Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life

"FInding God in all Things"

The Sin of Adam and Eve

                                                                                                 (Printable Version in Word)


Discovering God’s love to be a forgiving love.



With God’s continual love and protection embracing me, I ask to know better the power of sin in the world and in my life.



1.       I come into God's presence and offer myself to Him.


2.           Then, I compose myself in my real world. I am one of many human persons. I hear about many wars, about dictators who make for­ tunes dealing in drugs. I read about murders every day in my own city. I breathe air that people have filled with harmful and noxious chemicals. I eat foods that clog my arteries, tax my digestive system, and alter my con­sciousness. Perhaps I learned to smoke before we knew it harms us. Perhaps I have gotten used to some drugs. I help pay for weapons systems that are so deadly that they make im­possible the security we intend them to achieve, and threaten the entire earth. I am sold on things by advertising that skirts the truth. Even if I wanted a more equitable distribution of healthy water and nourishing foods, I know that millions die of diseases while I can drink water from any tap and eat cuisines from all over the earth. So I continue: This is my real world, however secure and safe I may feel in my own situation. Without being lugu­brious or silly, I see my life world and myself in it—for what they truly are. And now 1 ask of God what I yearn for: I ask God to let me feel sorrow at my thought­less sins and my deliberate sins; I want to feel confounded by the truth that others suffer such dire things because of sins, and I have suffered so little, although I know I have sinned and do sin.


Now, about Adam and Eve:

1.                I recall what St. Paul said to the Romans: "Well then, sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race be­ cause everyone has sinned" (Rom. 5:12).

2.               Then I think about this. Even though I may believe that God brought humankind onto the face of the earth through evolution, I have to believe that at some point in time and on some spot on the globe, the earliest humans came into life. They grew intellectually aware of right and wrong, and some among them—the Church has always believed it was the very first—chose to do evil. They abused what was given them. They chose to use what was for­ bidden by their own consciences. They de­cided willfully to make their own value sys­tem instead of letting the Spirit of God instruct them. From that sin came others, more and more. From that sin came death. So, from this earliest sin came flooding down all the misery, wretchedness, evildoing, and death-dealing in the world today.

3.               What they did—some ordinary human action—can it have been so enormously, over­whelmingly worse than what I have done, and perhaps do? Yet, what comes from my sin? Why does God deal so differently with me? So I consider how I feel about all this.


Finally, I make my colloquy with Jesus crucified. How did You, Jesus, come to this? And the questions form in me:


                           What have I done for Christ? 

                                        What am I doing for Christ?   

                                                   What ought I do for Christ?


                I talk this over with Him. I end with the Our Fa­ther.



Adapted from Joseph Tetlow, S.J., “Choosing Christ in the World”