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102. Paradise

1. The name paradise means a garden. Some havethought that the Paradise in which our first parents were placedwas their spiritual state, enriched as it was with supernaturalgraces and gifts. Others maintain that Paradise was a place. St.Augustine thinks that Paradise means both the spiritual conditionand the local habitation of our first parents.

2. Paradise must have been a place perfectly suitable forman, a dwelling place in exquisite accord with his state ofinnocence. It is reasonable to suppose that Paradise was a place ofgreat beauty, a bright place, temperate in climate, and with purestatmosphere.

3. Man was placed in Paradise to work therein and to keepit (Gen. 2:15). Man's labor there would have been a mostpleasing activity, not burdensome nor fatiguing. This task wasgiven to man as a blessing. It was to engage his attention, to keephim from idleness which might engender pride and sin. Laboring inParadise, man would have been increasingly aware of its beauty andprecious character; he would have been moved to love and thank Godfor it, and would thus have tended to continual watchfulness lestby sin he should lose so great a treasure.

4. Adam was placed in Paradise after he had been created(Gen. 2:15). But Eve was created in Paradise itself. Had these tworemained faithful and innocent, their children would have been bornin Paradise.

"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to You. give me all that will lead me to You. Take me from myself and give me to Yourself."
St Nicholas Flue

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"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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