Harmony between God and the soul: Adam and Eve conversed familiarly with the Most High who used to walk with them at twilight in Paradise; He often left His footprints in the sands of their garden.
Harmony within man himself between his body and soul:
The senses were active but they were submissive to reason and will; concupiscence existed but it was just concupiscence not evil concupiscence; the powers of desire were not inordinate.
Harmony all about man, between him and nature: The animals were subject to him and were not hostile to him. Inanimate nature did not refuse its secrets to his work, which was but a joyous extension of his activity and not as it has become in part at least — fatiguing labor. “You shall eat your bread in the sweat of your brow.”
Then came the Fall. Immediately this beautiful balance was destroyed. Man revolted against God. The result: Man’s senses rose up against right reason, and against the will enlightened by faith; nature and all about man turned hostile. There would be wild beasts and venomous creatures among the animals; the earth would resist his toil and the labor of generations to come, revealing its treasures only with discouraging parsimony and at the cost of fearful toil and sweat.
What should be most profitable for my meditation is the consideration of the revolt in man himself, his lower powers against his higher powers. From then on, man would have to struggle against the triple and fatal inclination, which was born in him:
An inclination to take an exaggerated possession of the goods of the earth, the fruit of concupiscence of the eyes:
Man will rush after all that glitters. How many crimes have been committed because of an unregulated love of money!
An inclination to seek after excessive carnal satisfactions contrary to true discipline of the senses and the commands of God. What crimes have not the follies of lust produced!
An inclination to pride: Man, proud of his liberty, but not sufficiently concerned about keeping it in dependence on reason and the Divine Will, runs the risk of forgetting the majesty and sovereignty of God and the prime duty of obedience to the Master of all.
How can one struggle effectively against this triple and dangerous inclination?
Do violence to self, declare spiritual writers with good common sense. First and foremost among them in suggesting this technique is Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Choose the counterpart: poverty, chastity, obedience.
Religious men and women make it the matter of a vow. Their lives serve as an inspiring example to draw forward those whose lesser courage or less demanding vocation have kept in the common way of life.
I shall hold religious life in high esteem. Although my vocation is different, I shall learn to live in a wise spirit of detachment from created things, of chastity according to my state, and of obedience to the Holy Spirit.