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Chapter 2

A New Beginning

 

This is the great work of a man:
to take the blame for his own sins before God,
and to expect temptation to his last breath.
—St. Anthony of Egypt

 

 

A new beginning.  A fresh start.  A second chance in life.  A true conversion of heart.  We begin with the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  They are three persons in one God, and one God in three persons.  “God is Love.” (1 John 4:8)

We begin the Mass, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  We begin with the Trinity because everything begins with the Trinity.  Out of the infinite, overflowing, superabundance of Love, God creates everything out of nothing.  First the angels and then the saints.  Adam and Eve both are created by God and for God, while remaining free to live for God or for themselves.

We know that evil began when Satan rebelled and effectively said, “Non serviam!”  (“I will not serve!”)  According to tradition, this was his reaction to a vision of the future Incarnation of Christ the Lord.  “When God disclosed to Lucifer the mystery of the Incarnation, jealously consumed him.” (J. P. de Caussade)  “Why should frail humanity, which is beneath me, be lifted up above me by God becoming man through Mary?”  Rather than submit his high intelligence and will to the mysterious wisdom of Divine Providence which loves to lift up the lowly, he chose to go with pride over humility and was filled with rage and envy.  At that instant, one of the best and brightest angels, Lucifer, became the darkest and deadliest devil and fell into hell along with other proud and rebellious angels who became known as demons.  The seven deadly sins all come from them through the original sin and temptation—pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust and sloth, plus greed which leads to all kinds of evils, “For the love of money is the root of all evils.” (1 Tim. 6:10)  At the same time, most of the angels, upon seeing that vision of the future Incarnation, accepted God’s will for “Who is like unto God?” they thought with humble trust and loving gratitude.  Thus, for choosing humility over pride and charity over envy they were rewarded with the Beatific Vision of God in glory.  They immediately flew to eternal bliss and knew God “face to face.”

As it goes, Adam and Eve, also, want to be in control like Lucifer, and so they basically say, “I will do my own will even though I know that God said I will die.”  “You will not die” was the first lie the devil fed them in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:4)  As we know, they did die, both spiritually and physically, and so do we, because Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit from the tree and disobeyed the Blessed Trinity.  When we are conceived, we receive the effects of that original sin—a fundamental rebellion against God from the lack of grace in our souls which leaves us sunk in sensuality, in spiritual darkness and in spiritual death.  All that from the lie of pride that says, “I will not die if I sin, I can be my own God.”

We need to be set free from this tyranny of selfishness, self-centeredness and sin, so that we can love God again like the good angels and saints in heaven.  That is where Jesus Christ comes in.  He came to save us from our sin, from Satan, from self-destruction by His life and death, resurrection and ascension.

 

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