Saturday, July 30, 2016

In the beginning it was not so. (Matthew 19:8)

The consequences of the fall.

The older I get, as I read things related to the 'beginning', in moral and ascetic theology, I consider what is called original justice, the state of man before the fall - the great privileges associated with it - the natural state of familiarity with God.  In a very natural sense, it seems my soul is suspended - just for a moment - in awe.  Which is why I title this post, 'in the beginning it was not so'.  In the beginning man was not deprived of these gifts.

If we go back and simply read and regard the state of man in the beginning, his relationship to God, and so on - we cannot help but understand natural moral law - and the vocation of man.  By entering into these considerations, this prayer, one sees naturally the effects - or the consequences of the fall.  I think even very simple people like me can know these things intuitively, intellectually, naturally - by prayerful study of scripture and good reading, and following the teachings of the Church.  Remaining in the state of grace is necessary of course.  But we know it to be true because it is engraved in our hearts.

The Church has often made reference to the Thomistic doctrine of natural law, including it in her own teaching on morality. Thus my Venerable Predecessor Leo XIII emphasized the essential subordination of reason and human law to the Wisdom of God and to his law. After stating that "the natural law is written and engraved in the heart of each and every man, since it is none other than human reason itself which commands us to do good and counsels us not to sin", Leo XIII appealed to the "higher reason" of the divine Lawgiver: "But this prescription of human reason could not have the force of law unless it were the voice and the interpreter of some higher reason to which our spirit and our freedom must be subject". Indeed, the force of law consists in its authority to impose duties, to confer rights and to sanction certain behaviour: "Now all of this, clearly, could not exist in man if, as his own supreme legislator, he gave himself the rule of his own actions". And he concluded: "It follows that the natural law is itself the eternal law, implanted in beings endowed with reason, and inclining them towards their right action and end; it is none other than the eternal reason of the Creator and Ruler of the universe". - Veritatis Splendor 44

Just think!

So, just think, ponder, in the presence of God.  Simply ponder within your heart, over and over, these simple things.  With God.  In your soul.  You are His tabernacle, His temple ... that's sort of what contemplation means.  It's a simple thing ...

If God is for us - who can be against us?  It's all good.

 No speech, no word, no voice is heard ... Psalm 19


  1. Great post. Thanks.

    Is that top pic from the opening dream sequence of 8 1/2? That's one of my favorite scenes of one of my favorite movies. I need to rewatch that.

  2. Yes it is - Fellini is a great source for bizarre images.


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