Hymns on Paradise 1-8

No More Mourning

It was not Paradise that gave rise to the creation of mankind; rather, it was for Adam alone that Paradise had been planted, for to its buds Adam’s heart is superior, to its fruit his words, because rational speech has more savor than the produce of Paradise.

-P. 110

Because God made the majority of Paradise before He created man, it is easy for us to lose sight of this concept St. Ephrem elaborates on in the above passage.  Man, indeed, was made to govern over “every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28), yet we forget this-our appointed superior status.  Christ’s words, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,” are strongly correlated to this concept and are a perfect tool to re-adjust our positions as kings who lovingly rule over nature, one of God’s greatest gifts to us.  It is especially important in the modern world to not let the environment, beautiful though it is, control us.  We must not let ourselves or fellow man—full of speech, which has “more savor than the produce of Paradise”—allow the sly tongue of nature to slither its way into our ear, whispering to taste foreign fruits of idol-worship (when tree-hugging becomes tree-worshipping) of what is natural and abandon our due honor to Him Who is Supernatural (111).  Who are we to keep our hearts hidden, by means of our shy mouths, when we see or hear of our brothers’ and sisters’ hearts being deceived by the heresy of worshiping nature—created—before God, the very Creator?  May we utilize our rational speech to help those deceived overcome the false glory of what is organic solely on earth and with divine mercy guide their hearts toward the Organic Originator the whole universe!

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