. And to think of having had infinite species from the autogenesis of a single cell, is an absurd impossibility.
To live, the cell has need of a vital terrain in which are the elements that allow and maintain life. If the cell is self-formed from nothing, where does it find the elements to form itself, to live in and to reproduce itself? If it was not yet existing when it began to be, how did it find the vital elements: air, light, warmth, water? That which does not yet exist, cannot create. So how then did it, the cell, find the four elements to form itself? Who, what source, gave it the germ of "life"? When, by way of hypothesis, had this non-existent been able to form itself from nothing? How, from its unique unity and species, could there have come so many different species as are found in sensible Creation?
Stars and planets, turf, rocks, minerals, the very numerous and different qualities of the vegetable kingdom, the still more numerous and varied species and families of the animal kingdom: from vertebrates to invertebrates; from mammals to those producing eggs; from the four-footed animals to the four-handed ones5; from the amphibious and reptiles to the fish; from ferocious carnivores to the meek sheep; from those armed and clothed with tough weapons of offense and defense, to insects which a mere nothing suffices to destroy; from the gigantic inhabitants of the virgin forests, whose attack none but giants like themselves can resist; from all the classes of arthropods down to the protozoans and bacilli—all these having come from a single cell? All from spontaneous generation?
If it were so, the cell would be greater than the Infinite One. Why did the Infinite, Measureless in His every attribute, work for six days [Gn. 1:31]—six epochs—to make the sensible Creation, subdividing His creative work into six orders of ascending creations, evolving—yes,evolving—toward an ever greater perfection? Not, of course, because He learned always more how to create, but for the sake of the order which governs all His works. That order would have been violated—and thus it would have made impossible the survival of the final creature created: man—if man had been made first, before the Earth and all its parts had been created and made inhabitable: by the order placed in its waters and its continents; before it had been made comfortable by the creation of the firmament; before it was made luminous, beautiful, fertile, by the beneficent sun, by the shining moon, by the innumerable stars; before [finally] being made a dwelling, a dispensary, a garden for man by all the vegetable and animal creatures with which it is covered and populated.
On the sixth day man was made, in whom are represented—in synthesis—the three kingdoms of the sensible Creation, and—in a marvelous truth—his creation by God, through a spiritual soul infused by God in man's matter.
Man: true uniting ring between Earth and Heaven, true point of union between the spiritual world and the material world, the being in whom matter is a tabernacle of the spirit, the being in whom the spirit animates matter—not just for limited mortal life only, but for immortal life after the final resurrection.
Man: the creature in whom shines and dwells the Spirit Creator.
Man: marvel of the power of God,Who infuses His own Breath—part of His Infinite Self—into this dust, elevating it to the power of man. And He gives it Grace, which lifts the power of animal-man to the power of the life and condition of a supernatural creature, of a son of God, through a participation of nature.This Grace makes it capable of putting itself in a direct relationship with God, disposing it to comprehend the Incomprehensible, making it possible and permitting it to love Him, Who so far surpasses every other being. Without God's divine gift, man, of his own capacity and out of a venerating respect, could not even just desire to love.
Man, the created triangle: whose base—matter—rests upon the Earth from which it was drawn; a triangle which, with its intellectual faculties, strains to ascend to the knowledge of Him Whom it resembles; a triangle which, with its peak—the spirit of its spirit, the choice part of the soul—touches Heaven, losing itself in the contemplation of God-Charity. Grace, received gratuitously, unites it to God, and charity, enkindled by union with God, deifies it. "He who loves is born of God" [1 Jn 4:7], and it is the privilege of sons to share in the likeness of [the father's] nature. Through the soul deified by Grace, therefore, man is an image of God. And through charity, possible through Grace, he is a likeness of God.
On the sixth day, therefore, man was created, complete, perfect in all his material and spiritual parts, made according to the Thought of God, according to the order (the end) for which he had been created: to love and serve his Lord during his human life, to know Him in His Truth, and hence to enjoy Him, forever, in the next life.
Only one man was created: that one from whom all Humanity was to come. And, first of all, the Woman companion: of Man and for Man, with whom he would have populated the Earth, ruling over all other lower creatures. Only one man was created: he who, like a father, would have transmitted to his descendants all that he had received: life, senses,4 material faculties, as well as immunity from all suffering, reason, intellect, science, integrity, immortality, and finally the gift of gifts: Grace.
The thesis of man's origin, according to the theory of evolution, relies on conformity of the skeleton and on the diversity of skin color and appearance to support its erroneous assertion. This is not a thesis against the truth of man's origin—a creature created by God—but in favor of it. Because: what reveals the existence of a Creator is just [that]: the diversity of colors, of structures, of the species of creatures—willed by Him, the Almighty. And if this is valid for the lower creatures, still more is it valid for the man-creature. He is a man created by God even if, through circumstances of climate and life, or even from corruption—for which came the flood, and then, much later, in the prescriptions of Sinai and the Mosaic curses, came such a severe commandment and chastisement [Lv 18:23 & Dt. 27:21]. Still, He is created by God, even if for these reasons he shows a different appearance and color from race to race.
It is also a proven fact, ratified and confirmed by continual proofs, that a strong impression can act in such a way on a conceiving mother as to make her bring to light a little monster who repeats, in his appearance, the object that troubled the mother. It is also a proven fact that the long cohabitation among peoples of different Aryan races produces, by a natural mimicry, a more or less accentuated transformation of Aryan facial features in the features of non-Aryan peoples. It is also proven that special conditions of environment and climate influence the development of one's limbs and skin color.
Therefore the clouds upon which the evolutionists would like to set the edifice of their presumption do not support it, but rather favor its collapse.
In the Flood, the corrupted branches of humanity, groping in the darkness resulting from the Fall, perished. Into that darkness there still arrived—and only through a few just men as through heavy clouds—a single ray from the lost star: the remembrance of God and of His promise.
Therefore, with the monsters destroyed, Humanity was preserved and multiplied anew from the stock of Noah, who was judged to be just by God. Humanity was thus given back the pristine nature of the first man. Always made of matter and of spirit, it remained such, even after the Sin had stripped humanity's spirit of divine Grace, and of its innocence.
When and how ought man to have received a soul, if he was the final product of an evolution from brute beasts? Is one to suppose that the brute beasts had received, along with their animal life, a spiritual soul? An immortal soul? An intelligent soul? A free soul? It is blasphemy just to think it. How then could they transmit what they did not have? And could God offend Himself by infusing a spiritual soul, His own divine Breath, into an animal—evolved to that point, if one wishes to think that, but always having come from a long procreation of beasts? Even this thought is offensive to the Lord.
God, wanted to create a people of sons,6 to extend the love with which He super-abounds, and to receive the love for which He thirsts. He created man directly, with His perfect Will, in a single operation, which happened in the sixth creative day, in which He made—from dust—a living and perfect flesh. He then animated it for its special condition: as a man, adopted son of God and heir of Heaven, not just as a soul "which even the animals have in their nostrils" [cf. Eccls. 3:19-21-Vulgate], and which ceases with the death of the animal. God animated man with a spiritual soul which is immortal, which survives beyond the death of the body. It will re-animate the body, beyond death, at the sound of the trumpet of the Final Judgment, and of the Triumph of the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. Because man's two natures, which lived together on the Earth, will live together enjoying or suffering—according to what they merited together—for eternity.
This is the truth. Whether you welcome it or reject it. But though many of you stubbornly want to reject it, a moment will come when you will know it perfectly and it will be engraved in your spirit, convincing you of having lost the Good forever, by wanting to follow pride and a lie.
Man's creation is just as I have said: that is, in such a manner as to render him immediately and always capable, if he wishes, of guiding himself in all his actions, so that they may be turned toward reaching the end for which he was created. His immediate end: to love and serve God during his earthly life. His last end: to enjoy Him in Heaven. You who do not admit of man's creation as God's work, cannot grasp with exactness what constituted his Sin, the reason for his condemnation, or the consequences of both.
But follow Me. My word is luminous and simple, because I am God. And
God, Infinite Wisdom, knows how to adapt Himself to the ignorance and relativity
of His little ones. For I love the little ones, provided they are
humble. And I say to them: "Whoever is little, let him come
to Me, and I will teach him Wisdom" [cf. Prv.
The Test: Obedience
As a natural creature he enjoyed what he saw: the beauty of a virginal world, just come forth from the Will of God. He enjoyed what he could do: with his lordship over the lower creatures. All had been put by God at man's service: from the sun to the insect, so that all would be his delight.
As a supernatural creature he enjoyed—and it was a reasoned and very delicate ecstasy—the comprehension of God's Essence: Love; the comprehension of the relations of love between the Immense One Who gave Himself, and the creature who loved Him, adoring Him. Genesis veils this faculty of man, and God's communicating of Himself to him, in the phrase: "having heard the Voice of God Who was strolling in Eden in the cool of the evening" [Gn 3:8].
However much the Father had given His adopted children a knowledge proportionate to their state, still He also instructed them. Because the love of God is infinite, and after He had gifted them, He ardently aspired to give anew, and He gave so much the more, as His creature was more of a daughter to Him. God always gives Himself to one who gives himself to God generously.
So when man awoke and saw the woman like himself, he felt his happiness as a creature was complete. He had the human all and the suprahuman All: Love, Who had given Himself to man's love.
The only limitation placed by God, on this immense possession of man, was that of forbidding him to gather the fruits of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. This would have been a useless and unjustified harvest, since man already had whatever knowledge was necessary, and any measure of it higher than what God had established could only cause harm.
Consider: God did not prohibit gathering fruits from the Tree of Life, because man had a natural need of these to live a healthy and long existence, until a more lively divine desire of revealing Himself totally to His adopted son would make God pronounce that [word]: "Son, ascend to My Dwelling, sink into the abyss of your God." It would be the call, without suffering death, to the Heavenly Paradise.
The Tree of Life is encountered at the beginning of the Book of the Great Revelation [Gn 2:9 & 3:22], and is found anew at the end of the Book of the Great Revelation: the Bible [Rv 12:2 & 14]. It is a figure of the Incarnate Word, Whose fruit, the Redemption, hangs from the wood of the Cross. It is a figure of Jesus Christ Who is the Bread of Life, Fount of Living Water, and Grace, and Who has restored Life to you all with His Death. And you can always eat and drink of Him, in order to live the life of the just and to reach eternal Life.
God did not prohibit Adam from gathering the fruits of the Tree of Life, but forbade him to gather those useless fruits from the Tree of Knowledge. For excessive knowledge would have awakened pride in man; he would have believed he was equal to God from the new knowledge he acquired, and he would have foolishly believed he was capable of possessing it without danger. This would have consequently given rise to an abusive right to self-judgment of his own actions. And since now he was like God in knowledge, his actions would thus trample every duty of filial obedience toward his Creator—Him Who had lovingly indicated to him the licit and the illicit, directly or through grace and infused knowledge.
The measure that God gives is always the right measure. He who wants more than God has given him is lustful, imprudent, irreverent. He offends love. He who takes something abusively is a thief and violent. He offends love. He who wants to act independently of any homage to the supernatural and natural Law is a rebel. He offends love.
In the face of the divine command, your First Parents owed obedience, without putting forth "whys?" —which are always the shipwreck of love, of faith, of hope. When God orders or acts, one should obey and do His Will, without asking "why?" He orders or acts in that given manner. His every action is good, even if it does not seem so to the creature, limited in its knowledge.
Why should they not go to that tree, gather those fruits, eat of those fruits? Useless to know that. To obey is useful, and nothing else—and to content themselves with the abundance they had. Obedience is love and respect, and it is the measure of one's love and respect. The more one loves and venerates a person, so much the more does one obey that person.
Now here, God—the infinitely Great, the Good, the munificent Benefactor of man—was the One who ordered. Man, both out of respect and grateful recognition, should have given God not "much" love, but "all" the adoring love of which he was capable, and therefore all his obedience, without analyzing the reasons for the divine prohibition.
Discussions presuppose one's own judgment and criticism of the order or action of another. To judge is a difficult thing, and rarely is the judgment just; but it is never so when it judges a divine order to be useless, in error, or unjust.
Man owed obedience. The test of this capacity of his,
which is the measure of love and respect, was in the way in which he had
known, or not known, how to obey.
For one who does not know how to meditate wisely, this episode can seem like an inexplicable obstinacy, like the caprice of a benefactor who, having showered a beggar with riches, then forbids him to collect a pebble lying in the dust. But it is not so.
The apple was not just the reality: a fruit. It was also a symbol. The symbol of the divine right and of human duty.
Even when God calls and gives extraordinary benefits, those benefited should always recall that He is God and that man ought never abuse his position, even if he feels himself extraordinarily loved. And yet this is the test that few of the elect know how to surmount. They want more than what they already have, and go to collect what is not given. And so they find the Serpent and his poisonous fruits.
Pay attention, O elect of God! Recall always that in your garden, so heaped with God's gifts, there is always the tree of the test. And recall that God's Adversary and yours seeks always to cling around it, so as to snatch from God an instrument, and to seduce you into pride and greed, into rebellion. Do not violate God's right. Do not trample the laws of your duty. Never.
There seem to be many instruments of God, "voices"—too many according to some. I say to you all, theologians and faithful, that there would be one hundred times one hundred more, if all those whom God calls to a special ministry would know how not to collect—so they might have still more—what God has not given.
In the Decalogue, tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, all the faithful have their test of faith, of love, of obedience. For the "voices", and for extraordinary instruments, that tree is more than ever alluring and ambushed by Satan. Because the greater the gift, the more easily also does pride and greed arise: the presumption of being sure to be saved in every way. Instead, I tell you, that whoever has had more, has a greater duty to be perfect, in order not to have a great condemnation. This condemnation will not be given to one who, with little, had the extenuating circumstances of having known little.
I anticipate a question: That tree then bore good fruits and bad fruits?
It bore fruits no different that those of any other plant. But it was a plant of good and evil. And it became such according to the behavior of man—not so much toward the plant as toward the divine order. To obey is good. To disobey is evil.
God knew that Satan would have gone to that tree to tempt. God knows all. The wicked fruit was the word of Satan, tasted by Eve. The danger of drawing near the plant was in the disobedience. Into the pure knowledge which God had given, Satan injected his impure malice, which soon fermented also in the flesh. But first Satan corrupted the spirit, making it a rebel, then the intellect, making it cunning.
Oh! They knew well, afterward, the knowledge of Good and Evil! Because everything, even their new vision—through which they knew they were naked—warned them of their loss of Grace, which had made them happy in their intelligent innocence up to that hour, and therefore warned them of the loss of supernatural life.
Naked! Not so much of clothing, but of God's gifts. Poor! For having wanted to be like God. Dead! For having feared to die with their species if they had not acted at once.
They committed the first act against love with their pride, disobedience, distrust, doubt, rebellion, spiritual lust and, finally, with carnal lust. I say: finally. Some believe, instead, that the first act had been carnal lust. No. God is orderly in all things.
Even in offenses toward the divine law, man sinned first against God, wanting to be like God: a god in knowledge of Good and Evil, and in the absolute and thus illicit freedom to act at his own pleasure and will—against every counsel and prohibition of God; afterward [he sinned] against love, loving himself inordinately, denying to God the reverential love that is due Him, putting his I [ego, self] in the place of God, hating his own proximate future: his own offspring for which he procured the heritage of the Sin and its condemnation; and finally [he sinned] against his own dignity of a royal creature who had had the gift of perfect dominion of his senses.4
The sensual sin could not happen while the state of Grace and the other
resulting states lasted. There could be a temptation, but no consummation
of a sensual sin while innocence lasted, and therefore the dominion of
reason over sense.
To understand this, it is necessary to consider the perfection of Adam and Eve. By considering that summit, one could measure the greatness of the fall into that abyss.
If some of you were taken by God and put into a new Eden—leaving you just as you are, but giving you the same commands that He gave to Adam—and you disobeyed like Adam, do you believe that God would condemn you with the same severity that He condemned Adam? No. God is just. He knows what a terrible heritage is in you.
The consequences of Original Sin have been repaired by Christ, as far as Grace goes. But the weakness from the injury to that original perfection remains. And this weakness is formed of urges or incitements, like infecting germs that remain latent in man, but always ready to become powerful and overcome the creature. Even in the holiest saints, they are there. And holiness is fundamentally nothing else but a fruit: of the struggle which the soul and the reason of the just man sustain; and the continual victory they bring back—through and over the assaults of these urges, these incitements—in order that he remain faithful to Love.
Now God, Who is infinitely just, would not be as severe with one of you as He was with Adam. Because He would consider your weakness.
With Adam, He was severe—Adam being endowed with all that could make him a victor, and an easy victor, over temptation. Hence the chastisement. In that chastisement, one sees that if man the prevaricator did not respect the limits set by God, God respected the limits that He had set for Himself toward man.
God does not violate the man's free will. However, man does violate the rights of God. Neither before nor after the Sin, did God violate man's freedom of action. He subjected him to a test. Being God, He was not unaware that man would not have passed it. But it was just that He should have subjected man to this test in order to confirm him in grace; as for the same purpose He had subjected the angels to a test, and confirmed in grace those among them who had passed the test. And while subjecting man to the test, He left him free to act concerning it.
If God had wanted to violate man's free will to choose his own destiny, either He would not have proposed the test, or He would have tied man's power of willing in such a way that he would have been hindered from acting badly. So too, if God had wanted to reward man despite all, he would have either: pardoned him for everything, in anticipation or: to, have a basis for pardoning him, He would have stirred up in his heart perfect contrition—or at least attrition7 —for the goods that he had lost. And with a ray of His love, God would have helped to turn that imperfect sorrow of attrition for the loss of the present goods of that moment, and future goods, into the perfect sorrow of contrition: for the offense done to God, and for the loss of His Grace and Charity.
But all these cases would have been injustice toward the angels who had been subjected to the test. Their powers of free will had not been tied. They had not been pardoned in anticipation. And God Himself had not stirred up in their being any movement of contrition or attrition apt to arouse a divine pardon. It is true that the angels were favored more than men with not sinning, by their gifts, both of grace and of nature (spirits deprived of body and therefore of senses4).Thus they were exempt from internal pressures of the senses,4 and from external pressures (the Serpent). Above all they were more favored through their knowledge of God. Yet notwithstanding that, they sinned without the extenuating circumstances of ignorance and the urging of the senses,4: through pure malice and a sacrilegious will. But there was nothing of what was said above—neither on the part of God, nor on the part of man.
God respected the human will. Man persevered in his state of revolt toward his divine Benefactor. Proudly man went out of Eden after having lied, because now his joining up with the Lie8 had happened. And to have adopted poor excuses for his sin while he made himself a belt of leaves, witnesses that they were ashamed—not because they were naked, and appeared so to Him Who had created them and kept them clothed only with grace and innocence—but since they were guilty, they had a fear of appearing before God.
Fear, yes. Repentance, no. Therefore, after driving them from Eden, God "placed two cherubim on its threshold" [Gn 3:24]. This was so that the two prevaricators would not fraudulently re-enter Eden to make booty of the fruits from the tree of life. Such re-entry would nullify a part of the just chastisement and once again defraud God of His right: that of giving and taking away life after having kept it sound, merry and long, with the salutary fruits of the tree of life.
A just chastisement, therefore. Depriving man of whatever he had voluntarily
spurned: Grace, integrity, immortality, immunity, knowledge. And
therefore resulting in the loss of the fatherly charity of God, of His
powerful help; and thus the weakness of the wounded soul, the fever
of the flesh: awakened, frenzied, and thus overwhelming reason.
Hence, too, the fear of God, the loss of Eden where life was without fatigue
or suffering; and therefore fatigue, death, the subjection of the
woman to the man, enmity between man and man and between the sons of one
womb, crime, abuse, all the evils that torment humanity, fear of dying
and of judgment; [[and finally] the torment of having provoked suffering,
and of transmitting it to those most loved, along with life.
It happens no differently when a man with a hereditary defect procreates children. With more or less virulence, the poisons of his sickness are in his offspring, and in their offspring. And if, with suitable medicine, the inherited sickness can be changed from a virulent and fatal one into a more benign form, yet never will those children, or their children, be healthy like those issuing from healthy blood.
It is written, "By the work of only one man, sin entered into the world." [Rm 5:12]. And it is the truth.
This sorrow, before being said by Paul, was said by Wisdom [Ws 2:24], by the teaching Word [Hb 1:1-3], and by the Psalmists [Ps 6, Ps 38 (Vulg. 37), Ps 51 (Vulg. 50), Ps 88 (Vulg. 87 )]. Always by God, therefore, because it is always God Who speaks through the mouth of His inspired ones.
This sorrow fills the world, is handed down from generation to generation, and it will not end until the world ends. With its wailing, it filled the place where Adam drew bread—with fatigue—from the clods on which dripped his sweat. It spread itself through the Earth. Horizons, throats, forests and animals have heard it, shuddering, and transmitted it to each other. And like a blinding light, it made Adam and Eve see the immensity of their sin, not only committed toward God, but also toward their flesh and blood.
Until that moment, the verdict of God had not yet crushed man's rebellion. And man, with the easy adaptation of an animal—for man deprived of Grace is nothing but the most perfect of animals—had soon adapted himself to his new destiny. This was not easier nor more pleasant than his former one, however it was not deprived of human joys—that compensated for human sorrows.
His sensual passion was satisfied in his female companion's flesh, fused with his to become but one flesh. But it was not in holiness as God wanted, and as the man, innocent and full of knowledge, had understood in Eden.
There was the joy of creating new creatures by themselves—oh! persistent pride!—deluding themselves with being like God the Creator. Because they had dominion over the animals, and the satisfaction of harvests and of being sufficient unto oneself, without having to be grateful to anyone. Sensual joys, but always joys.
Oh! How much obscurity—from the smoke of pride and the dark fog of unbridled lusts—stubbornly perdured in those impudent Two!
Motherhood was obtained with pain, but the joy of children compensated that pain.
Food was obtained with fatigue, but the belly was also filled and the throat satisfied, because the Earth was heaped with good things.
Sickness and death were distant, while they were enjoying their bodies. These perfectly created bodies had a health and virility, which made these impudent Two think that life would be long-lived, if not eternal.
And fermenting pride stirred up this mocking thought: "Where then is God's chastisement? We are happy even without Him."
But one day the green of the fields—where the multi-colored flowers created by God blossomed—turned red with the first human blood shed on the Earth. The mother wailed over the body of her sweet Abel, expired [Gen 4:1-16]. And his father understood that it was no empty threat which promised: "You will return into the earth from which you were taken, for you are dust, and unto dust you shall return" [Gn 3:19].
Adam died twice over, for himself and for his son, because a father dies the death of his children upon seeing them expired. Eve gave birth, with torment, giving to the Earth the soulless body of her beloved son, and she understood what "giving birth in sin" means.
But equally, in the same hour in which the chastisement of God struck
them—and it was still a mercy—pride died and repentance came to birth.
It was the new life through which these Guilty Two began
the ascent of the path of Justice. And, after a long expiation and wait,
they merited divine pardon through the merits of Christ.
The New Eve
Through the infidelity of a woman, the human race knew sin, suffering, and death. Through the fidelity of the Woman, the human race obtained the regeneration of Grace, and therefore pardon, pure joy, Life.
Through lust: death, all deaths. Through the purity of a triple virginity—of body, of intellect, of spirit: Life, true Life. Life of the flesh of the just, resurrected and living in Eternity, of the mind opened to the Truth, and of the spirit reborn to Grace.
Through the marriage with Satan: fratricidal hate and deicide. Through the marriage with God: the fraternal love and spiritual love which embrace Divinity and Humanity. They pour themselves out upon both, and work through both. Incarnate Love and virginal Love, both offered, voluntarily, totally, and fulfilled, so that God would be consoled and man saved.
The death of Abel shattered the pride of Adam, and made Eve experience the most atrocious childbearing—in the Darkness. The death of Christ shattered the [Original] Sin, and showed Humanity what childbearing for Grace costs. The wailing of Eve had its correspondence in the cry of Mary, at the death of Her Most Holy Son.
For those who believe Mary was above that pain—because She was full of grace—I say that not even Eve suffered, in her deserved desolation, what innocent Mary suffered. For if the wailing of Eve marked the birth of Repentance, the crying out of Mary marked the birth of a new era. And if the ascent toward Justice began in that hour marked by the first human blood shed by criminal violence—and through which the Earth was cursed twice over—in the ninth hour, marked by the last drop of divine Blood, Redemption descended from Heaven, going forth like a river of salvation, from the two innocent and wounded Hearts of the Son and His Mother.
Truly, not only through the merits of Jesus but also through those of Mary, you all have Life. She—Mother of Life, pure, innocent, Virgin Mother—knew no labor pains according to the laws of fallen flesh. In bearing Her Jesus, however, She knew, and knew well, the labor pains of the most painful birth, in giving birth to all of you, sinful Humanity, in the new life of Grace.
Through a single man, man knew death. Through the single Man, man knows life [Rm 5:12]. Through Adam Humanity had inherited the [Original] Sin and its consequences. Through Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary, Humanity inherited, anew, Grace and its consequences.
This Grace does not annul all the consequences of that Original Sin, because suffering, death and the urges remain to give you pain, fear and battle. But Grace strongly helps you to endure present suffering with the hope of Heaven. It helps you to confront the fear of dying, with the knowledge of Divine Mercy. And It helps you to react and to tame these urges or incitements with supernatural help, through the merits of Christ and the Sacraments He instituted.
I have said: "Grace, although it does not annul all the consequences of the [Original] Sin...." This is a point on which many rebel, saying: "Is this just? Could not the Redeemer restore all our perfection?"
It is just. All in God is just.
Adam and The Second Adam: Christ
Adam mutilated himself from Grace, from supernatural life, and from innocence, integrity, immunity, immortality, and knowledge. And as the founder of the whole human family, he transmitted his painful heritage to all his descendants.
But Humanity—more fortunate than that single man, and by means of the Savior-Redeemer-Jesus—has obtained healing. Still more: a "re-creation" in Grace: the life of the soul. And through the Sacraments Jesus instituted, the virtues which they infuse, and My gifts, Humanity has also obtained—for always—the means to grow in perfection, until reaching its culmination with the "super-creation," which is sanctity.
The sacrifice of the Man-God is capable and sufficient to restore to you all the gifts lost, and to raise you up again to the supernatural order—that is, to the capacity of loving, knowing, and serving God in this life, in order to possess Him in joy, eternally, in the Other. Yet not even the Man-God's sacrifice canceled the scars of the great wounds with which man has voluntarily struck himself. Especially those wounds of the triple lust, which is always ready to become sore again, if man's spirit does not stay vigilant to keep the evil passions in subjection.
I have also said: [Grace helps you to confront the fear of dying with] "The knowledge of Divine Mercy". Yes. As the heritage of the Sin has obtained the Redeemer for you, so it has obtained the knowledge of [God's] infinite charity, and wisdom, and divine power.
Man, a re-begotten son of God by means of Jesus, knows what Adam did not know. He knows to what immensity the Father's love reaches, He Who gave His Only Begotten to cancel—with His Blood—the decree of condemnation of Humanity, fallen in its Founder.
Infused knowledge—and Grace even more—rendered Adam capable of knowing God by raising him up to the supernatural order. He knew how much God loved him, because everything, around and within Adam, had the voice of Divine Love. Through his elevation to the supernatural order, he knew much about loving. And he knew how to love in that right measure which God had judged sufficient during life, to prepare man for the vision and enjoyment of God after his passage from Earth to Heaven. But never, not even in transports of the greatest love, could the innocent Adam—with his desire to know and to love—arrive at climbing to the center of Truth. Never could he sink into the abyss of this burning furnace of Love, which is also Truth. And never could he possess the total knowledge of that truth, which has the name: Infinite Love.
Man, living on Earth, cannot see God as He is. Not even the Man-Adam, just created and rich with gifts. Everything had the voice of God. Everything spoke to him of God. Everything attracted him to God. He was a man greatly loved and covered with gifts, to help him to love. But between man and God there is always an abyss. They are two abysses which look at each other. And the Greater attracts the lesser, It sparkles before man's spirit, It assails him with Its fires, and It enriches him with Its lights that dart upon man's spirit, as through a continual infusion of wisdom.
For man, Divine Love has the inviting gesture of two arms and a bosom, which open up and offer themselves for the embrace that gives bliss. Human love gives man wings, so that he can forget the Earth and hurl himself toward Heaven, toward God Who calls him. But a law of justice establishes that the total encounter, the fusion, is had only after the trial, which confirms in grace.
For this, the more man climbs in his attempt and desire to reach God, the more God flees, and withdraws into His endless abyss. He does this not out of cruelty, but to keep active man's strength and will to reach Him, and thus to increase the human capacity to receive Grace fruitfully and to be heaped with It: that is, again, with God Himself. For truly, man is much more suited to receive and possess God and His Most Holy Grace, the more he moves actively, untiringly, intensely, toward God.
I have spoken in the present, because such is the condition of man toward the immense Divinity, incomprehensible to every created intelligence. I put here the names of John and Paul, to indicate to you two of the greatest contemplatives who were already redeemed by Christ, to whom Heaven was opened up to the third and the seventh level [Rv 12:1 &2 Cor 12:2]. Also Moses, Ezechiel, Daniel, who saw, respectively, "the back of God" [Ex 33: 18-23]: "light left by Infinite Light", "the Being with the appearance of a man" but Who was "electric fire" and "a voice that made itself heard from above the firmament" [Ez 1:25-28]; and "the Ancient of days Whose Countenance was veiled by the river of fire which ran swiftly before His Face" [Dn 7:9-10] leaving only His hair and garments visible. Yet even these greatest contemplatives could not know the Unknowable while they, the first two, were among mortals, or the others who were in Heaven after the Redemption.
But such, particularly, was the condition of Adam elevated to the supernatural order. He was therefore endowed—like you who are restored to Grace and are faithful to It—with a spiritual intelligence, capable of drawing much closer to the Truth of God, but not capable of knowing the Mystery of God.
Only through Jesus, has man been able to penetrate further—oh! much further!—to cross distances, to raise veils, to draw close to the heat of that One and Triune Hearth, and to know the immensity of that Love, with a depth unknown to Adam.
Unknown as a measure of prudence. So that Adam might not have refused to adore the true Epitome of Triune Love, if God had proposed the future Christ to him and requested that he adore the Word, Incarnated through love and through the work of Love. And so he might not make himself guilty [by his refusal] of the same sin of Lucifer—thereby becoming a Satan by refusing adoration to Love made flesh, proudly claiming to be capable himself of redeeming man, being like God in substance, power, wisdom, and beauty, rather than through a participation of nature. [Through such refusal] he would offend, in particular, the Holy Spirit, Giver of the lights, wisdom and truth contained in God. And sins against the Holy Spirit, of which Lucifer and those like him in rebellion had made themselves guilty—like many men—these sins are not pardoned.
God wanted to pardon man. He therefore proposed the test of obedience to him. But God spared him the test of adoration of the Word made Man. Hence Adam did not sin in an unpardonable way by envying the power of the Christ, presuming that he could save himself and without needing the Christ. Thus he would be denying as impossible the known truth: that the Uncreated could make Himself "created" by being born of a woman; that the Most Pure Spirit, Who is God, could make Himself man by assuming human flesh.
Not so for all of you: You who have been redeemed by the Christ; you who have come after the advent of Christ, and above all after the sacrifice of Christ; and you who know all the love of God. The Christ has revealed this infinite love to you: with Himself, with His words, with His example, and with His actions.
You marvel at the baby Christ wailing in His cave, and you have no fear of Him. Rather, that human weakness attracts your spiritual weakness, which does not feel uncomfortable nor frightened before this Infant God—this God Who annihilates Himself: He, the Immense, in these little limbs; and He, the Powerful, in limbs needing every kind of help, so incapable are they of providing for the needs of the organism.
You marvel at the Christ child, wailing in a cave, and you have no fear of Him. His wisdom is sweet. With a few words He indicates to you the sure way to arrive at the Father's House: "To occupy oneself with what God wills, with what should be given to God" [Lk 2: 41-52]. The whole Law is in this short and wise response. Speaking to those who represent a humanity chosen and dear to the Lord, He says to you: "Do you not know that one must do this—only this, this beyond every other occupation—to have this love beyond every other love, in order to have a place in Heaven?"
And already all of "Christ the Teacher" is in these brief words: the Christ Who says to Martha, "You are occupied with too many things; only one thing is necessary" [Lk 10:38-42]. The Christ Who says to the disciple still too attached to the things of the world: "Let the dead bury the dead" [Mt 8:21-22; Lk 9:59-60]. And again: "Whoever looks back after putting his hand to the plow, is not fit for the Kingdom of God" [Lk 9:61-62]. The Christ Who, loving His Mother with perfection, did not place Her ahead of His mission, but clearly says that "whoever does the will of God is [of] His blood" [Mt 12:46-50...]. And He, first of all, did so: because love toward God is always, properly, the greatest compared to any other love, even to that for His Most Holy Mother.
The Christ Who rebuked Peter, calling him "Satan", because he tempted Him not to do the will of His Father [Mt 16:21-23]. The Christ of the Sermon on the Mount [Mt 5:7]. The Christ Who speaks the last beatitude: "Blessed are those who put into practice the word of God" [Lk 11:27-28], that is, again, the Law.
The Christ Who taught Nicodemus how the old man, heir of the fallen Adam, could reach regeneration and see the Kingdom of God "by being reborn through water." He, the Christ, gave you this water of life, "and through the Holy Spirit" [Jn 3:1-8], that is, through love. And love is to do the will of God, in obedience—to His Law for all, and to His individual decrees for each of you.
The Christ Who taught the religion that is judged true, deserving of reward on behalf of Divine Justice: "I do not seek My own will, but that of Him Who sent Me" [Jn 5:30, 6: 38-40].
The Christ Who gave you the God Who can be loved with your senses4: "You have never heard the Voice of God and seen His Face until now. But here I am. I am He upon Whom God has impressed His seal. He who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. He Who heeds Me heeds the Father, because I have not spoken on My own, but I have said whatever the Father told Me to say" [Jn 14:9-10]. And He unveiled to you the love of the Father, Who drew from Adam's Sin the means of encouraging you to a greater love, and to a more exact knowledge and closer union: "The Will of My Father is that You know Me for what I am: God" [Jn 8:19, 58].
The Christ Who proclaims: "I do nothing of Myself, but I say and do what My Father wills. I always do what pleases Him" [Jn 8:29].
The Christ, Good Shepherd, Who confesses the truest reason of the Father's great love for Him: "For this the Father loves Me: because I give My life willingly, for this is My Father's desire, so that you may be saved" [Jn 10:17].
The Christ Who, on the threshold of His Passion, says: "My Father sent Me and has prescribed what I should say and do. And I know that His commandment is eternal life" [Jn 17:3].
The Christ Who, through Himself, absolved Pilate, saying: "You would have no power over Me if it had not been given you from Above. Therefore, He who has delivered Me into your hands is more guilty than you for My death" [Jn 19:11]. And He Who—in a divine madness of love for man, delivered Christ into the hands of the authorities—is His Father, the infinite God, before Whom the Son says His perfect prayer: "Not Mine, but Thy Will be accomplished [Lk 22:42]. Thy Will be done on Earth as in Heaven" [Mt 6:10]. It is God the Father Who permits human authorities to be such for as long as He wills, after which neither force of arms, nor any other force, avails to maintain their position of command.
Oh! The Christ: obedient from birth to death: the Christ Who says "Yes" at His first wail, and says "Yes" with His last word from Golgotha—the Word of the eternal "Yes" to His Father; the Christ Who causes no fear, Who does not cause dismay with His law. For He gives you an example: that it is possible on man's part to follow this law since He—as Man—lived it first, even before teaching it to you. This God-Man delivered Himself to death, to His enemies—to contempt, to fatigue, to poverty, and to the flesh. And I have put death first and the flesh last, not through error, but because for the Savior, dying was sweeter than for the Word-God to limit Himself in flesh. He gives you, O Men, the knowledge of what God-Love is.
And that Most Divine Father, Who immolates His Most Beloved [Son], gives you the measure of God's love for you.
It is said: "There is no greater love than that of him who gives his life for his friends" [Jn 15:13]. But it should also be said that there is a still greater love: "The love of a Father Who sacrifices His true, only Son to save the life of His adopted sons who, true prodigal sons [Lk 15:11-32], have willingly left their father's house and made themselves unhappy, giving sorrow to their Father."
And with this love, God has loved all of you. He sacrificed His Only Begotten [Son] to save guilty Humanity. That Humanity was not grateful, obedient, or loving for Him at the beginning of its days, when it enjoyed the abundance received gratuitously from God. And it is not grateful, obedient, loving for Him, now that for twenty centuries it has had from God: not an abundance but the All, the Boundless, by God giving Himself in His Second Person.
After meditating on all this, it is sweet to conclude that if the chastisement was great —which, however, was not unjust—the Mercy given has been greater, infinitely greater than the chastisement. That Mercy did not just pay the price of His Own Suffering—of His Own Blood, of His Death by a Cross—to restore to all of you the gifts of which Adam had defrauded you. But He gave His very Self in the Most Holy Eucharist. He gave you the waters of Life, from which there is a fountain leaping up to Heaven. He gave you the sweet Law of love, His example, His Humanity, to make it easy for your humanity to love Him. He gave you His Divinity, so that your prayers may be heard by His Father as the very voice of His most beloved Son living in you. He gave you the Holy Spirit with all His gifts, through which the virtues infused with Baptism are powerfully helped to develop and be perfected. Those gifts greatly help the Christian to live his life as a Christian, that is, the divinized life of a son of God. And without annulling your [innate] urges, your incitements, they give you the strength to suppress them, making of these [urges]—which are "bad"—a "good", that is: a heroism, a means of victory, a crown and garment of glory.
Just as for Paul, the life of each of you is an interior struggle between the flesh and the spirit: between aspiring to the Good and actions not always perfectly good. In this struggle, God consoles and helps you. Therefore, no one should be scandalized if his neighbor confesses—with word and action—that he is like Paul: "carnal and subject". And no one should be downcast if he understands himself to be thus. But let the example of Paul guide and sustain him.
Go to Part 2
— NOTES —
1. Maria Valtorta, Lezioni
Sull'Epistola Di Paolo Ai Romani (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale
Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, I 03036 Isola del Liri Fr, Italia, 1986), pp.
2. "two First Progenitors of Man" —literally: "two First Men" [Uomini], but the phrase "two First Men" is odd in English and awkward, and so has been modified for this translation. The Italian Uomini [Men] is generic here and inclusive of men, women and children, as is the generic man/men without the article, despite the fundamentalist literalism of feminists today who try to reduce its inclusive meaning to designate males only.
3. "...of the great Wound." —a reference to Original Sin.
4. "... senses..." —the Italian word senso/sensi (plural), can also mean "feelings".
5. "...to four-handed ones" —literally: quadrumani, perhaps referring to monkeys, apes, etc.?
6. "...a people of sons..." —that is, a people who are His sons, His children.
7. When detestation of sin arises from the love of God, Who has been grievously offended, then it is termed perfect contrition; if it arises from any other motive, such as loss of heaven, fear of hell, or the heinousness of guilt, then it is termed imperfect contrition, or attrition.
8. "...with the Lie..." —the Italian word used, Menzogna, means "Lie", but probably refers to Satan himself, the Liar.