God And Original Sin
( Originally Published 1922 )
God made man to be happy forever in heaven with Him. All He asked was that man should love Him. He put him on earth so that he could prove his love for God. Of course the only way in which man could show his love for God would be to obey Him. So God gave Adam and Eve a commandment. If they obeyed God by keeping this commandment, they would thus prove their love for God. Then later God would take them to heaven. But Adam and Eve disobeyed God and lost their innocence and holiness. Because of their sin they became subject to many miseries of soul and body. This sin has come down to all the children of Adam and Eve, even to us. It is therefore called original sin.
Children, the last time you told me about sin. Perhaps you would like to tell me again what it means. You spoke about the fallen angels. Tell me again what sin does for people. What kind of sin sends people to hell? What should people do who commit mortal sin? When is a sin only a venial sin ? Why do you always try to avoid even venial sins? Whom do people love less when they commit venial sins? Whom do people hate when they commit mortal sin? Whom do they disobey when they commit mortal sin? Why do you always try to obey God? What do you like to do because you love God?
Tell me now, children, where all the people in the world come from ; you ; your parents ; your brothers and sisters. Why did God put us in this world? For what are we preparing in this life? Whom shall we love forever in heaven ? How many people did God make to love Him? How many of us does God want to love Him in this world? Why does God want us to learn to love Him in this world? How long shall we love Him in heaven?
Why do we love God when we know Him? If we know more about God, how much shall we love Him? How, then, can we learn to love God more and more? Why do we love God more the more we know about Him? How do you think the saints learned to love God so well? What do you think they liked best to think about? What do people do who Iove God? Why do you try to do all that God wants you to do? How does that show that you love God? What does it show when you serve God all your life? What do you do to be good? Whom do you obey when you always try to be good?
Who was the first man that God made? How did God form Adam's body? When did God give Adam his soul? Who was the first woman that God made? How did God form Eve's body? When did God give Eve her soul? What gives life to our body ? In what part of the Bible can you read about Adam and Eve? In what kind of place did Adam and Eve live at first? What made them so happy at first? Who made them so good and holy? Where did Adam and Eve get all that they needed to live on? Why did they not need to work for a living?
Why were Adam and Eve free from sickness and suffering? Why were they free from death? Where did God intend to take them after they lived some time on earth? Why did God love Adam and Eve so much? Why did He wish to take them to heaven? What did God want Adam and Eve to prove on earth? How could Adam and Eve prove that they loved God? What does it show when you obey God? Why did God want Adam and Eve to obey Him? What do you do when you love God? Why did the good angels obey God? What did it show when the bad angels disobeyed God?
What made the bad angels disobey God? Whom did they not love any longer when they became proud? Whom did they love too much when they became proud? What makes people love themselves too much? What happened to the bad angels when they disobeyed God? How long will they be separated from God? Why do they hate God?
How did God want Adam and Eve to show that they loved Him? What did God intend to do for Adam and Eve if they obeyed Him ? What commandment did God give to Adam and Eve? What did He say would happen to them if they ate any fruit from that tree? How many other trees could they eat from? Who came to tempt Adam and Eve? Why did the devil tempt Adam and Eve? Why was the devil jealous of Adam and Eve ? Why was he sorry to see that they were good and holy ? Why did he not want them to love God? What form did the devil take when he came to tempt Adam and Eve? He took the form of a serpent, or a snake. We do not know just how he could do that ; nor do we know how he could talk. Perhaps he did then as he does now ; he puts bad thoughts into people's minds. Undoubtedly the devil was hidden in the serpent and then put the thought into Eve's mind to make her disobey God. But of course that was the same as speaking to her. We know that the devil did all this because God wrote it all in the Bible and the Catholic Church teaches us that God meant just what He wrote there.
What did the devil say to Eve? What lie did he tell her ? What did he say the fruit would do for them if they ate it? Why did Adam and Eve want to be like God? Who tempted Adam and Eve to be proud? What happened as soon as Adam and Eve became proud? Whom did they disobey ? What kind of sin did they commit when they ate the forbidden fruit? Why was it a mortal sin to eat the forbidden fruit? What does it mean to disobey God? What is the worst thing in the world? What did it show when Adam and Eve disobeyed God? How did it show that they did not love God? What would they have done if they had really loved God? What did Adam and Eve lose when they disobeyed God? Why did they lose God's grace? What is the only thing that can take away God's grace from the soul?
Why were Adam and Eve no longer good and holy after they disobeyed God? What takes goodness and holiness away from people? Why are you always careful to avoid sin? What did Adam and Eve have to do for a living after they fell into sin? Why do people have to work so hard now ? What place did Adam and Eve have to leave after they disobeyed God? What did Adam and Eve have to suffer after that? Why do we suffer so much sickness and misery now? Why did Adam and Eve have to die?
You know that in the beginning Adam and Eve knew everything about the world. They knew all that people can know. Besides, their will was very strong. Before they became proud they always chose what was right. What happened to Adam and Eve's knowledge after they fell into sin? How much do you think they knew after that ? Why do you think they couldn't understand things so well after they disobeyed God ? What weakened their will after that?
Who were some of Adam and Eve's children? Tell me about Cain and Abel. Where can you read about them? Adam and Eve had many children. One's name was Seth. You can read in the Bible about the children of Adam and Eve. It tells there about those who lived for hundreds and hundreds of years. In what sin were Cain and Abel born? In what sin were Seth and all the other children of Adam and Eve born? Why did Cain and Abel and Seth have to suffer? What did they have to do to live? How much knowledge did they have?
Why were Cain, Abel, Seth, and the other children of Adam and Eve not good and holy when they were born? Why did they have a weak will? Why were they ignorant? Why could they not go to heaven when they died? In what condition were the children of Cain, Abel, and Seth born? Why did they have to suffer sickness and death? Why were they inclined to do evil ? What made their will so weak ? Why could they not go to heaven when they died? In what condition were their children's children born? Why did they have to suffer sickness and death? Why were they not good and holy when they were born? Why could they not go to heaven when they died?
From whom did they get Adam and Eve's sin? How did Adam and Eve's sin come upon them? In what sin were all the people born after that? In what sin was Noah born? Tell me what happened in the time of Noah. Tell me about Noah's sacrifice. Why did Noah offer sacrifice to God? What sacrifice does the priest offer in our churches? What does the priest offer in the Sacrifice of the Mass? How much did Noah know when he was born? What did Noah's children have to do to know anything?
In what condition was Abraham born? Why did he have to suffer sickness and death? Who was Abraham's son? Tell me what Abraham was going to do with Isaac on the mountain.
(See the Book of Genesis.) How did the sin of Adam and Eve come upon Isaac? How did it come upon Abraham? How did it come upon Abraham's parents? How many sons did Jacob have? Tell me about Joseph. Tell me where you can read about Joseph and his brothers. The Book of Genesis gives us a history of the people that lived in the world from the time of Adam. You see God wanted us to know how He took care of His people and how He tried to teach them to love Him.
Now, what would you tell anybody about the Book of Genesis? What history does it tell us? Why did God write all this about the people that lived in the world? But you were speaking about the twelve sons of Jacob. How did Adam's sin come upon them? How did it come upon Jacob himself? Why did they have to suffer sickness and death? Why could they not go to heaven when they died?
Why do we say that the gates of heaven were closed ? Why could no one go to heaven all that time? Whom did God promise to send to open the gates of heaven again? To whom did God make that promise ? Yes ; He promised Adam and Eve that He would send God the Son to redeem all the people in the world. He told them that the Blessed Virgin would be our Lord's mother.
In what condition are all the people in the world born? How many people are born in the sin of Adam and Eve? Who is the only human being who was always free from the sin of Adam and Eve ? Why was the Blessed Virgin kept free from original sin? What is that favor to the Blessed Virgin called? When is the feast of the Immaculate Conception? What are we obliged to do on that day? Why are we obliged to go to Mass and sanctify that day? What is the color of the vestments which the priest wears on the feast of the Immaculate Conception? What do the white vestments signify ?
Why do we have to study so hard to learn? Why are we subject to sickness and death? Why is there so much misery in the world? What sin is called original sin? How does original sin come upon us? How many people are born in original sin? Whom did Adam and Eve disobey when they sinned? To whom did Adam and Eve give themselves when they disobeyed God? Why did Adam and Eve's children belong to the devil then? What made all the people slaves of the devil after that? Where did the devil want to take the people?
Who came to free the people from the devil? When did God promise to send our Lord to free us from the devil? To whom do people give themselves when they commit sin ? Whose slaves are they then? Whom do people obey when they commit sin? Whom did Adam and Eve obey when they ate the forbidden fruit? What evils did Adam and Eve's sin bring on the world? Why is there so much ignorance in the world? What brought sickness and death into the world?
What does the Immaculate Conception mean? Why did God keep the Blessed Virgin free from sin? Who is the purest creature that God created ? What happened to the bad angels when they disobeyed God? What would have happened to all the people in the world if God hadn't promised to send our Redeemer?
Of course the people who lived before our Lord came could not go to heaven. But if they believed what God had told them about our Lord, they could be saved. So there were many good people who believed in God. Circumcision was a sign of faith in God. Good people used to take their little children to the temple to be circumcised. (It was a ceremony of the law.) The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph took our Lord to be circumcised when He was eight days old. When is the feast of the Circumcision? What is the color of the vestments worn on that day? How could the people be saved who lived before our Lord was born? Of what was circumcision a sign?
The good people who died before our Lord was born had to wait in a place called limbo. Their souls were there waiting for our Lord to open the gates of heaven to them. After our Lord died on the cross, He went to limbo to free the souls. That is why we say in the Apostles' Creed : "He descended into hell." As you know, it was not really to hell but to limbo that He went. Now, what would you say if somebody asked you what happened to good people who died before our Lord was born? Why do we say in the Apostles' Creed? — "He descended into hell." What promise shows how much God loves us? Why did God promise Adam and Eve to send our Saviour? Why did God want to save 'us all from hell ?
Why does God wish to have us with Him in heaven? How does it make you feel when you know all this about God? What makes you love God more and more? Why does it make you love God more when you learn more about Him?