What if Adam and Eve didn’t sin? What would have come of it all? Don’t get me wrong: Eden must have been a nice place, but was it to be the end of the story? In any case, it was to be just the beginning of the human story. We have no way of knowing God’s Plan A, at this point, now after Adam and Eve provoked Plan B, i.e., the “after the fall” scenario.
However, “Plan B” became what we call “Salvation History,” and it reveals so much about the All Powerful, Merciful, and Loving God we call FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT. It shows His persistent love that can even bring life out of death.
In one garden—Eden —the man and the woman, our first parents, chose pride, rebellion, and the consequences that devastated not only the couple but the very creation for which they were to be caretakers.
So the Lord, in His richly symbolic way of communicating, chose another garden,Gethsemane, to initiate a reversal and so much more! “O happy fault”, proclaims the Church at the Easter Liturgy. Sin and death issue from partaking of fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. From the dead tree, the wood of the Cross, evil is turned around, death is conquered, and humans are more than restored! The New Adam makes it possible for us to be partakers of His DIVINITY: God’s original goal for us in the first place!
Therefore, when you meditate in a Mary Garden (hopefully in your own sacred space), please remember those other two gardens. YOU, dear friend, are meant to be part of this great journey of humanity to God that ultimately only God, only Jesus, can make happen. However you are in your garden, your particular part of the great journey. He loves your garden as poorly tended as it may have been at times! It's your particular story that He wants to redeem, turn around, restore, and transfigure by His love. Will you accept and respond to His gifts of redemption and sanctification?
He loves you as you are. Make sure you do too. Receive the gifts! Mary, the New Eve, is the Mother who wants to show you how, so that you may be transformed into Christ’s image by His grace.
The second annual Mary Garden contest is sponsored by the Museum of Family Prayer. Photo entries are due by July 26, 2021. Prizes will be awarded. Helpful information and inspiration will be added to the contest webpage throughout the contest.
About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!