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dualism that have become endemic in popular culture.The

book of Genesis recounts something that really happened.

Writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the au-

thors seek to convey to us the truth of divine revelation

that the source of the moral evil we see around us lies in

the human will of a single moral agent who failed to em-

brace the offer of divine communion intended by God to

define the supernatural destiny of human nature. Good

and evil are not equally matched forces locked in an eter-

nal struggle. The goodness of creation and the omnipotent

goodness of God are not undone. Foreseeing the fault, God

out of love foreordained the remedy. And, for the record,

we are not born bad.

Conclusion: the harrowing of hell

In Western art, the Resurrection is typically depicted

with Christ in the very act of rising from the tomb, sur-

rounded by prone soldiers who are either asleep or amazed

at what they are witnessing. But in Eastern iconography

what is depicted is not the Resurrection as such, but Christ

at the moment when he breaks open with his cross the gates

of hell and reaches out to Adam and Eve, with Saint John

the Baptist—his precursor even here—standing to the side.

The scene is perfectly described in a passage froman ancient

homily for Holy Saturday: “[The Lord] has gone to search

for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring

to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of

death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam

and Eve, he who is both God and son of Eve. The Lord

approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had

won him the victory.”



Liturgy of the Hours

, vol. II, Holy Saturday, Office of Readings, 497