Minute Meditations

What We Learn from Falling

Holding an apple | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

The Fall is not simply something that happened to Adam and Eve in one historical moment. It’s something that happens in all moments and all lives. It must happen and will happen to all of us. In fact, as the English mystic Julian of Norwich (1342–1416) said, “First the fall, and then the recovery from the fall, and both are the mercy of God.” It is in falling down that we learn almost everything that matters spiritually. (pp. 38–39)

• What have you been taught about “the Fall”? What does it mean to you that humans are “fallen”? In what ways does Fr. Richard’s teaching challenge or confirm your understanding of the Fall and experience of being fallen?

• What would it take for you to believe that God’s mercy is in both fall and recovery? What beliefs and understandings would have to change for you to accept and embrace this idea? 

—from the book Things Hidden Companion Guide by Richard Rohr (page 31)

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1 thought on “What We Learn from Falling”

  1. Arlene B. Muller

    Allowing the Fall proves that GOD gives us free will & wants our love & obedience to be given to Him out of free choice & not automatically like robots.
    But the Fall resulted in terrible consequences: 1. Forever human beings would have a sin nature–an inclination to sin, 2. Forever human beings would be subject to illness & infirmities, and all creation would be subject to going haywire & to “futility”. If the Fall had never occurred human beings & all if creation would be living in sinless perfection!! 3. In order to repair the relationship between GOD & human beings, GOD would have to take upon Himself & die.
    The repair is definitely proof of both the justice & mercy of GOD, because the LORD Himself took on humanity & suffered & died to repair the breach & forgive our sins. That is why at Easter Vigil we sing “O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam/that won for us so great a Redeemer.” That is the only way we can consider both signs of the mercy of GOD.
    Personally I wish we could have continued to live in sinless perfection in a world of sinless perfection. Unfortunately, however, our ability for free choice provides not only the blessing of freedom but the ability to choose evil instead of good.
    But I guess if the Fall had never happened we would never realize our need for GOD & we would never know the extent of GOD’S love.

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