Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

Pre History - Creation and the fall

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The Life of the First People in Paradise

The earthly Paradise, the splendid garden in which God settled the first people, Adam and Eve, was in the East between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. The life of people in Paradise was full of joy and bliss. Their consciences were calm, their hearts pure, their minds brilliant. They did not fear illness or death and had no need of clothing. They were completely satisfied and without need of anything. Their food was the fruit of the trees of Paradise.

Among the animals there was no enmity; the powerful ones did not touch the weak ones, they lived together and fed on grass and plants. None of them feared man; they all loved and obeyed him.

But the highest blessedness of Adam and Eve was in prayer, a deeply spiritual prayer, in pure conversation with God. God appeared to them in Paradise. He was as a father to his children and granted them all that was necessary.

God created men, just as He created the angels, so that they would love God and one another and delight in the great joy of life, in the love of God. Therefore, as for the angels, He granted them complete freedom to love Him or not to love Him. Without freedom there can be no love. Love appears in the joyful fulfillment of the wishes of the one that you love.

But since men were less perfect than the angels, the Lord did not grant them to make a choice immediately and forever: to accept or reject this love, as He did with the angels.

God began to teach people love. For this purpose He gave men one small, easy commandment: not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. By fulfilling this commandment or wish of God, they could also express their love for Him. In time, passing from the simple to the more complex, they could be confirmed in love and be perfected in it. Adam and Eve obeyed God with love and joy, and in Paradise the will of God and the order of God was in everything.

Note: See Genesis, chaps. 2:10-14; 2:25.

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