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Sin Bombs, Unity Glue


You might remember when I was reading the Inferno to my little ones (we dropped it after I decided it really wasn’t appropriate bedtime reading), my daughter Nora insisted on illustrating each canto as I read. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been reading a neat basic Orthodox Christian catechism called The Law Of God. It’s pitched to kids, but I tell you, I’m learning from it myself. Tonight we read a chapter about the effects of the Fall — that is, how, precisely, the Fall affected human nature. The author, a priest, explained that the prelapsarian human person was a unity of body, soul (mind), and spirit, oriented toward God. And he explained how the first sin, the eating of the fruit of the tree, affected all three parts, causing the unity to fracture. This is why God had to incarnate, and conquer death, the catechism explains. By His power, and through His gift of grace, our souls gradually become reunified.

When I finished, Nora had illustrated the lesson in her special way. Above, “sin bombs” fall on the peaceful, happy unity of the human person. Below, God (right) and an Angel (left) are trying to repair the break with Unity Glue (grace), which other Angels are working hard — hence their grimaces, and the sweat flying off their heads — to bring to the person, to repair the breach. We have to try hard to restore ourselves, with God’s help, so, “Push!”

She does this every time I read a chapter of the catechism to them. I hadn’t thought about it till tonight, but the fact that she’s drawing out an interpretation of I’m teaching them shows that she really is taking it into her imagination, and learning it.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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