Recognize the forbidden fruits you eat in your life
Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Like any Catholic boy who has attended over 13 years of Catholic schooling, I know the story of Adam and Eve by heart. First, God makes a paradise for two humans, Adam and Eve, that is filled with everything they could ever want — food, love, peace, no hatred and no waking up for 8:20 chemistry labs. They did not have to work a 9 to 5 job or do anything at all. Adam and Eve could sit around all day praying and naming animals if they wanted to, for eternity. There was only one rule: Do not eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. As long as they did that, the paradise was theirs. But we all know what happens — one day Satan comes in the form of temptation and convinces Eve to eat from the tree. Once God finds out, Adam and Eve are banished and live in exile the rest of their mortal lives.
Whenever I hear this story, I always think to myself, “Geez, if I was Eve, I would never have eaten that fruit and given it to Adam.”
“How could she be so naïve? It’s so obvious. They gave up everything and cursed me with original sin because they could not ignore a snake.”
As I was reflecting in Mass this past Sunday on its theme of salvation, however, I started to ponder the question — “Would I really not have eaten the forbidden fruit?” I mean, it’s easy to sit here thousands of years later and tell myself I would never eat from the tree of knowledge. In reality, though, how many times a day do I myself jeopardize my own salvation? After all, cheating, lying, hating and judging are all forms of sin that could block me from entering the gates of heaven. But whenever I do these things, I do not really think of them as something that could jeopardize my paradise. Sure, I parked in the student parking lot before 4 p.m. knowing full well that I did not buy a parking pass, but I’m a good person, I donate to the poor. Or, yes, I did skip Mass this week because I needed to study for my exam, but I’m a good person, I did 100 service hours this year. And — the classic — OK, I did take four bananas out of the dining hall, but I am a good person, I pray and light candles at the Grotto every Monday night. Would these petty sins really cancel out all the good and glorious deeds I have done in God’s name?
I, of course, do not know the answer. I am sure there are thousands of pages of Church doctrine on the subject, but in the end, God is the final judge. I am by no means trying to sit here and evangelize readers into becoming orthodox Christians who will pray six hours a day in order to not sin ever again. I myself commit petty sins daily and know it is impossible for me to rid myself of sin, no matter the reward. So, would I have eaten the fruit? I do not know. But, next time you hear the story about the primitive humans eating the forbidden fruit, and you tell yourself you would have done differently, you should first recognize the forbidden fruits you eat in your life every single day.
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.