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Brookline Carmel Bulletin †††††††††††††††††††††††

November 13, 1960

Cogitatio Sancta

(Holy Meditation)

 

Man:The Subject to be sanctified

(The Supernatural Point of View)

 

 

At their creation, Adam and Eve left the hands of God in a truly marvelous state, that of Original Justice.Special prerogatives were theirs.In the natural order they possessed the Preternatural Gifts:immunity from sickness, pain and death plus the complete subordination of their lower nature (senses, passions, emotions) to the higher (intellect and will).To crown these gifts God adorned their souls with Sanctifying Grace, the Theological Virtues and the infused Moral Virtues.Their higher nature was thereby completely subordinated to God.Imagine the indescribable peace and happiness that was theirs!Integrity and harmony within and without!Lords of the visible universe!Living on terms of loving intimacy with God who came often to walk with them and converse with them!Who wouldnít envy them?And who isnít stupefied to think that they lost all this?

 

Yes, we are all amazed, but we mustnít be incredulous.That they were capable of losing such bliss is a logical consequence of their free will and the nature of the Theological Virtue of Faith.Faith is necessarily obscure.It doesnít give us understanding.It enables us to accept as true that which we donít and canít understand.We accept it as true on the authority of the one revealing it (God).And so, great as their intellects were Ė exceedingly keen and penetrating, incapable of logical error, party to a vast fund of knowledge that fit them for their role as Parents of the Human Family Ė Adam and Eve were still subject to error concerning Divine Realities.The Nature of God, Sanctifying Grace, Divine Indwelling, and the Beatific Vision Ė all are unfathomable mysteries to the human intellect.In particular, it cannot comprehend how it is that the means God has provided can lead us to our supernatural destiny.In regard to supernatural truths, then, human beings will never be immune to deception; it will always be possible to lead them astray.

 

We know, alas, that that is exactly what happened to Adam and Eve.Our first parents chose to believe Satan.Acting on his suggestion, they disobeyed the command of God; they committed the first, the Original Sin.By it they fell from the state of Original Justice and plunged themselves into a condition of deplorable misery.Henceforth all children would be born into the same sad state.All evil, tragedy, suffering that the human race ever has and ever will endure can be directly attributed to that sin.By disobeying God, Adam and Eve lost the gift of Sanctifying Grace.No longer were they His children, nor His friends.A whole chain of disastrous effects followed.Intellect and will were no longer subordinate to God.Man became thoroughly egoistic.By nature he tends to place himself before all else.He would be the center of the universe around which all, including God, should revolve.Lost to Mankind were the Preternatural Gifts.Physical suffering, death became its lot.Gone, too, was the sweet peace, the harmony and integrity human nature had enjoyed both within and without.The senses, passions and emotions divorced themselves from reason; from now on they would follow their own fickle course, as if they existed of themselves, by themselves, and for themselves alone.Externally, manís dominion over his surroundings would be, at best, an uneasy one.And he would have to fight hard and fight continually to maintain even that.

 

Theologians, therefore, speak of human nature as being wounded.As a result of Original Sin it has sustained our wounds:Malice in the Will, Ignorance in the Intellect, Concupiscence and Weakness in the Appetites.Malice is that accursed propensity in Man to find his delight in evil and sin.Because of the wound of Ignorance our likes and dislikes, our tastes and our prejudices are able to introduce error into our reasoning processes and to blind the intellect to falsehood.Concupiscence inclines us to indulge ourselves in every delight and pleasure of sense.Weakness causes us to flee in the face of pain and difficulty, to shrink from undertaking arduous enterprises.These wounds, if not cured, eventually destroy the soul.When they are allowed to become the mainspring of a manís every action they estrange the soul from God and set is at enmity with God forever.

 

This is, then, the picture of the man to be sanctified from the supernatural point of view.Such is his state of soul before he begins the long difficult path to spiritual perfection.These are the obstacles to be overcome.But when the goal, Sanctity, shall have been attained, then these wounds are perfectly healed.Then a saintly man shall enjoy a state of soul akin to Original Justice.He will enjoy all that Adam and Eve did before the fall, with the exception of immunity from pain and death.

 

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