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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 But when man sinned the greatfavor mentioned was withdrawn (indeed, man's sin rejected thefavor), and it was withdrawn in punishment for the sin.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.-}

"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart."
The Cure D'Ars

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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