|Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil|
On the other hand, since God had told Adam and Eve that they should not eat of the tree of good and evil, why was Eve hanging around this forbidden tree in the first place? The Garden of Eden was a pretty magnificent place with all kinds of sights, sounds and smells to delight the senses. What made her gravitate to the only thing in the entire garden which God had declared off limits?
God is not a sadist. He is also not a controller, unlike our enemy, Satan. The story of Adam and Eve portrays a God who lovingly instructed His Creation, and then allowed them to decide their own path with no manipulation on His part whatsoever. If Eve had called out to the Lord at any time, He would have come immediately and rescued her from Satan's devices. But instead, she chose to listen to Satan and make her own decision, apart from God.
|Mary says yes to Gabriel and the Holy Spirit|
|The Garden of Eden|
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil comes in many forms, shapes and guises. But it always amounts to trusting in ourselves over God, taking for ourselves the decision of right and wrong.
Yet, not many Catholics seem to believe this. There are many Catholics today who, to use biblical terms, tear their clothes and throw ashes on their heads, warning of doom and gloom, telling us that we cannot trust anyone but them. They tell us that our priests and bishops and even the Holy Father are evil and enemies of the Church. They tell us that the only thing we can rely on is "tradition." They tell us that everything happening in the Church today is of Satan. They tell us that it is actually imperative that we criticize those in authority over us.
And where do these critical Catholics get their authority? From their own knowledge and understanding. A priest, bishop, or the Pope says something that does not fit in with their understanding and views, and they feel they have an immediate right, nay a responsibility, to call out the one who disagrees with them as a heretic and evil. These critical Catholics feel that they, not Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, are the ones who will keep the Church on the right course. If they don't say something, Satan will take over completely.
Bishop Schneider is harshly critical of many of his fellow bishops, accusing them of being "traitors of the faith", He sees a split coming in the Church, "leading to an eventual renewal of the Church on traditional lines. But, he believes, this will not be before the crisis has plunged the Church further into disarray. Eventually, he thinks, the 'anthropocentric' [man-centred] clerical system will collapse. 'This liberal clerical edifice will crash down because they have no roots and no fruits,' he said."
As can be seen from the above quotes, Bishop Schneider denounces and condemns the contemporary Catholic Church, feeling it is headed for an inevitable collapse. Bishop Schneider does not seem to see any conflict between his belief and the promises of Jesus Christ that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church. Bishop Schneider puts his trust in "tradition." According to the article, "despite his concerns, Bishop Schneider is not pessimistic and believes that there is already a groundswell of support for traditional values that will, in time, renew the Church: 'Little ones in the Church have been let down and neglected,' he said. '[But] they have kept the purity of their faith and they represent the true power of the Church in the eyes of God and not those who are in administration.' "
To be fair, after making all of these terrible predictions and condemnations, he ends the interview by saying, "I am not worried about the future. The Church is Christ’s Church and He is the real head of the Church, the Pope is only the vicar of Christ. The soul of the Church is the Holy Spirit and He is powerful.” However, I find this statement to be quite troubling, as His Excellency seems to be discounting the importance of the Holy Father. He is quite right when He says the Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. However, he seems to feel that that way of obedience to the Holy Spirit is through "tradition" aside and apart from the hierarchy of the Church.
When Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre made the unilateral decision to disobey St. John Paul II, he said it was because he had no other choice. He felt that if he obeyed the Holy Father, his Society of St. Pius X would be destroyed. That is a classic example of those hanging onto tradition and making it into the tree of good and evil. Archbishop Lefebvre mirrored St. Peter exactly when Peter told the Lord that he would not allow Him to be crucified. "Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!" (Matthew 16:22). Peter was taking for himself the decision as to whether Christ should die. Our Lord's reply to Peter was, "Get behind me, Satan!"
Those who pray the Divine Office on a regular basis are familiar with Psalm 95, which is often used as the Invitatory Psalm. Part of that Psalm says,
"Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:Meriba means "quarreling" and Massah means "testing." This refers to an event in the travels of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land, as found here in Exodus 17:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me,
Although they had seen all of my works."
"1The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”As can be seen from this passage, the Lord places extreme importance on how people act towards those He has put in authority. The passage tells us that Israel was challenging Moses. However, in Psalm 95, the Lord says "they challenged and provoked me." The complaints of the Israelites against Moses seem to me to be very similar to those many Catholics make against Pope Francis, accusing him of spiritually leaving them in the wilderness to die, as can be seen in the statement by Cardinal Burke that the Church is like a ship without a rudder.
Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”
3But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
4Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
5The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
We know that The Lord interpreted the Israelites' rebellion against Moses as rebellion against Him. How do you think He is interpreting those who speak against His Vicar?
Psalm 95 tells us the fate of those who rebelled against Moses:
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
The ancient Israelites, in rebelling against Moses, were following the example of Adam and Eve in that they took of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, deciding for themselves what was right and what was wrong. They paid for this decision by missing out on the Promised Land and instead, dying in the wilderness.