First Sunday of
Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
3rd December 2017
Adam and Eve and the Nature of Men by St.
"And God took the man whom He has created and placed him
in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it."
Note, the person who was taken and the land where he was
formed. The virtue of God, therefore, took man and
breathed into him, so that man's virtue will advance and
increase. God set him apart in Paradise that you may
know that man was taken up, that is to say, was breathed
upon by the power of God. Note the fact that man was
created outside Paradise, whereas woman was made within
This teaches us that each person acquires grace by
reason of virtue, not because of place of birth or of
Hence, although created outside Paradise, that is, in an
inferior place, man is found to be superior, whereas
woman, created in a better place, that is to say, in
Paradise, is found to be inferior. She was first to be
deceived and was responsible for deceiving the man.
Wherefore the Apostle Paul has related that holy women
have in olden times been subject to the stronger vessel
and recommends them to obey their husbands as their
masters. And Paul says: "Adam was not deceived, but the
woman was deceived and was in sin".
This is a warning that no one ought to rely on himself,
for she who was made for assistance needs the protection
of a man.
The head of the woman is man, who, while he believed
that he would have the assistance of his wife, fell
because of her. Wherefore, no one ought to entrust
himself lightly to another unless he has first put that
person's virtue to the test. Neither should he claim for
himself in the role of protector one whom he believes is
subservient to him. Rather, a person should share his
grace with another. Especially is this true of one who
is in the position of greater strength and one who plays
the part of protector. We have advice of the Apostle
Peter, wherein he recommends that husbands pay honour to
their wives: "Husbands, in like manner, dwell with your
wives considerately, paying honour to the woman as to
the weaker vessel and as co-heir of the grace of life
that your prayers be not hindered".
Therefore man was placed in Paradise, while the woman
was created in Paradise. The woman, even before she was
deceived by the serpent, shared grace with a man, since
she was taken from a man.
Yet "this is a great mystery", as the Apostle said.
Wherefore he traced the source of life from it. And so
Scripture refers only to man in the words: "He placed
him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it". The
act of tilling and the act of keeping are one and the
same thing. In tilling there is a certain exercise of
man's virtue, while in keeping it is understood that the
work is accomplished, for protection implies something
completed. These two acts are required of man.