This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24 -- Feast of Eve the Matriarch

Apple Computer Laptop Image
This is the feast of both Adam and Eve.  A lot is made of the apple scene, with the serpent and everything.  Drop "Eve + serpent" in the Google Images and see how many ads and cartoons you come up with.  Thousands, right?  Look below: there's an apple laptop image, an ad for Dior perfume, and an  ad for Altoids.  Then again, there are a phenomenal number of art works.  I may have included a Rodin, which was more subtle than most, but you'll see them all in the Google Images. 

Altoids Sour Apple
But set aside all that for a moment.  Don't lose sight of the idea that with the acquisition of knowledge, Adam and Eve lost immortality, innocence, and a close bond with God.  Keep it in the peripheral vision as you consider this instead. 

Pitching Perfume
The first parents -- without a community for consolation -- without cards and lilies and obituaries and anyone to sit shiva with them -- had one son kill another and then suffer exile.  In one day, two sons were lost and there was no literature, no tradition, no frame of reference into which they could place their grief. 

Rodin:  Eve and the Serpent
Now, look back at the acquisition of knowledge for which they traded immortality, innocence, and their close bond with God. While they bury Abel, and contemplate Cain -- grieving, marked with God's curse as he flees east -- they have to wonder, was their knowledge worth this suffering?  Would they have had sons without the knowledge?  Would the sons have wished to be born, knowing what lay ahead?  Would Eve, the mother who bore and nursed these two boys, have made the same choices if she had known what the future held for her and them?  And now ask yourself whether things have changed all that much between Eve's condition and yours. 

We make much of our knowledge, but there is much more we do not know.  We must take it on faith that, summing up the good and the bad, life will on balance be worth living.  And giving. 

If you get a chance, thank your Mom for taking the chance that lets you make your own way.  I'm lucky enough to have already said this to my Mom, since she reads this blog. 

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