Reflections for Septuagesima Tuesday

By

Abbe Dom Prosper Gueranger

      As taken from The Liturgical Year


        The serpent's promises had stifled, in Eve's heart, every sentiment of love for the God that had created her and loaded her with blessings: she is ambitious to be God like Him! Her faith, too, is wavering; she is not sure that God may not have deceived her, by threatening her with death should she disobey His command. Flushed by pride, she looks up to the forbidden fruit; it seems good to eat, and it is fair to her eyes.(1)-{Gen. iii. 6} So that her senses too conspire against God, and against her own happiness. The sin is already committed in her heart; it needs but a formal act to make it complete. She cares for nothing but self; God is no more heeded than if He did not exist. She stretches forth her daring hand; she plucks the fruit; she puts it to her mouth, and eats!

        God had said that if she broke His commandment she should die; she has eaten, she has sinned, and yet she lives as before! Her pride exults at this triumph and, convinced that she is too strong for God's anger to reach her, she resolves on making Adam a partner in her victory. Boldly she hands him the fruit, which she herself has eaten without any evil coming to her. Whether he was emboldened by the impunity of his wife's sin, or, from a feeling of blind affection, wished to share the lot of her who was the 'flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones,' our first father, also, forgets all he owes to his Creator, and, as though there had never been aught of love between him and his God, he basely does as Eve suggests: he eats of the fruit, and by that act ruins himself and all his posterity.

        No sooner have they broken the tie which united them with God, than they sink into themselves. As long as God dwells in the creature, whom He has raised to the supernatural state, his being is complete; but, let that creature drive his God away from himself by sin, and he finds himself in a state worse than nothing-the state of evil. That soul which, a moment before, was so beautiful and pure is a hideous wreck. Thus is it with our first parents: they stand alone; creatures without God; and an intolerable shame seizes them. They thought to become gods, they aspired at infinite being; see them now:--sinners, the prey of concupiscence. Hitherto, their innocence was their all sufficient garb; the world was obedient to them; they knew not how to blush, and thee was nothing to make them fear; but now, they tremble at their nakedness, and must needs seek a place wherein to hide!

        The same self-love that had worked their ruin, had made them forget the greatness and goodness of God, and despise His commandment. Now that they have committed the great sin, the same blindness prevents them from even thinking of confessing it, or asking the forgiveness of the Master they have offended. A sullen fear possesses them. They can think of nothing but how and where to hide!



Reflections for Septuagesima Tuesday