The Real Fall and God’s Decisive Action

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The “original” sin is not primarily that man has “disobeyed” God; the sin is that he ceased to be hungry for Him and for Him alone, ceased to see his whole life depending on the whole world as a sacrament of communion with God. The sin was not that man neglected his religious duties. The sin was that he thought of God in terms of religion, i.e., opposing Him to life. The only real fall of man is his non-eucharistic life in a non-eucharistic world. The fall is not that he preferred world to God, distorted the balance between the spiritual and material, but that he made the world material, whereas he was to have transformed it into “life in God,” filled with meaning and spirit. . . .

But it is the Christian gospel that God did not leave man in his exile, in the predicament of confused longing. He had created man “after his own heart” and for Himself, and man has struggled for freedom to find the answer to the mysterious hunger in him. In this scene of radical unfulfillment God acted decisively: into the darkness where man was groping toward paradise, He sent light. . . . The light God sent was His Son . . .

from For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann

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