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Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us Sinners

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.” St. Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises invites us to meditate on three sins and their consequences: the sin of the angels, the sin of Adam and Eve, and the personal sin of one individual lost for all eternity on account of this one mortal sin.

The angels are beautiful, majestic, spiritual beings created by God, who reflect His perfection; they are to love Him, adore Him, serve Him, and glorify Him. Created with free will, they are free to choose God or not, to be faithful to Him or not. One of the angels rebels against God, a voice ringing out in Heaven as it were: “And you said, ‘I will not serve.’” (Jeremiah 2:20). This rebel angel then induces other angels to sin also, to rebel against God. As we read in the book of Revelation: “And another sign appeared in Heaven; behold a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth” (Revelation 12:3, 4). Then war breaks out in Heaven between Michael and his angels—the angels who remained faithful to God, who did not sin—and the dragon and his angels (Cf. Revelation 12:7). The dragon and his angels lost the battle, “they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12:8-9). Thus Jesus said: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). St. Ignatius quotes these verses from Isaiah regarding the angel who rebelled, the Devil: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High’” (Isaiah 14:13-14). These rebel angels—the Devil and his angels—who, at their creation reflect the beauty, glory and majesty of God, now look like hideous monsters and are cast into the depths of hell, into “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41) There they hate, curse and blaspheme God for all eternity, when they were created to be with Him in Heaven, to love and possess Him for all eternity. These are the consequences of the sin of one angel—the Devil, Satan—who was the first angel to sin. St. Ignatius asks us to consider the motive of the sin: pride.

Adam and Eve were created by God to love Him and to be with Him in Heaven for all eternity—they and their offspring. God created them in the state of original holiness and placed them in an earthly paradise as we know. They too were created with free will—free to choose God, to be faithful to Him or to sin. In Genesis 3 we read that the serpent, who is identified as the Devil in Revelation 12:9 lies to Eve, and tempts her to eat from the tree which God had forbidden her and Adam to eat from. “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5)…these words call to mind the words quoted above: “I will be like the Most High…” (Isaiah14:14) Eve discourses with the Devil, the serpent; this is something we should never do. She believes his lie, falls into the temptation; she eats of the forbidden fruit and then tempts Adam to eat if it. He takes and eats. This one sin of Adam and Eve, a sin of disobedience rooted in pride—the original sin—brings death to all of humanity, to all of the future offspring of Adam and Eve. Thus Jesus says of the Devil: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” After this one sin of Adam and Eve, a deluge of sin ensues; humanity will sin until the end of time. These are just some of the consequences of the one sin of Adam and Eve—the original sin—which, as we mentioned, was rooted in pride.

Read more at Catholic Exchange 

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