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XVIII - Eve Conceived (Take 1)

January 8, 2018

The Bible teaches nothing “practical.” It doesn’t teach how to shear a sheep or build a plow. We may thank God that the Gospels don’t recount Jesus’ lessons in carpentry, or the world would be filled with debates and schisms over the dimensions of the Holy Kitchen Table. But the Bible does give extensive instructions in those things that will carry the Holy. It gives the dimensions of the Ark of Noah, which carried the prophet and his family that were the only human life that survived the flood. It gives the dimensions of the Ark of the Covenant, which carried the tablets of the 10 commandments, the rod of Aaron, a jar of manna (bread from Heaven, precursor of the body of Jesus), and the Torah scroll of Moses. The Bible gives instruction on building the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, where the Ark would be housed. It also gives the details for building the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, wherein was a table on which was kept the showbread, bread that was always to be kept in the presence, or face, of God. And there are details of the future Temple described by Ezekiel.

 

The Bible also in two other ways describes a means of producing vessels that would carry the Holy. It gives the generations of the Mother of God, the virgin named Miriam, or Mary. And it is, itself, the purveyor of the words of God, which were given to the prophets and the scribes that wrote its books, which bring the Word of God, Jesus Christ, to us. The Catholic Church, which determined the canon of the Bible, reads verses from the Bible every day in the Liturgy of the Word which leads up to the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

 

And the Church gives to its members the fruit of the womb of Mary, so they can go into the world and show Him in themselves by their actions of love, charity and virtue, to call the elect to Himself.

 

Now with this all being said, let’s go back to a subject we looked at previously. We are told in Genesis that Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. After they eat of the Tree, they realize they are naked. Isn’t that curious? They sew fig leaves together to cover themselves. God asks them who told them they were naked. Isn’t that curious?

 

I’m curious. What does Knowledge have to do with nakedness? We get the answer after the couple is sent out of the Garden. The text says Adam “knew” Eve his wife. This comes right on the heels of their eating of the Tree of Knowledge, so it’s not an arbitrary connection. Remember that the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is the Law. But that’s long term. Short term, it’s a child.

 

Scripture says Eve “conceived.” Isn’t that curious? (Alright, I’ll stop.) Look at this again. Adam knew Eve, and Eve conceived. These are words we associate with human thought, but they are being used in relation to human sexuality.

 

The same theme is called to mind by St. John in the first words of his Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus, the Light of the world, was the Word of God. This Man, born of a virgin, was somehow a word.

 

When the patriarchs have sex with their wives, they are said to know them. The wives are said to conceive. The Virgin Mary conceived Jesus, “by the power of the Holy Spirit.” And Jesus was the Word.

 

What does Scripture record as God’s first words? “Let there be Light.” Fiat lux. Jesus, the Word, is the Light. The Light that overcame the darkness of death.

 

When God speaks to a prophet, He “puts His word” on the prophet’s lips. The word is put, in other “words,” in the prophet’s mouth.

 

And, of course, at Mass, we take Christ, the Word, in our mouth, and the Word, and the Light, enter into us. And it overcomes death.

 

 So Adam, the husband, knew his wife. Again, that seems obvious. But what did he know? What does he know in sexuality with his wife that he doesn’t otherwise know?

 

One way of looking at it is, he knows he’s going to father a child, or at least is likely to. He knows what he’s doing, he knows he can cause her to conceive. She conceives. She comes to understand that she is pregnant. This idea that she is pregnant becomes obvious when her belly swells.

 

I don’t need to belabor this. But this is the most obvious thing in the world, and something our culture has perverted. Sex (potentially) causes conception. It’s the reason for sex. To deny this is to be colossally stupid. The point of a man having an erection is to penetrate a vagina, and for his seed to fertilize his wife's eggs. No rational person can deny this.

 

But we have done just that. This proves the wisdom of the Popes. In 1968, when contraception and The Pill were hitting the culture, Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae, in which he rejected all forms of artificial contraception. This isn’t the place to examine all aspects of that, but it does show that the Catholic Church takes a very straight-forward view of these basics, one that those who oppose Her do not.

 

What we have done as a culture is to posit an idea of sex that takes carnal knowledge out of the picture. We’ve posited the view that the sex impulse comes before rational thought. We have been taught that sex is pleasurable so that men and women will engage in it, for the purpose of continuing the species, as if nature is thus fooling us into perpetuating ourselves. And since we’re just responding to something that nature in its mindless and mechanical push for gene-replication has evolved us to do, we’re really not responsible for responding to it, and hence if we contracept, we’re only standing up to the tyranny of random selection that gave us the sex impulse. And of course if we indulge in contraception of last resort, aka abortion, we believe we shouldn’t be blamed.

 

But it’s precisely herein that we are condemned, because back in ancient times the writers of Scripture knew, and told us, that if Adam knew his wife she would conceive. We know that sex leads to children, they knew it thousands of years ago. Carnal knowledge brings children, it is one action, not a chopped up and incoherent series of individual actions that can be separated from each other. The man knows his wife and she conceives and together they raise the child according to the moral laws of God.

When Mary visits Elizabeth, the babe who will be known as John, and eventually the Baptist, leaps in Elizabeth’s womb at the approach of Jesus in His mother’s womb. If we believe that Christ is God, it is unthinkable that Mary would have considered a “choice” of ending His life, no matter how small His clump of cells was a few days after conception. If you consider aborting Christ abhorrent, you must consider abhorrent aborting anyone Christ died to save.

 

Look at how the world, which accuses the Catholic Church, embraces death as the Church reaffirms Life. The world insists on contraception (preventing the fruit of the sex act), abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide. The world wants the right to kill and commit suicide, is increasingly making laws to protect such "rights". The Church is seen as oppressive for saying, “No, we must promote life.” If you doubt the devil is lord of this world, that he is “a murderer from the beginning”, then think again.

 

 

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