Chapter 6. Man and Woman in the Beginning • 69
over God’s will and plan. Sin entered the world through this decision to
choose themselves over God and his plan.
Through the Fall of Adam and Eve, the harmony of creation was also
destroyed. If we continue to read the Book of Genesis, we see how Adam
and Eve became aware of their sinful condition, were driven out of the
garden, and were forced to live by the sweat of their brow. The beauty
and harmony of God’s creative plan was disrupted. This was not the way
it was meant to be. Once sin entered into life and into our world, all har-
mony with God, with self, with each other, and with the world around us
was shattered. We call the Fall and its results “Original Sin.”
Each one of us is heir to Adam and Eve. Their sin shattered God’s
created harmony, not only for them but also for us. We experience the
effects of Original Sin in our daily life. This explains why it is so difficult
to do good or to do what we should.
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF
Scripture uses figurative language in describing the account of the Fall
in Genesis 3 but affirms an event that took place at the beginning of
human history. The language is figurative, but the reality is not a fantasy.
The gift of freedom, given to the first man and woman, was meant to
draw them closer to God, to each other, and to their destiny. God asked
them—as he asks us—to recognize their human limits and to trust in
him. In the temptation, they were lured into trying to surpass their being
human. “You will be like gods” (Gn 3:5). They abused their freedom,
failed to trust God, and disobeyed his command. They lost paradise and
its gifts. And death became part of the human experience. For the people
of ancient Israel, sin was a spiritual death that leads to separation from
God, the source of life, and consequently, to the death of the body.
The sin of Adam and Eve has been called Original Sin since the time
of St. Augustine (AD 354-430). But the Church’s belief in an ancient
alienation from God was part of Revelation from the start.
What is Original Sin? It is a deprivation, a loss of the original holi-
ness and righteousness with which our first parents were created. When