Adam and Eve have covered themselves
and now sit on the grass
beneath the tree of knowledge,
unable to look long at one another.

Adam, speaks,
without looking at her:
Eve, why do you look different, now,
than you did before we took of the fruit?
Or is it rather that I see differently,
but you, in yourself, look the same?

Don’t look at me, Adam.
Your gaze frightens me.

Eve, don’t command me.
I can do whatever I want…

Do you hear that?
…Adam, what time is it?

Ah…it is the time he comes,
in the cool of the day.
What will he say in seeing us like this?

He will be jealous of us, now,
I fear.
For we have usurped his power
and taken it for ourselves.

Do you think this is what it is like
to be as God?
I think, rather, you have been tricked,
and I went along with your seduction.

Shall we turn and hide?

Adam opens his mouth to speak,
but then jumps to his feet,
and they both hide among the trees.

The wind grows stronger,
whistling through the trees
and swaying them with its movement.
Soon a beautiful music begins to grow,
its melody echoing through the trees,
or perhaps from the trees themselves,
sounding under the Spirit’s touch
like the strings of a harp
under the harpist’s skilled fingers.

Through the Spirit’s presence
the Father draws near,
manifesting his form and figure
through the likeness of a human man,
the image of the incarnate Son
who is to come in the future.
The Father speaks through the Son,
his voice joining with the music of the Spirit,
and filling the garden with the sound:
My dear children, where have you gone?
Adam…Eve…why do you hide from me?
You cannot hide, so please come out.

Adam peeks his head from behind a tree:
Lord God, there is a reason we hide.
You see, we are afraid
because we are naked.
We hid ourselves because of this.

The Father replies:
Who told you, child, that you are naked?
Did you eat, then, of the forbidden tree?

Adam, coming out into the open:
Ah, you see, it’s not my fault.
I ate only because the woman…
the woman you gave me,
she induced me to eat.

There is a deep groaning noise
that shatters through the trees
like a hurricane: the anguish of God.
But this groan of sorrowful compassion,
when it distills into a voice,
is utterly gentle, hardly above a whisper,
echoing from the leaves and branches
of every tree of the garden:
My dear Adam, what have you done?
And why do you not simply admit
the part that you have played?

Then after a pause:
Ah, my dear Eve, come out…

She steps out into the open,
her eyes cast down,
unable to raise them
to look at him.
Even though she is covered
with the fig leaves,
she covers herself, too,
with her arms.

The Father speaks to her
in the same gentle whisper:
My child, what have you done?

You see, it was not me,
it was the serpent…
he tricked me into eating the fruit.

His voice growing louder,
the Father speaks:
Ah…Lucifer, you see what you have done!
Once already you have rebelled,
refusing the freedom given you
to fashion the idol of your own liberty,
the “deity” which is nothing but a mockery,
an absolutization of the isolated self.

And now your jealousy
does not only sweep the stars from the sky,
the angels from the firmament of Love,
but insinuates itself into my precious,
my most beautiful, beloved, little ones…

In an echoing voice:
Come out!

The tempter comes out,
revealing in full light his figure,
which the woman had only glimpsed before.
He stands unveiled as a large, hideous dragon.
He, however, is unable to speak,
for though God can address him,
he has himself lost the ability to speak with God,
sin having cut off his capacity for communication
with the purity of the Trinity’s Life and Love.

The Father continues:
Light-bearer who has become bearer of darkness,
Scatterer of all that was once united,
Accuser of those who, through repentance,
could return into the orbit of Love’s embrace,
discouraging them from turning back to me,
and instead closing them in upon themselves…
because you have done all of this
you are cursed above all other creatures.
You are, through your own sin,
cast down to the earth,
in the baseness of your own prideful self-humiliation.

Before their eyes
the great dragon twists in pain,
letting out a blood-chilling scream,
and contorting his body in anguish,
he soon lays flat on the earth,
his legs gone, and only a fraction
of his previous size.

The Father continues:
And I tell you, ancient tempter,
that I will put enmity between you and the woman,
between your seed and her seed.
You, in your hatred and envy,
will strike at his heel;
but he will finally crush your head.

Yes, the seed of the woman will come
when the fallen world has become ready
and the fullness of time has come.
He will be born without seed of man,
of a humble and obedient Virgin,
my own beloved Son in human flesh:
the New Adam born of the New Eve,
to restore what, in these little ones,
has been broken for them and their descendants.

Until then, there will be strife and conflict
between human persons at war with you,
and in estrangement from one another…
because they have become estranged from me,
who remain, always, so near to them.
But the final victory, Satan, will not be yours.

For these little ones, in the pride of their blindness
and in the blindness of their pride,
will be redeemed by the Little One
who reposes always in my inmost bosom,
and who, becoming one of them,
will teach them what it means, again,
to truly be a beloved child of God.

And now…

The Father turns to Eve:
Do you understand the effects of your sin?
How can you close in upon yourself,
breaking asunder the bonds of living relationship,
without its effects manifesting in your life?

You were made, my dear daughter,
to repose in my Love as a little child,
and, before the man, to be a loving spouse.
Through your union, too,
you were to share in my own creative fruitfulness.

But now, Eve, you will struggle
to know yourself to be truly loved,
to rest in the truth of your daughterhood.

And your relationship with Adam
will be wrought with misunderstanding,
with the disorders of the threefold lust
—a movement of possessiveness and domination—
rather than the free and total mutual gift of self
and the grateful, reverent acceptance of the other.

And when you do indeed give birth,
I will not take back the gift that I have given,
but the child will come forth from you
in the midst of your anguish and distress.
For the transparency of your heart and your body
to the luminosity of my own creative light
has now been obstructed by the impurity of your sin.

The Father turns to speak to Adam:
And you, Adam,
because you did not love your wife
and protect her from the evil one’s assault,
because you were complicit in her sin
as well as freely making it your own:

You too will struggle to live as my child,
losing within you the radiance of divine grace.
That living bond that was between us—ah!—
now it is broken asunder, such that,
though I remain present to you,
you will no longer be present to me.

Only at long last, in redemption,
will the living mystery of my life
come to live within you once again,
slowly regenerating you from inside
to the life that you have lost.

You will struggle henceforth to love the woman
with the chaste purity, the humble reverence
that she both desires and needs;
you will struggle against a base lust
and the thirst to possess, use, and discard.
And because of this obsession with pleasure
–with the superficiality of the surface–
you will only with great effort
recover the purity that can see her true beauty,
more immense and ravishing than any lust,
reflecting my own beauty and the splendor of my Love.

You were meant, Adam, through my gift,
to look on her as I look on her,
and thus to reveal to her anew
the tenderness of my own loving gaze,
but now your gaze will obstruct and obscure
unless you master yourself
and plunge yourself anew into the flames of my grace.

And your own work and creativity in this world,
the beautiful stewardship of creation
which I have, in my love, given to you,
will unfold in anguish and in toil,
as you earn your bread in sweat and exhaustion.

And your life will end in death,
in the dissolution of the grave,
where the dust from which you have come
will return to the dust once again,
and the spirit will go to await
to resurrection that can only come
on the last day, when all is restored.

The Father addresses both Adam and Eve:
You have broken asunder in your sin
what I have made as one within my Love.
You have fractured your union with me,
refusing to abide in Love as little children.
You have fractured your union with one another,
that radiant icon of the unity that exists
between my Son and I in the Spirit.
You have impeded the flow of life
which was to pass through you freely
like the wind through the trees
and the sun’s light through the sky.

You were to be my priests in creation,
taking up and sanctifying in yourself
that which, in me, was a sacred offering.
Now you will see that creation,
beautiful as it remains until the end,
is marked with strife and confusion;
for in you, my beloved ones,
it was meant to find its fulfillment.
Only through generations and generations
of labor-pains, and anguish,
will it be restored to my life and beauty,
taken up into the compassion of my incarnate Son.

But until then, my children,
until the radical renovation of grace,
bringing to birth, finally,
the glory of the new creation…
until then the form of my own Beauty
shining from the heart of every created thing
will be obscured to your gaze,
and, in all things, you will struggle to love
with that love that, in the beginning,
was completely spontaneous and free.

But continue to look, children,
to contemplate my beauty
bursting forth from within every thing,
from that interiority where I dwell
ceaselessly sustaining it in love…
You will only glimpse this beauty,
through the veil of brokenness,
but this glimpse can draw your hearts
to I who dwell within and sustain,
and who also infinitely transcend, in my Majesty,
the whole of the creation.

My children, my children…
yearn for what you have lost,
even as you live in the midst of loss and death.
For I will not fail to provide
that which, in the beginning,
I intended to give to you,
immersing you in my own life
and carrying you to consummation.

Wait to see what beautiful things I will do,
which exceed even what was in the beginning,
for this fault of yours, Adam and Eve,
will become blessed by my redeeming grace
in providing so awesome, so great a Redeemer.
There will be a new Man and a new Woman
who in a garden and at the foot of a new tree,
will heal the wounds of your sin
and restore fully, and more, what has been lost.

But now, now you must go
from this garden of paradise,
for paradise it is no more…
and you are not now fit
to eat of the tree of life present here.
Only when this tree is implanted
in the heart of the fallen creation,
pouring forth streams of healing grace,
can you draw near again
to partake of its transforming fruit,
and to enter into the intimacy of communion
that it effects between you and Us.