The movie Titanic came out when I was in the sixth grade, and I was the only one of my friends who was not allowed to watch it. My parents explained in great detail how the content was not appropriate for me; I see now how they were protecting my impressionable eleven-year-old heart. Even so, I learned all the famous lines and could belt out My Heart Will Go On as well as anyone in order to avoid being asked the embarrassing question, "Are you really not allowed to see it?"
In the Garden of Eden, God gave a simple command to Adam and Eve. They could eat of any tree except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (See Genesis 3:16-17.) They would have learned about good and evil eventually, just not through actually sinning. Instead Satan came along, taunting Eve and twisting God’s commands, asking, Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden? (See Genesis 3:1.) Eve was filled with an irresistible desire to know good and evil, and like a pre-teen who sneaks and watches a movie she shouldn’t, suddenly knew too-much too-soon and experienced the fear of having disobeyed.
My parents did not make rules about movies to cramp my style or ruin my life but for my good. They modeled their care for me off of God’s desire for the good of Adam and Eve.
His commands are for our good, even when the world tells us they are too hard and not worth it. He is always working for our good, even when we do not see how things will end up, when things seem hard and bleak, and when doing it our way seems easier. He offers us the grace to resist the temptations that tell us His commands are overbearing and ridiculous.
And when we fail, God draws us out of our hiding places and pours His healing love into our wounded hearts as if to say, Nothing you do can keep Me from loving you. Living in His love is our only good.
Have you seen this image made by a Trappist Nun in Iowa? It's the Blessed Virgin Mary as the new Eve.
Susanna Spencer is the Theological Editor for Blessed is She who studied theology and philosophy in her earlier life. She happily cares for her three adorable little girls, toddler boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul when not writing and editing. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here. She is the Theological Editor of both the Catechism Studies and the Mystery Studies.