Sin and Being Human

“Before the fall, man found nourishment in God who is life, and recognized Him to be the foundation of the life that filled his entire being. By freely choosing to eat of the forbidden fruit, in an act of self-sufficiency that revealed his preference for human nature over the gift of divine kinship, man removed himself from the source of life. He passed from a spiritual to a biological existence, from union with God to a life of independence, contrary to nature. By choosing to eat the perishable fruit, man is cast into a cycle of change and corruption, into a time marked henceforth by death. Once he is subject to death, he struggles to preserve life, trying to escape death.

The fall did not simply lead man into a biological form of life. It encompassed the whole of his psychosomatic being which, once turned from its intended state, submitted itself to instincts that led to the realm of the passions. Carnal pleasure for the body is equivalent to avarice for the spirit, all of which leads a person to be disconnected and lacking in harmony; it shatters his original unity. […]  

The more man is removed from his ultimate aim which is God, the more he is lured by creatures and creation, the greater the tragedy of his uprootedness, his alienation, and his suffering, caused by the disintegration of his being and by ultimate meaninglessness. Relative to man’s tragic state of separation from God, biological death, which is in itself already unacceptable, is of little consequence.

Man was not created for death and finality, but for immortality and eternity. To consider death strictly as a biological reality renders one insensitive to Christ’s death and Resurrection. Communion in His Resurrection, to be sure, does not spare us from biological death. Nonetheless, it bestows incorruption upon our soul, which is the vital principle that leads us from darkness into light.” (Michael Quenot, The Resurrection and the Icon, p 208)