Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Gn 2:18-25 Trusting In God

Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


The LORD God said: 
“It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.”
So the LORD God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs
and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman
the rib that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:

“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called ‘woman,’
for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.

The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

Recently, the AP English Literature class at JPII read Paradise Lost by John Milton. The story begins with Satan, the anti-hero, who wakes up on a fiery, burning lake in Hell, having been tossed from Heaven following his uprising. (Satan rioted because he was jealous of the Son of God, whom Satan thought that God loved most. Thus, he mutinied). Around him, his fellow devils are chained to the lake, and the only other devil awake is his lieutenant, Beelzebub. Satan is amazed to see Beelzebub looking so strange and comments about how his best friend used to be so beautiful!

The story continues. Satan goes on an expedition to Earth to check out the territory and instigate his plan of destroying Earth. Upon seeing Eve for the first time, however, Satan is amazed. She’s dazzling! When he sees Adam and Eve together, he’s awestruck by their heavenly beauty and how much they resemble their Maker. But in a few seconds, he decides to destroy their happiness anyway, for he is incredibly jealous of their being completely and wholly loved by God.

This is the part of the Gospel that reminds me so much of Paradise Lost—when God makes Adam and Eve. In Paradise Lost, Adam argues for God to make another like him. God offers various counterarguments, testing Adam’s faith, but Adam argues around him every time. Smiling, God puts Adam in a dreamlike sleep and takes out his rib, creating the woman.

When Eve is first created, she wakes up and makes her way over to a pool of water. Looking into the water, she is awestruck at the beauty of the figure in the pool. God gently tells her that the creature is her; one can almost see him laughing a little as he explains. When she turns around and sees Adam, she rushes back, horrified. He’s not as beautiful as her! But God, again, gently tells her that Adam is full of masculine grace and wisdom, and that she will be happy with him; they were literally made for each other.

Adam and Eve are really happy for a while, until Satan inevitably tempts Eve to eat the fruit and Eve and Adam fulfill the “fatal fall.” But in this story, I never understood why God placed the tree there in the first place. Why, if he loved them so much, would he give them the option of falling?
It was not until I read Paradise Lost that I finally understood. God had to give us the option, the choice. He loved us so much that he gave us free will. But our will couldn’t completely be free if there were no Tree, for then there would be no choice, no tree from which to freely choose the apple.
So he gave them the tree, and even though he knew what was going to happen. He knew what was going to happen, but he let them exercise their free will. Just like the woman in the Reading today. He loved them so much that he gave them a choice.

At the end of Paradise Lost, Eve and Adam talk about committing suicide and thus saving their yet unborn generations from sin. This is an understandable thought process. It almost seems kinder to these many billions who will come. But God, knowing their thoughts, sends down Michael to give Adam a vision about what will come. At first, there are many Biblical stories, showing Adam murder, lust, and betrayal. Adam grows more dispirited, but at the end, Michael tells Adam that Jesus, the Son of God, will come and save everyone. Adam is ecstatic.

I can understand Adam’s thoughts. Although Paradise Lost is not the Bible, Adam was a human, just like one of us. When he ate the apple, he gained knowledge as God has knowledge—knowledge about everything in life, the good and bad. He came to know death and lust, just as God had knowledge of such things. Sometimes when someone commits a horrible act, death seems the answer. But God makes everything come new again.

Trust in God. Trust in his ability to make good come out of evil; not justifying the evil, but giving hope for a better life. Trust in his ability to help you see the world just as beautiful as when he first created it, and for his ultimate love. Trust in his love, which made your body, heart, and soul just as beautiful as that of the first Adam and Eve on Earth. Trust in Him.

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