Advent meditation: Adam and Eve were placed at the head of the creation. When they fell, the whole creation fell with them. God says that even the ground was now cursed and would bring forth thorns and thistles. St. Thomas explains that this does not mean that thorns and thistles did not previously exist, but that they now took on an antagonistic relationship with man because of his sin (ST I.69.2.ad2). Pope Francis has reminded us in Laudato Si that because our sins degenerate our relationship with the creation, the only way to solve the ecological crisis is through cultivating holiness (LS 66).
Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, help us to cultivate holiness so that we might serve You in Your work of restoring the harmony of creation broken by sin.
Scripture: And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever”— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:17-20, 22-24)