The Misery of Man

4 Apr

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The Misery of Man


The sin of Adam introduced new misery and anxiety into the history of man.  Turned away from God in sin, man experiences agony, a very special agony of spirit.  He becomes a slave of his own self, is in bondage to another self within him and longs for a freedom which he himself cannot give. His vision becomes self-centered; in his bondage he cannot turn from self.  The contingency of man in the natural state is now increased by the anguish of guilt.  The natural man knows the contingency of things; it requires the experience of a creative God to awaken awe before the abyss of pure nothingness over which man is suspended by the merciful hand of God. And the sinner knows that he does not have sufficient power even to annihilate himself.

Infinite offense requires infinite retribution: after Adam a redeemer had to be found whose merits or payment could equal the gravity of Adam’s sin: a second Adam had to make infinite retribution.

Ed.; George Brantl; Catholicism; Great Religions of Modern Man (George Braziller, New York, 1962 ©1961) p.62

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