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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.

"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."
St Philip Neri

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"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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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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