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164. The Punishment of the Sin of Adam

1. If a person, because of a fault, is deprived of whatwas bestowed on him as a favor, the deprivation is apunishment for the fault. Now, the perfect subjection ofman's lower powers to reason was a great favor bestowed on man.Out of this perfect subjection of body to spirit came soundness ofhealth and perfection of bodily function, and the supervening giftof bodily immortality was assured. But when man sinned the greatfavor mentioned was withdrawn (indeed, man's sin rejected thefavor), and it was withdrawn in punishment for the sin. Thewithdrawal of the favor meant that man was no longer immortal inhis bodily life; it meant that he would die. Therefore, death ismanifestly in punishment for Adam's sin. Says St. Paul (Rom.5:12): "By one man sin entered the world, and by sin,death."

2. Scripture recounts other punishments for Adam'ssin: expulsion of our first parents from Paradise; fatiguing toil;pains of childbirth; reluctance of the earth to yield fruits, etc.{-All these punishments were blessings for fallenman. Once fallen, man would have found Paradise and life as it wasbefore Adam's sin, so delightful that he would no longer havehad thought or time for God. Fallen man cannot stand a diet ofParadise. Were it not for the hardships and punishments we mustbear in consequence of Adam's sin, we should all inevitably goto hell. Herein appear the infinite love and mercy of God: when hestrikes us in punishment, while we are wayfarers, his blow turnsinto the caress of blessing.-}

"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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