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of mother Anna Maria Canopi osb

We live in the presence of God

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen 1:1): he created light, he created the sun, the moon and the shining stars, he created the countless species of animals and plants. With his omnipotent Word from nothing he gave life to the cosmos. And God saw that it was good and beautiful. And he rejoiced. Yes, everything was now ready for his last work, his masterpiece: «God said: "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness...".

And God created man in his image; in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them" (Gen 1, 26-27). In the complementarity of their gifts, he placed them in Eden so that together they could safeguard creation and be a help and a source of joy and continuous amazement for each other. An amazement that immediately became praise to God the Creator, Source of life and beauty:

«Bless the Lord, my soul! You are so great, Lord, my God! You are clothed with majesty and splendor, wrapped in light like a mantle, you who stretch out the heavens like a tent... How great are your works, Lord! You have done them all wisely; Bless the Lord, my soul. Hallelujah" (Ps 104, 2-3.24).

The amazement of man and the joy of God who delights in his beloved creature: "God saw everything he had done, and behold, it was very good" (Gen 1:31).

Behold, God had completed his work and could rest: «On the seventh day God ceased from all his work that he had done. God blessed the seventh day and consecrated it, because on it he ceased from all the work he had done in creating" (Gen 2,2:3-XNUMX).

In this rest God walked in the cosmos, "he walked on the wings of the wind" (Ps 104) and it was his custom to pause in the evening breeze with Adam and Eve, with man and woman. For this reason, he had breathed his Spirit into them, to have in them creatures endowed with intelligence with which to dialogue. The Bible says nothing about this dialogue, this mystical meeting. Was it pure silence? Was it singing? It was certainly full communion of love. God did not create and then retreat away from his creation; From the beginning he is the God-with-us, the loving God of his creatures.

Unfortunately, the Eden idyll was broken when God did not find Adam and Eve in the place of their usual meeting. Upon hearing his steps, the man hid: he knew, in fact, that he was left naked; he knew that, with the sin of disobedience, he had taken off the garment of light, beauty and truth, with which the Creator had clothed him, and he felt ashamed of it.

God, then, did what every good father does when he loses a child, what a friend does when he no longer finds his friend: he began to call the man: "Where are you?" (Gen 3,9:XNUMX).

After acting of his own free will, Adam feels sought by God. Because of his disobedience he had distanced himself from Him, he had tried to hide, but the Lord calls him, asks him a question that leads him to become aware of his inner confusion , of his escape. "Where are you?". The man is invited to open his eyes and realize his situation.

If he still wants to be with God, his Creator, he must surrender himself, live in obedience to his will which consists in realizing himself according to the divine plan, not in an autonomous way.

God is always with us, but we too must be with Him, with our mind and heart, with our whole being, in the awareness that He is the inexhaustible source of our life. 

If we live superficially, in the dissipation of physical and spiritual energies, we soon find ourselves without consistency, without meaning, without direction, without a goal. We can, however, always feel that call that led Adam back to become aware of his loss and therefore to return himself to his Creator, to the One who has lordship over every life, for which he traced a path and a goal.

If, chasing the mirage of a false freedom, man removes himself from the relationship with God, he closes himself in and becomes a slave to his own passions: he makes himself unhappy, because he can no longer roam the vast horizon of life and love . He could also be successful in social life, but sooner or later he would feel in that situation described by Ecclesiastes: "Vanity of vanities: everything is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1,2). He would find himself immersed in the meaninglessness of everything, dispersed in fragmentation: he would always feel "far away": far from himself and from others, because far from God. Truly he lives as someone "expelled" from his home, from his land, from his homeland (cf. Gen 3, 23).

Silvanus of Mount Athos gave voice, in a poignant way, to this pain of Adam: «Adam languished on the earth moaning, and the earth brought him no joy; he longed for God and cried out: My soul thirsts for the Lord and with tears I seek him...". 

But was God really far from him? Had she really abandoned him? In the biblical story there is a very significant detail: when God saw Adam and Eve naked because of their sin, he became a tailor for them: he "made tunics of skins for the man and his wife and clothed them" (Gen 3, 21).

In these clothes Adam and Eve were sent into exile, far from Eden, but in those clothes God was with them. And the exile of man was immediately transformed into a history of salvation which in the fullness of time, in the Person of Christ, the incarnate Word, will bring God himself into exile, will make him descend into the land of our distance to take up the sheep on his shoulders lost and bring her back to the pastures of heaven, to her splendid home. Because, just as we cannot live without Him, so He too cannot have fullness of joy without us.

Adam, where are you? It is a question that we should always hear resounding in the ear of our heart. And ask ourselves: Where are they? With you, Lord, or with idols, including my self?

I remember that when I was in middle school I had to walk alone for a good stretch of road in the middle of the countryside. Shy and insecure as I was, a sense of dismay, almost fear, came over me. Then I found a way to overcome the difficulty by looking at the sky. However, this worried my older brother a lot who feared that by doing this I would stumble or end up under some car (very rare then!). If this never happened to me, it is certainly because my guardian angel protected me and God was with me! I already felt the words of Jesus alive and true: «Do not be afraid. I am with you always, until the end of the world" (Mt 20,28).

O God, Source of life,

in the greatness of your love

you created the universe

and you made man

your privileged creature,

putting him in dialogue with You.

Do that, always listening to us

looked after and called by You,

we rejoice inwardly 

of our heart

and we'll answer you

fulfilling your every wish

and adoring 

your wonderful designs.

For Christ, 

our Brother and Savior,

Emmanuel, God-with-us.

Amen! 

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