The accused ones testified. With the excuses that they tried to bring forth as mitigating factors for their act not only they didn't at all alleviate their position, but on the contrary they made it worse.
Because instead of recognizing fully their sin, they are seeking to transfer its weight and its responsibility to their Creator. What nonsence!
Her, whom You created and gave to me as companion in my life, she ensnared me into sin, Adam says. The serpent, which is Your own creation, this one deceived me, says Eve.
But these excuses, as we already said, had no basis at all. They understood this the protoplasts as well, who exactly for this reason they were trying to hide, because their conscience exposed them, that they were guilty and that by no means they couldn't stare at the face of the Creator.
And for this reason God now passes without any response these pretenses of Adam and Eve. And He directly decrees His decision, which although it was bitter for Adam and Eve, it could only seem fair to them and corresponding to the act that they had dared.
And first of all God turns towards the serpent. For it the decision and the judgement of the Fair Judge is severe and relentless, because it is combined with wrath and with curse.
God curses the serpent. He immediately curses it, without asking it the reason, for why it did this action of it; without inviting it to testify, as they testified Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve were seduced and deceived. The serpent nevertheless, that is, the devil, acted intentionally, with criminal mind, with malignancy, with maliciousness. No excuse therefore corresponds to his deviation. No apology fits to his act.
God does not call the serpent to apology. Very fair. This way it had to happen and this way it happened. The serpent had to be punished more severely than Eve and Adam.
And neither there was any reason for the apology of the serpent to be heard. Because, my reader, do not forget, that within the serpent there was the devil. And the devil talked to Eve and deceived her towards the sin.
Also, the serpent was not used in this occasion but only as an instrument of the devil. And consequently the curse of God, which includes the serpent as well, is mainly directed against the devil. Moreover, what can he say and what can he testify the devil?
First of all the devil is an incorrigible being, sinister, criminal, who rebelled against God. For what reason therefore would God discuss with him? Since he is incorrigible, since he wants to remain opposite to God, for what reason God would behave towards him, as He behaved towards Adam and Eve?
Besides you can see here, that he performs an act and he executes a plan, of which plan the atrocity is exceeding all limits and its malignancy has no measure or equivalent.
Let's assume that Adam and Eve could expect some benefit from the forbidden fruit, when they would eat it. But that criminal what did he have to gain, when he would mislead the creature of God to the transgression?
Adam and Eve got spurred by a curiosity, by a desire of their appetite, by a dream of their fantasy, which inflated with his fallacious words the cunning serpent. And they infringed the commandment of God, because they expected, that some benefit and some pleasure this transgression would give to them.
But that criminal serpent, what did it expect? Nothing. It went with the thought to deceive the protoplasts. And it considered his joy and its pleasure to see them rebelling against their Creator. Its only pleasure was to see the creature of God being destroyed and its joy was our own misery.
Is there any other more criminal act that this? And is there any other crime more malicious than this? Behold therefore, why the Fair Judge curses the devil hiding in the serpent and behold why He doesn't recognize him the right not even to testify!
God curses the serpent. He curses satan, who speaks through the serpent and hides inside the serpent. Let us hear of this horrible curse the horrible words, my reader. Here they are:
«You are cursed more than all cattle and more than every beast of the field; on your chest and on your belly you shall go and you shall eat dust all the days of your life; and I will put enmity between you and between the woman, and between your seed and between her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel»
Where have you been and where have you fallen, you cursed devil! You have been in Heaven, endowed with so many gifts and with so much glory, that your Moulder had given you and your Creator. You were a bright and luminous angel and you were flying to the heights of the throne of God.
Your pride however has knocked you down. And you are condemned. You are condemned for the apostasy, which you have manifested, when you still were a luminous angel.
You are condemned also for that act that you dared within the Paradise to slander and to defame the benevolent and truthful God, representing Him to Eve as a sinister God, envious and lier. The God of justice curses you.
And while you were, before having sinned, one of the brightest and most beautiful of His creations, now no domestic animal and no beast from those which are on the earth, no matter how ugly and no matter how fierce, would not be capable to represent and to illustrate exactly and absolutely your fierceness and your bestiality and your cruelty.
Of all the domestic animals and of all the beasts, that exist on the earth, you will be the cursed one, who will provoke in the soul of man the horror and the repulsion and the aversion so much, as no other of the most fierce animals of the earth.
The God of justice curses you. And the curse of God has made you abominable, hated and ghastly to the whole humanity. And even those ones of the people, who serve you and follow your inspirations, they shudder, when you present yourself in front of them.
And if they could see you what you are planning and how you act in order to mislead them towards the evil, certainly they would not succumb so easily to your domination, but they would hate you and they would disgust you with all their soul.
And you are condemned now as other serpent to crawl and to grovel to the dark depths of Hades and not being able to fly any more to the celestial heights.
Once, you were feeding by the sight of God, by the knowledge of the truth, by the living in virtue. Now God curses you. «Dust you shall eat all the days of your life». You and your children will run behind the vanity of the mundane things, you will grovel in the corruption of the flesh.
The sinful passions of the flesh, which originated from the earth, will prevail and will dominate over you. And you devil will have as your food these souls, which forgot their celestial destination and which through their submission to the sin they demoralized and they became flesh and soil. «Dust you shall eat all the days of your life».
The curse by God also inaugurates an irreconcilable war between the woman and the devil, as well as between the sperm of the woman and the sperm of the devil.
And truly. A bitter and continuous battle, a battle that has never known truce or interruption, a battle that will never end up in peace and agreement until the end of the time, has been proclaimed between the kingdom of God and the state of the devil.
Eve, being the one who got deceived by the devil, it's her now who while experiencing the most bitter fruits of her transgression will hate and will abhor the cursed serpent of sin and will transmit her hate and that enmity of hers to many of her children as well, those who naturally by man and woman are going to be born and descend from her.
All the pious people, all who remained faithful to God, will be confronted to the criminal devil and will feel hate, generation after generation, and enmity towards him.
«And between your seed, and between the seed of hers», God also adds. I will put enmity also among your seed, oh cursed serpent, that is, among these people, in whom you devil have transmitted your vices and whom you have made alike to yourself and you have converted as seed and descendants of yourself.
War therefore will be declared uninterrupted and continuous among these people that you inspire, and among «the seed of the woman».
But who is then that blessed descendant of the woman, about whom is prophesying and is announcing God now, that he will come in order to crush the head and the strength of the cursed serpent?
Descendant of the woman, my brother, is Him, Who was born not as we are born, that is, by a man and a woman, but in a supernatural way and a unique way, from a woman only, and not by a man, and Who for this reason is the only one justified among all the people to be called descendant of the woman. The rest of us all we are called descendants of man. And Him only is called descendant of woman.
Who is Him, is not difficult for you to understand it, my reader. He is Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God. It's Him now Who is in the head of this great struggle, which was declared between the woman and the intelligible serpent.
He is the leader of this blessed kingdom, of which kingdom the king is God Himself. He encourages His soldiers for them to endure the temptations of this continuous struggle. He remains game owner and Judge ready to crown those who patiently endure and win in this struggle.
And you can see, my Christian, the emnity and the hate, which gives birth to this struggle. You can see it in the persecutions, in the mockeries, in the contempts, in the very death, that they contrive those people who according to devil's inspirations are leading their lives against the innocent lambs of Christ, against the brothers and disciples and followers of the descendant of the woman.
Meek and inoffensive are the followers of the Crucified One. Furious and hateful and raging are those who constitute the offspring of the devil. And the result and the consistency of this discrepancy is the continuous struggle between the cunning and corrupt people of this world and the benevolent and righteous children of God.
When Christ was giving His last orders to His Apostles, He informed them that «If ye were of the world, the world would love his own. But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you».
The world, those far from God deviant people in other words, they constitute the descendants of the devil. If you were, He says, yourselves also from the world, they would love you, and they would not persecute you the far from God deviant people. Now however they will hate you and they will persecute you, because you do not belong in the world.
And the hate and the persecution and this enmity, my brother, about which Christ is talking to His Apostles, they start since that time that God curses the serpent. Exactly since then it exist the enmity of the unjust towards the just, of the sinners towards the righteous, of the children of devil towards the children of God.
And this hate will be eternal and intransigent forever. Is light ever possible to compromise with the darkness? And is the truth ever possible to walk along with the lie? Likewise also the descendants of devil it is impossible that they think alike and that they converse with the children of God.
From this struggle, which has been heralded between the woman and her descendants on the one hand and the devil and his descendants on the other hand, crushed and destroyed will come out the devil and those who follow him. «He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel».
«Him». Who? The descendant of the woman, Jesus Christ. «Him». That is, our leader, our head, our Savior, our Liberator. And therefore together with Him us too, all we who believe and follow Him.
«He shall bruise your head». Him, oh serpent, shall crush your head. And when of course the head of the serpent is crushed, then the whole serpent as well is crushed. All its life and its strength are concentrated in its head. The head got hurt? The whole serpent is lost.
So, then, you devil; Jesus Christ will crush your head. This announces in advance the Great and Eternal Judge. All your strength and power He will wipe it out of you. He will overturn from the ground up your kingdom. He will give you a mortal blow and an incurable one. The wound, which He shall give to you, will not allow any cure, but will lead you to disaster.
«And you shall bruise his heel». And you shall bite his heel. But it would be better for you if you hadn't bitten it. Because that very heel that you shall bite, that one shall crush your head. You shall bite his heel, that is, you will achieve on Him an insignificant blow, without any serious consequence, a blow that can be cured, a blow that cannot ever cause death and catastrophe.
You shall bite his heel. That is, you shall hit Him in the temporary and terrestrial life. But you will not be able touch Him in the soul. You shall kill His body, but you shall not touch His soul. You shall cause Him pain and suffering to His human nature, but all these shall be cured through His glorious Resurrection.
You shall bite his heel. You shall use as instruments the Scribes and the Pharisees. You shall use even one of His disciples from the circle of His twelve Apostles. He will betray Him, that is, Judas. Another one will deny Him, that is, Peter. The rest will abandon Him.
And thus alone, as if He had no friend and no acquaintance, He will be led in front of a lawless court despised, underprivileged, insulted, unprotected, abandoned.
And then He will be lifted on the Cross, naked, all naked in front of the eyes of so many people, with His forehead bleeding by a crown made of thorns which wounds Him deeply, with bloody His hands and His feet by the nails, with which they have nailed Him on the Cross, with the unbearable pain and the anguish depicted on His face and His lips.
You have bitten Him, devil. But with all this, the martyrdom will finally come to an end. And all this wound, even if it hurts so much, will very soon be cured. Until the day of His Resurrection and His triumph nothing but hours separate Him now. And woe then to you. Your head will have been crushed. Your strength will have paralised. Your state will have vanished.
And you, my Christian, who believe in God, don't be afraid and don't loose courage. Our Christ has won? We shall also win through Him. Our Leader has crushed the head of the serpent? Us too through Him we have crushed it.
Have courage, my brother. Only, remain faithful to Christ. And let them persecute you, ridicule you, mistreat you. In the end it will be revealed, that you also received at your heel one hit and a wound, that can be cured, while the serpent of sin through the power of Christ was crushed by you also on the head and received a mortal wound and an incurable one.
The last words of God's curse towards the serpent, towards the devil, the more terrible and deadly they are for the devil, the more gladsome and joyful they are for us.
Inside the darkness of desperation, that had overwhelmed at that moment our two progenitors, they opened these words a gate maybe distant, but from which gate entered luminous beams of heavenly hope, that would console their souls.
Yes; you have suffered great harm, oh, protoplasts, caused by the falsehood, with which the serpent deceived you, that is, the cunning one. But behold; One who will be born by the descendants of the woman, who was the first to be deceived by the fraudulent words of the serpent, will take revenge one day for this great evil that was done to you.
And if now you are losing the Paradise and you are seeing the state of devil to be lifted all powerful and indestructible, one day with one kick of this glorious descendant of the woman it will fall to ruins of the serpent the indestructible palace, it will dissolve to ashes his throne as well, it will be abolished for ever his state and will open anew the gate of Heaven and the way to eternal and blissful life.
How much consolation must have poured these words of God in the hearts of the protoplasts! And how much they must have relieved the wounded and embittered souls of them during that moments! Oh! yes. They are joyful, they are cheerful these words.
It's a promise, which says and contains many, too many things. A promise, which could be called Gospel, the very first Gospel which God gave to the people. A Gospel, which preannounces clearly, clearly the incarnation of the Son of God.
A Gospel, which preannounces the supernatural birth of the Son of the Virgin, a birth that would take place in a completely different manner compared to the natural laws (and for this reason He calls Him «descendant of the woman», that is, Son of the Virgin), a birth that would take place without the will of a man to interfere; a birth, of which is presended a supernatural conception by the pure bloods of a virgin maiden through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.
Also a Gospel which preannounces the passion and the death of this glorious descendant of the woman, but also His triumph and His eternal victory against the devil. Everything they tell us with details the holy Gospels, God had it preannounced to the protoplasts with these few words, with which it finishes the curse of God towards the serpent.
And God here is similar now to that judge who announces his fair judgement, with which the accused one is condemned to death, but at the same time this same judge displays sympathy towards him and assures him, that the same court, that now condemns him will make a recommendation to his favor in order to be given royal grace to him.
Likewise God now. He condemns to death on one side the trangressors, but He also promises them on the other side, that He will give to them the mercy and the grace and will set them free from the suffering and the calamity, which due to their own faults had fallen upon them.
And because they were now learning on the facts, how much attention they had to give to the promises and to the threats of God, certainly they must have been very comforted the protoplasts in those bitter and sorrowful moments of their lives.
The most guilty in this transgression, that God now punishes, is the serpent, that is, the devil. And for this God announces for him first the condemnatory decision. After the serpent more guilty even more than Adam is Eve. For this reason now God addresses to her and He announces her sentence to her, even before it's heard the sentence of Adam.
«In your pregnancies I will multiply your sorrows and your sighs», says God to Eve. «In pain you shall bring forth children, and for your husband, your desire shall be, and he shall rule over you».
I shall multiply, He tells her, your sorrows and your sighs. And one of these sorrows, which are reserved for you and to all women, who shall be born by you, is the sorrow, which you shall experience, when you will bring forth your children.
You wanted to experience the sweetness of the forbidden fruit. You shall pay for it therefore for this pleasure, that you think you enjoyed, when you touched and tasted the tree of transgression, you shall pay it with these sorrows, with which from now on it will be your life fermented.
«I will multiply your sorrows». They shall not be one, but a great multitude your sorrows. They shall not be just those, that you shall experience, during the time that you will carry in your belly and shall give birth to your children. They will be many, too many your sorrows.
Sorrows, that will bring forth and will increase your own heart, which will desire more, due to its female nature, than the heart of the man. Sorrows and terrors and anxieties, that you shall experience because of the cowardice and the innate fear, which the female character has.
Sorrows from diseases and bodily weaknesses. Sorrows from pains, as will also be the pains that you will feel when you give birth. Sorrows from deaths and from painful separations.
All the strong emotions and all the vigils, that force you, the housewife, to stay day and night in service, in order to take care of your patient, in order to nestle the weak one of the members of your family, all these belong to the sorrows which God condemned Eve to experience together with her descendants.
«I will multiply your sorrows». And thus our life is fermented with tears. And it's converted our current life to a valley of tears and signs. And nothing else is heard in this valley but one heavy groan, which comes out today from mine and tomorrow from your mouth.
It's a sad song, my dear reader, it's a dark funeral song, that each one of us is chanting each one on his own turn. Maybe you are the one to laugh now, while I am shedding tears and I am sighing. Tomorrow nevertheless you shall cry too and you shall sigh as I do today.
Whoever is born in this world, it is impossible to not shed tears, and whoever enters in this valley of the sighs, that is called present life, it is impossible not to cry and not to sigh.
«I will multiply your sorrows». God says that, my reader. It's not some unmerciful tyrant who says this and an unrighteous one. A Judge says it, who doesn't know what kind of thing is the injustice. A Ruler says it, who is very much interested like an affectionate Father and a benevolent one for the man.
Well, yeah! our punishment is fair, my brother. Our torment is not unfair. But at the same time this is also a pedagogy from our Father in order for us to be corrected, us, His naughty children.
It's a medicine a recuperative and therapeutic medicine for the diseases of our souls. And therefore, under that bitterness of sorrows, that Eve bequeathed to us, there hides the sweetest and most redeeming honey. Be patient therefore and patiently endure and have courage, my brother.
To the multitude of sorrows the fair Judge adds another retribution. He imposes as sentence to the woman that she would be inferior to the man and that she would always think of as some protector and leader towards her man. «For your husband your desire shall be and he shall rule over you».
You might say, my reader; how and why? Hadn't Eve been created from the beginning from the side of Adam and didn't this mean from the beginning, that she had to consider her man not only as older than her according to the age, but also as superior according to the privilege, and according to the honor;
No one denies it, my brother. However, please note something else. Namely that since it entered the sin in our generation, the woman this obligation of hers of submitting to her husband she considers it as heavy and unbearable.
She considers it a yoke, from which she always wants to escape and as if it was a slavery yoke to some women it seems like a heavy and immobile mountain, that presses her chest.
In other words the sin, that penetrated in the mankind through the transgression of Eve, has perverted us so much, that the most natural and legitimate and logical obligations of ours they seem unnatural to us, unfair and ilogical.
Thus, therefore, it happened also with Eve. If she wouldn't have sinned herself as her descendants as well, they would submit to their husbands with all easiness, without any resistance and dissatisfaction, with humility with suaveness and cordiality and kindness.
But what about now? Oh! now; don't you see, how difficult thing is to find a loving couple? Don't you observe, how women are carrying out entire crusades in order to gain, as they say, equal rights with men? And don't you hear the daily scenes that the so called modern woman provokes, the emancipated one, the suffragette?
«And he shall rule over you». But here, my reader, God also implies also the thousands humiliations, that has endured the female gender, until He came that special One Son of the Virgin, Who honored and lifted up again the woman.
Oh! yes; before Christ came, the woman was considered a slave and little she differed from the animal. Her husband despised her, called her names, he used her as his maid, and when he got bored of her, he would kick her out of his house in order to marry another.
She was a pitiful creature during that epoch the woman. She was a miserable being. And that condition who had created it? The transgression of Eve. And who corrected it? The descendant of the woman, Jesus Christ.
This, therefore, my reader, was the penalty, that God imposed on Eve. A penalty mixed with mercy; a punishment mixed with affection.
Because observe well, my brother, that God punishes on the one hand, but He doesn't curse. The terrible word «cursed» only for the serpent and for the hidden in the serpent, devil, announces the fair mouth of the Great Judge.
For Eve, as well as for Adam, He decrees a punishment, which of course will be paid with tears and with pains and with sighs and with sweats, but a punishment however which at its bottom includes some relief and is paired with much consolation, and which will finally elapse.
Yes, Eve; with sorrows you shall bring forth your children. But as soon as you give birth to them, what a relief and what joy and what jubilation will overwhelm your maternal womb and how joyful it will seem to your ears the first weeping, that your baby will produce, the baby which with many pains you beared!
Yes; it might seem heavy to some of your daughters the yoke of submission to your husband. But after all they are their husbands. They are neither strangers nor any unknowns.
They are the ones, who work for the sustenance of their wives, who rise up, when they see them that their honor is at stake, who despite the tough that they are some of them, there come times during which they display true longing and affection and love towards their wives.
And this submission of the woman to her husband is greatly paid back with the love and the devotion of the man towards his submissive wife.
Eve, be comforted! God has punished you, but He has not crushed you. He rebuked you, but He didn't reject you for ever.
And here comes now Adam's turn. What was decided and what excuse did he offer in order to extenuate his position Adam?
She misleaded me, he said, the woman, to the sin. Her, whom You the Moulder and Creator gave to me, she misleaded me into eating the forbidden fruit.
What does God say now to Adam as a reply to this excuse? «Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree, of which I commanded you of this only you shall not eat, and you have eaten, cursed is the ground for your sake».
In other words God says to Adam. I punish you exactly because you have heard your wife. And I judge you by the words of your mouth. I base this condemnatory decision of mine to the words, that have come out from your own mouth.
Your wife induced you, urged you, but she did not force you to eat the fruit of transgression. It was of course her fault the fact that she tried to lure you to the evil.
But also the fact that you listened to her and considered her words as more serious and more reliable than My words the words of your Moulder and your Creator, is not a sin, which accepts any excuse.
«By the words of your mouth I will judge you». By your own confession, by your own words, by the facts that also yourself do not deny, but you admit, I will judge you and I will condemn you.
Miserable us, all we who are guilty and sinners in front of divine Justice! In that terrible and dreadful judgement of the second presence, when our hidden sins will be promulgated and known, what excuse shall we find? Whatever we say, will be against us.
Provided that in this present world we haven't cared with works of repentance and true contrition to cleanse our souls, in that terrible judgement either we will remain silent and mute or, if we say something to our justification, this will turn against us to our greater condemnation.
Cunning servant! the fair Judge will say. Cunning servant, By your words I will judge you and by your own confessions which yourself are doing through your mouth I will justify your conviction.
Adam will now eat his bread with much sweat. In order to obtain the bread, which is necessary for his maintenance, he must work. And he must work heavily and tediously, so that much sweat will run from his face and bathes his body.
Until he sinned, the work was some kind of entertainment for him. Some relaxation, some play, some pleasure. Adam would tidy and would take care of the garden of Eden, without any toil and without the minimum fatigue. He would safeguard it and he would warden it, without any unpleasant and worrying concern.
Now however? Now that he has sinned? Now that the earth gets wild after the curse of God? Ah now! The work will tire, will exhaust, will make heavier and more cumbersome his body. He will return at night from the labor of the day to his house, Adam and each descendant of him and they will lie down their exhausted body in order to find rest from the heavy effort.
The work is now a duty and a responsibility of Adam and of each one of his descendants for two reasons and for two causes.
Firstly because God created man and set him inside that most beautiful garden of Eden in order to work and safeguard the Paradise. Secondly because God, the fair Judge, condemned the sinful man, to work and with sweat and much fatigue to gain his daily bread.
You work and you tire and you exhaust and you sweat and you deeply sigh, you poor man. You are guilty, who has been convicted. Suffer with patience the fair punishment and penalty, which for your sin the fair Judge has imposed on you.
Observe however, my brother, that also on our deviation, when God as fair Judge comes to punish us, He doesn't forget His kindness and His mercy and His affection towards us.
He doesn't throw us to an unbearable exile for us to be exterminated with forced hard labors, heavy, unbearable. He leave us on the same place, on earth by which our body was moulded and in which saw the light for the first time our primogenitor Adam.
And this labor, which we are obliged to perform now, in order to cultivate the earth, instead of wearing down our body, it trains it and strengthens it. It makes our hands more powerful, our face more vivid red, our life longer. It whets our appetite and makes our bread sweeter and our dining table more pleasant.
Let Him be blessed therefore the Highest, my brother, Who knows how to mix the bitter with the sweet, and to apply the cure over the pain, so that even from it to be born health and life.
The punishment, which God imposes to Adam and to his children, is not only limited in that with fatigue and much sweat they will obtain their bread. This bread they will eat with sorrows as well.
And thus the life of man on earth will not only be full of toils, but also full of sighs and sorrows. Even our bread will not only be knead with sweats, but also with bitter tears.
«In sorrows you shall eat of it all the days of your life». With pains, with diseases, with fevers, with depression, with great sadness many times you will bring without appetite, by force and without pleasure the food in your mouth, obliging yourself to swallow it.
It's not only the fatigue and the toil your penalty, oh miserable Adam. There are also the sorrows. The sorrows from the diseases, the multiform and numerous diseases, that no medic's hand often cannot cure and neither give any relief.
The sorrows caused by the deaths of your beloved persons, of whose the separation tears apart as if with double-edged knife your heart.
The sadnesses caused by the disasters and the calamities that will happen to your fields and your vineyards and will go wasted your fatigues and your expenses without bearing any fruit.
The sorrows from the deprivations, from the carings, from the concerns, from the anxieties, from the storms of life. The continuous sorrows, which follow one after the other, that many times come one near the other like the waves of a stormy sea, from which the serenity has gone.
The sorrows which do not let you breathe a little, do not let you laugh for a moment, but instead transform your life to an unceasing weeping and endless wailing. The sorrows, which for many are continuous, for the word to be verified, that Job said: «and the pious sometimes dies in bitterness, without having enjoyed anything good in life».
«In sorrows». Here, in this life. Because, when the other life comes, certainly you, embittered lips, you will smile and you wounded hearts you will rejoice. The benevolent God will compensate the pain of your tears and will cease the sigh of your totally sad souls.
But look, my reader, how also in the punishment, that God imposes on Adam, He seem condescending, compassionate and full of mercy and kindness towards the poor transgressor.
Yes; God does not curse Adam. He only curses the earth, in which Adam dwells and in which he works. And he curses her not for her to open and swallow Adam.
Not in order to become a grave, in which Adam still alive would be covered and would vanish. He curses the earth, for the only reason of her to cease being a place of happiness and comfort, as it was before the transgression.
«Cursed is, says God, the ground for your sake. Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field...».
God gave the earth to Adam in order to be his comfortable dwelling. In order to find in her without toil everything that will render his life happy. Now however the sin of Adam has changed things. And after this curse which God gives, the earth is transformed and changes her face. She was fertile. Now she becomes dry and barren.
By herself the earth before bore fruits sweet and plenty and fructified without any cultivation on her the fruit trees.
Now, if Adam does not irrigate with many sweats, the fruit bearing trees become wild, the fruit bearing trees become fruitless, and sterile, and caltrops and thorns are quickly developing and as it's said, naturally over the soil of the earth.
In order to give now it's useful fruits the earth, she must be cultivated, and he must toil very heavily on her the poor and miserable man.
And thus, my brother, the sin of Adam corrupted even that beautiful earth, which God gave to us as our residence.
Due to this transgression the whole creation as well as the divine Paul says, was subjected to vanity. And is now herself too predestined to destruction, because as it is today she cannot be used as true residence of the children of God.
The day will come however during which, as the Scripture assures, will be cleansed by fire and will be renovated anew this earth, which our sin has contaminated and has made impure.
And this day, my brother, will be the one, during which our Lord and Savior will come to give back to each one according to his works, will come to gather and to single out the children of God and to open for them the gates of the everlasting beatitude and glory next to the celestial Father.
The life of Adam and of his children will not only be a life full of hardships and sighs and sorrows, but will also be a short life and brief. «Till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken», God added.
That is, you will irrigate the earth with your sweats and your bread with your tears, until when your perishable and material body returns to the earth, from which it was taken.
And only death, therefore, will put a terminus and an end to the sighs of our miserable life and to the suffering and bitterness, with which are saturated our days.
Death, this great and bitter and terrible nightmare, which saturates with unbearable bitterness and anguish our lips, him at the same time is our liberator. Our liberator from a tyrannical life, which, woe to us if it were infinite and eternal.
No matter how bitter death is, nevetheless, it is also a benefactor. Benefactor it is of course for those, who he encounters next to the Lord and who are awaiting for him in repentance and in faith towards Jesus.
This also is compassion of God, my reader. Once that our life has been tranformed to a torture, no matter how sweet it was, it had to have an end and for us not to continuously drag our very tortured body having as evelasting and eternal heritage the sigh and the tear.
Our life has become noisy, but at the same time it was established to be short and brief, as much as it would be necessary for the man to receive his lesson about how much poisonous sin is and how much bitter it makes the human life.
But the point is that death is also poisonous and very frightening! No; there is no other ordeal tougher and rougher in our life than the one that death gives to us. There is no other cup more bitter and more unbearable that the cup of death.
And how not? It separates the soul from its body. Is there any other most unnatural wound and dissolution than this?
God created the man as body and soul. He joined these two with the purpose of staying united forever. Our sin however opens the door to death and this natural bond between the soul and the body suffers a deep blow and a conclusive one.
Death separates the man from his wife and the newly wedded bride from her young husband. It separates the yearning mother from her beloved child; the much embittered brother from his beloved brother. It separates friends beloved relatives and endearing beings from each other.
And it accumulates to the tears of our lives additional even more bitter and abundant tears. It accumulates to our sighs additional even more agonizing and much more moanful sighs. And it paints our life black, as black is the earth herself, in which our grave is being digged; as black is the cypress tree, that grows over it.
Poor man! So many things surround you and so many things haunt you, that teach you, how much poisonous and how much disastrous is the sin. But you don't consider getting rid of it.
Death, behold a fruit poisonous and bitter, that sin bequeathed to you. Instead therefore of disgusting it and hating it, you desire it and you don't abandon it?
You are earth, that is, soil, because out of soil your body was moulded, oh, Adam. You are earth. It is therefore your bodily life perishable, as perishable is also the soil, from which it was moulded the organism of your body.
But God, when He created you, He surrounded you at the same time with a wonderful power as well, which would maintain your body to immortality and would transmit also to your material organism the incorruptibility.
But now that you have sinned and have been separated from God; now that the grace of God has abandoned you and has drew away from your soul, it has also ceased this power of immortality vivifying your material body.
And as this body is earth, that is, material perishable and dispersible, to the earth it will depart and to the soil it will return and at the depths of the dark grave it will dissolve and it will decompose.
«Dust you are, and to dust you shall return». If you exclude, therefore, our soul, which was created according to God's image, according to everything else we are earth and clay. Sordid and insignificant, as the soil. Weak and inglorious, as the clay. Lightweight and impotent like the mud.
As easily is crushed and breaks the clay vessel, that the potter manufactures from the clay of the earth, that easily the health is also broken, and the beauty and the freshness and the life of our body.
We are earth. One small cold, one sudden fever, one instant evil encounter, an abrupt heart attack, and immediately the strongest organism is lying down feeble, immobile, as soil over the soil of the earth, filthy and stinking, like mud over the mud of the grave.
Behold, what you are, oh man! A mortal creation, who continuously runs in order to reach at the mouth of the grave. Your journey on the earth has this as its final and terminal station: the grave.
You continuously walk to one direction, without you even wanting it; to the direction, which always brings you closer to the grave. And someone could say, that your life has no other purpose than to prepare you, to die more peacefully and more virtuously.
For this we live; in order to die. Take care therefore when you die to be with the Lord, with pious disposition, with calm conscience, with the soul blameless and white pure.
Behold what you are, oh man! Do you see that thin dust that the wind lifts for a moment like a cloud, but which afterwards dissolves and falls back to the ground, from which it was lifted? Exactly like it you look like too.
Dust you are, who you lift up for a moment from the current of the turbulent and boisterous life entrained, but only in order to fall again to the earth after a while, from which you were taken, in order to be dissolved again like the cloud, which above the dried mud the north wind lifts.
Behold what you are. A small cloud of dust, if you are some common mortal, inconspicuous and unknown. A greater and denser cloud of dust, if you are some known and distinguised man. Maybe this greater cloud also won't it dissolve, as it dissolves also that smaller one?