Day 4 Admonition
2.The Evil Of Self-will.
The Lord God said to Adam: “You can eat of every tree of paradise”. But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shall not eat.” [Gen. 2. 16-17]
Adam therefore might eat of every tree of paradise and so long as he did not offend against obedience he did not sin.
For one eats of the tree of knowledge of good who appropriates to himself his own will [To which, namely, he has no right after religious profession, having relinquished his will by the vow of obedience.] and prides himself upon the goods which the Lord publishes and works in him and thus,[ Genesis 3:1-7] through the suggestion of the devil in the form of a serpent, and transgression of the commandment, he finds the apple of the knowledge of evil; wherefore, it is proper that he suffer punishment.
Online Library of Liberty: The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi PLL v4
Two people and one commandment.
How hard can it be?
Might we imagine the children of Israel sitting about their campfires in the desert asking their elders ‘how sin and wrongdoing had come into the world, or what is sin anyway?’ These narratives of ‘beginnings’ in the “Book of Beginnings” are certainly not History or Science. They are Theology.
This particular version was perhaps written by the Priestly tradition in the 6th Century BC while the Hebrews were exiled in Babylon. The Babylonians worshipped a Pantheon of gods among them was Enlil – The god of the air and storms. He was usually portrayed in human form, but also appears as a snake to the human eye – See more at: http://www.allabouthistory.org/ancient-babylon.htm#sthash.r2fWhqhq.dpuf
They also worshipped the heavenly bodies of the moon, as Nanna and Utu or Shamash, the god of both the sun and of justice, and Ninurta – another solar deity
Therefore the Levites composed, under the inspiration of God this account of Creation to teach the Hebrews that it was God, the god of Israel who had made everything that Babylon worshipped. That Israel’s God had made everything and that it was very good.
My thought is that in presenting the devil or Satan as a serpent God was demonstrating that the god’s of Babylon were evil.
Returning to St. Francis’ use of this narrative: – his analogy is that his sons and daughters in his various religious Orders correspond to either Adam and Eve, or perhaps I ought to phrase that the other way. For in those days, once becoming professed members of an OFM Friary or Poor Clare Convent the Religious ceded their wills to their Guardian who held them in locus dei -Carrying on:-
Adam or Mankind and Eve the mother of the Living lived in Paradise wherein they wanted for nothing, they had everything they needed to eat and to drink and they had everlasting life since the Tree of life was not forbidden them. Furthermore they had face to face fellowship with God ( from our second Creation narrative) and walked with Him in the cool of the evening. God asked but one thing only that they do not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
As members of the EFO a very new religious order we are not quite in the same position as our forbears in the 14th century, however we are in the position that there are limitations on our actions that correspond to the limitations imposed by Francis on his sons and daughters. Our wills are ceded to each other and our order decides by consensus what is best for an individual. Bucking the system displays willfulness in not accepting what is deemed best for ourselves and the Order. Mea Culpa Mea maxima culpa
So the simplest way to understand this is the concept of ‘Willfulness”
For the purpose of the Narrative of the Fall it was mandatory that they fall and thus the devil in the guise of the serpent used his skill to bemuse and bedazzle Eve until she believed that God did not want her to taste the fruit because should she do so she would become equal with God in Knowledge of the difference between good and evil. Quite strange really since she couldn’t possibly know either except that there was just one thing that God had asked her not to do, and finally in being full of her own will she defied God. Adam followed suit without a quibble.
After the descending blame trail the serpent lost its legs to crawl on its belly and eat dust and humanity was expelled from the presence of God.
Their expulsion from Paradise was a mercy rather than a complete punishment since God did not want them to eat from the Tree of Life and live forever in their sin.
Sin would be master of this world if Jesus had said ” not Your will but mine be done”
Will sin yet be both Master and Mistress of this world if Jesus’ Body and Blood remains hostage to serpentine hierarchies that bamboozle God’s little ones into believing that they cannot eat of the Bread of Life?