May 21, 2017

Friends, 

I recently read a great book by Bruce Feiler titled "The First Love Story; Adam, Eve and Us." First of all, I am not a fundamentalist who takes the creation story literally. It was written as a myth because no words could possibly capture the story of God's love poured forth in time. Our ancestors told stories in an attempt to bring us beyond the words on a page to a deeper meaning. They had to use their imagination when it came to explaining God's presence in their lives. Obviously, the writers were not present when the world came to be, but they knew it was the will of God and they wanted this "love story" to be passed on for generations to come. They knew the power of myth and they were successful in their desire to take us far beyond the literal meaning of the creation story. 

In this book, Adam and Eve are brought to life as they experience a relationship with God and the thrill of falling in love. They develop a realization of their dependence on one another for survival, and came to know that every decision they make as individuals has consequences and repercussions for the other. They give birth to 2 sons (Cain and Abel) and as parents are confronted with the death of one of their sons at the hands of their other son. How torn they must be as they mourn one of their children and want to protect the other. We can only imagine the strain this placed on their own relationship as they wonder who is to blame or could they have done something to prevent this tragic event. And, they have grandchildren. How does the murder of their son affect their relationship with the next generation? 

As I was reading this book I realized that for the most part our concept of Adam and Eve is a negative one. We do not look on them as lovers or parents. We only refer to them as the perpetrators of "original sin." 

I have to admit we have never "imagined" them as human beings, but as "sinners." But in so many ways their struggles with God, relationship, sexuality, family, love, sin and forgiveness is the story of humanity. I highly recommend this book. It brings us to another level of understanding. It is not for everyone, but I picked if off the shelf and I'm glad I did. 

I leave you with this quote from the book: "Love is not eternal and unchanging, it is ever-changing and 
ever-loving. Love is not a moment in time; it's the passage of time. It was this way for Adam and Eve, and it's the same for us." 

Enjoy Life! 
Fr. Ron Coyne

 

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