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The World Now Fallen.

      We have begun looking at what Jesus Christ and the Bible tell us about this world.

      In creating humankind, God’s goodness made us in His own image and likeness (Gen1:26-27; Wis 2:23), part of which includes our intellect (ability to reason) and will (ability to choose, to act or not act). With these powers we have freedom of choice or “free will.” Free will attains its highest purpose, its perfection, when directed towards God.

      What if we use our free will to direct our actions in opposition to God – against the Good?

      That brings about evil. All of God’s creation is “very good” (Gen 1:31), but we have now removed some of that good by our willing something contrary to the Good, God. We have brought about some evil. All the evil we see in the world comes from humanity (and fallen angels) exercising their free will against God – God the total Good.

      As we said last week, we understand God only allows this because, in His greater power, He can bring greater good out of it all when we cooperate with Him in love. Love is possible only with the capacity of free will. God “risked” us having the potential to bring evil into the world so that we might also have the capacity to love. Love is only possible with free will.

      Genesis3 relates how our first parents, Adam and Eve, chose against God’s good will, seeking to usurp His good will by their own free will, and falling for the lie of the “serpent” (devil) who had made the same choice against God in his free will. The serpent presented an evil in its lying deception, but that did not affect Adam and Eve’s power of free will. Their choice was still free, still their own, still each his/her own responsibility.

      Human rebellion in rejecting God’s good had many consequences. Genesis 3 relates their experience of shame. of hiding from God. of blaming each other and the serpent – all evidences of immediate spiritual death, severing their unity with God and each other. Childbirth would now be in pain and the ground itself is now cursed and would require difficult work just for humanity to survive. St. Paul elaborates: creation itself is now subjected to futility in a bondage of decay; it waits with eager longing, waits to be set free, waits to obtain glorious liberty, groans with labor pains (Ro 8:19-23). So the world itself is now bound up with the mystery of evil and is “accountable to God,” a debtor to divine justice (Ro 3:19).

      Let’s look at these consequences another way. God established Adam as chief or head of the world (Gen 2:7-8, 15-17, 19-20, 23; 3:17-19, 22-24). Adam has given to the devil his person and his dominion over the world through his defiance of God (Gen 3:6, 17). So now the whole world is in the power of the evil one (1 Jn5:19; cf., Ro 3:9; 1 Cor 15:21-22), the prince or ruler of this world (Jn12:31; 14:30; 16:11), the god of this world, this present age (2 Cor 4:4), the devil, who has the power of death (Heb 2:14). In this “present darkness,” the evil spirits join the devil as the world’s rulers – those principalities, powers, and spiritual hosts of wickedness (demons, fallen angels) (Eph 6:12), the elemental spirits of the universe, weak and beggarly as they are, they who want to enslave us (Gal 4:3, 9).

      Yes, that’s right. The world is now ruled by the devil and his minions, the fallen angels. Humanity gave then that power. Their goal is to enslave humanity. Yes, make us slaves to them. That’s our battle. That’s the war. Right there in Scripture.

See Note Below
      So don’t be surprised at what you see in the world. The devil rules. He seeks to enslave.

      But the Lord has plans and purposes for the world (Is 14:26-27). God told us right back in the Garden that we had a sure hope of a future victory (Gen 3:15)*. It’s the hope we cling to (Ro 8:19-23), the hope in which we were saved (Ro 8:24), and the hope we patiently wait for (Ro 8:25).

      Have hope!

* Note: As indicated in the link to Genesis 3:15, the Latin Vulgate and other ancient manuscripts and early Church Fathers had this text as "she shall bruise your head" rather than the Hebrew MT text used in modern translations, "he shall bruise your head." The reference to the "seed" of the woman as "she" was traditionally understood to be the Blessed Virgin Mary; for manuscripts where the "seed" of the woman is "he," it is understood to be a reference to Jesus Christ.

Originally published in the print edition of the Mojave Desert News dated July 21, 2022.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church is located in California City, CA. Visit our website at
Dibby Allan Green has a BA in Religious Studies (Westmont College, 1978) and MA in Theology (Augustine Institute, 2019), is a lay Catholic hermit, and a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.