Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are two specific trees in the story of the Garden of Eden. 
Tree of Life served to maintain Adam’s biological processes for an extended earthly animal life. It did not provide immortality as such, for the tree, being finite, could not grant infinite life. Hence after a period of time, the man and woman would need to eat again from the tree or else be “transported to the spiritual life.” The common fruit trees of the garden were given to offset the effects of “loss of moisture”, while the Tree of Life was intended to offset the inefficiencies of the body.
Consuming the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was the original sin committed by Adam and Eve that subsequently became known as the Fall of man in Genesis 2-3. In Catholicism, the tree should be understood both symbolically and as a real tree - similarly to Jerusalem being both a real city and a figure of Heavenly Jerusalem. The fruits of that tree were not evil by themselves, because everything that God created was good. It was disobedience of Adam and Eve, who had been told by God not to eat of the tree, that was obnoxious and caused disorder in the Creation, thus humanity inherited sin and guilt from Adam and Eve’s sin.

Star of the Nativity


In the cold season, in a locality accustomed to heat more than
to cold, to horizontality more than to a mountain,
a child was born in a cave in order to save the world;
it blew as only in deserts in winter it blows, athwart.

To Him, all things seemed enormous: His mother’s breast, the steam
out of the ox’s nostrils, Caspar, Balthazar, Melchior—the team
of Magi, their presents heaped by the door, ajar.
He was but a dot, and a dot was the star.

Keenly, without blinking, through pallid, stray
clouds, upon the child in the manger, from far away—
from the depth of the universe, from its opposite end—the star
was looking into the cave. And that was the Father’s stare.

                                                                                                                                                                                       December 1987

notes from bible study

garden of eden as space, as divine architecture
this tree is not an evil temptation tree, it’s a sacred site
it is a physical site of contact between God’s law and man’s earth
it is beautiful, it is creation, it is God’s, of course it is beautiful
you don’t eat of it because it is not yours, it is God’s
creation does not exist to serve you
it exists to give glory to God
it is to be respected
love is a choice and respect is part of that
you took what was not yours
this is your sin
greed as much as pride

God walking in the garden
what did this look like
what did this sound like
was this in here the last time I read this
what is this Incarnation
is Christ walking in the garden of Eden
are they surprised that God is man
are they surprised God looks like them
did they know that
or is it a poetic description
the sound of God walking in the garden is wind and breath and whisper
they have never heard this before
the garden was always still before
they have changed the world
it moves now
is that sin
is this why we have hurricanes

why does Adam not go out to protect the garden from this invader
does he know it is God
is it all shame or is it a little fear

how could Adam and Eve have perfect knowledge of God and yet not trust his decisions
the dramatic irony of reading the book of Genesis is completely intolerable
does God suffer from this dramatic irony as well

what did the serpent look like before he was made to crawl
is this evolutionarily correct
or is it like the axolotl, it went backwards in its development
did it look like a dragon before
is that why we’re so weird about them
how does the serpent know to be mischievous
whence this agency
is the serpent in his original innocence
I am relieved that this is metaphor because I cannot figure it

Adam, the First Determinist?

In his Orthodox Theology: An Introduction, Vladimir Lossky (with tongue-in-cheek?) points out the theology behind Adam’s blame:

“When God calls Adam, the latter, far from crying out with horror and throwing himself before his creator, accuses the woman: ‘she, whom Thou hast placed near me,’ he avers.  Man therefore refuses his responsibility, throws it onto the woman and finally on God Himself.  Adam is here the first determinist.  Man is not free, he lets it be understood; creation, therefore God, has led him to evil.” [1]

Keep reading

Oh god, okay, I just realized the whole scene at the barricades where Valjean chooses to spare Javert instead of killing him (which would have put an end to the threat of his arrest) is A GIANT FUCKING ALLUSION TO THE SCENE IN THE BIBLE WHEN JESUS GETS ARRESTED.

“Jesus’ other disciples were upset at the sight of Roman soldiers and Jewish religious leaders who had gathered there, ready to take Jesus away. So, wielding a sword, one of them (Peter) cut off an ear of a man standing nearby: Malchus, the servant of the Jewish high priest.

‘But Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, 'Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour – when darkness reigns.’ (Luke 22:47)

This healing was the last miracle that Jesus performed before going to the cross to sacrifice himself for the sins of the world, the Bible says.

In this threatening situation, Jesus could have chosen to perform a miracle for his own benefit, to avoid his impending arrest. But he chose instead to perform a miracle to help someone else, which is the same purpose of all of his prior miracles.”



-the barricade is the Garden of Gethsemane

-the barricade boys are Jesus’ angry disciples

-I guess Enjolras is Peter, here *le shrug*

-the high ranking members of the French Judicial system are the Jewish priests

-the officers of the police are the Jewish temple guard

-Javert is the servant Malchus (literally a slave to the law)

-Valjean is Jesus for obvious reasons

(I was writing a part of my fic where Javert has this moment of realization about Valjean’s nature and how his goodness is truer than the goodness of the forces of justice which he himself serves, and I was trying to come up with a good allusion/metaphor for what he was feeling and suddenly I thought “It’s kinda like how that one enemy lackey guy must have felt when Jesus healed his ear back on in the bible after Peter cut it o–WAIT A SECOND”)

Madonna Under the Fir Tree (1510, but may have actually have been painted in Vienna between 1500-04), by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the pine, the fir and the cypress together, to adorn the place of my sanctuary. Isaiah 60:13 (NIV)

The painting, which had been hanging in the Cathedral of St. John in Wroclaw, Poland since the 16th Century, was in the process of being restored in 1946 (look closely to see where it was broken in half). A German priest and amateur art collector, Siegfried Zimmer, was in charge of the restoration project. Instead, he made a forgery of the painting and slipped away to Berlin with the original, leaving the counterfeit behind. It was not until 1961 that the hoax was discovered. From that point on, the painting was held privately until 2012 when negotiations began for its recovery and return. In the summer of 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland finally negotiated the return of the original to the Wroclaw Cathedral.