This past Monday we celebrated the first anniversary of our foundation as a Private Association of the Christian Faithful. We held a fundraiser dinner at J’s White Elephant which was a huge success.
I think back over this past year and I can’t believe how much has happened in such a short time, while also feeling like it has been so long since our mass of foundation in 2015. We have had a crazy ride, full of all sorts of emotions, adventures, and great memories. This past year had its share of hardship and pain, but it also held countless blessings for us and immeasurable joy. If there are two things I have come to realize over the course of this last year, it’s this: first, that God’s merciful love is greater than I could ever possibly fathom with my human mind, and second, that Divine Providence will always find a way to pull me through. God reveals Himself to us every day in the smallest ways that a lot of times we don’t even notice. I have been thinking a lot lately about how “watered down” faith seems to be in the lives of Americans today and that causes us to miss the true beauty of God. We have a hard time coming to the realization of who God really is to us and how He loves us when we stop diving to the depths of faith and let ourselves become content with the things on the surface.
I am currently reading a book titled Saint John Paul The Great and His Five Loves by Jason Evert. It is one of the most inspiring books I have ever come across. Jason Evert gives a beautiful portrayal and in depth look at the life of JPII and what his passions were. One thing that JPII was known for was his idea of the Theology of the Body, which is basically the respect for the human person and protecting the dignity of the human body. He dives into the Fall of Man in Genesis and totally redefines the story of Adam, Eve, and the most famous apple ever known to mankind. For me, the story of the fall of man has been just that, a story. When I hear it I often play the scene out like a cartoon in my mind. Adam looks much like Jon, the guy from the comic strip Garfield. Eve looks very similar to him, except her hair is longer and actually just long enough to strategically fall over her chest to cover her. The garden is very green and organized and there is one tree in it that is full of apples. Hanging from the tree is a slithering, green snake, which portrays the devil. I have heard this story so many times since my childhood that I always see the same images, think the same thoughts about what is taking place, and know it all in every detail from beginning to end. What I never realized until I just read this book five days ago is that I have been missing the real point to this part of Adam and Eve’s life. It has always been, in my mind, a sort of hokey story in which two naked people upset God by eating an apple and now the whole world suffers due to their disobedience. It never really made much sense to me anyways seeing as how many of the women I know are terrified of snakes, so why Eve would be conversing with a serpent to begin with is beyond me. None the less, that’s the story. But JPII in his great wisdom shares the idea that Adam and Eve could be naked without shame towards one another because of their purity of heart, mind, body, and soul. It allowed them to love one another with a free, faithful, life-giving love, in which they did not view each other as objects to be used but persons to be loved and cared for. In whatever way Adam and Eve sinned that day, whether it be through the eating of an apple or something else entirely, they made the choice to partake in the Tree of this Life. That choice opened up the whole world to the ‘unhappy inheritance of the darkness of intellect’, where love becomes lust, purity becomes impurity, and all sorts of vanity, greed, and evil things of this world enter into the mind and heart.
I don’t know about you, but the Fall of Man has much more significance to me now. It’s no longer just a story of an angry God and His disobedient children. It has much more depth to it, much more meat to chew on. JPII basically re-proposes this scripture story to us and it’s honestly so cool and so much more than I ever thought that story could mean. He took this passage from the Bible and broke it down to get to the root of what really took place and what God is really trying to speak to our hearts. The cool thing is, that this passage is from the 3rd chapter of 50 chapters, in the 1st book of 73 books that make up the Holy Word of God. Imagine if we broke down every bit of scripture and took something this deep from it… What would it speak to us? How much more would we have to learn?
That’s the whole idea of the New Evangelization. The Church is taking the same old stories, the same old teachings, and re-presenting them to the culture of today to show us their mighty-meaty depth and meaning.
My hope and prayer for myself now, as well as for all of you, is that we no longer gloss over the stories we know so well. I pray that we can all dive in and really sink our teeth into the fullness of Truth. There is so much to come to understand and to fall in love with. There is so much meaning and beauty to everything Our God does. Have fun discovering it. Make an adventure out of discovering Him. The more you come to know Him, the more real He becomes to you, and the more the world around you comes alive in the way He created it to be from the beginning of time.
Written by: Lindsey