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96. The Ruling Power of Man in the State of Innocence

1. The first man had absolute rule and command over theanimate creatures of the earth. For God said (Gen. 1:26): "Lethim [man] have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the birdsof the air, and the beasts of the earth." Now dominion meanslordship, mastership, even ownership. All sentient creatures obeyedinnocent man and none disobeyed him. When, however, man disobeyedGod, these sentient creatures were no longer subject to man'sabsolute control or mastership.

2. Man was created as master of all earthly creatures. Andhe was master of his own powers and tendencies, finding in them norebellion against his reason, that is, against his intellectuallyenlightened free will.

3. Human beings are all equal as images and children ofGod. But, as we plainly see, there are otherwise many inequalitiesamong human beings. They differ in sex, size, age, tastes, manners,abilities, health, strength, skills, and in countless other ways.Now, in the state of innocence there would have been some of theseinequalities, but none that involved defect or fault, whether ofsoul or of body.

4. In the state of innocence, man could not have beenmaster of other men in the sense of holding them in thrall orslavery. But there would still have been need of a social order;there would have been rulers and subjects. Parents, too, would haveruled and guided their children. But there would have been noharshness of rule, no injustice, no resentment in those ruledagainst their rulers.

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed, should give but few orders."
St Philip Neri

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"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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