So, I'm on vacation and have been lazy for the past few days. :)
Some of these sections give me thoughts, some, less so. This is one of those less so moments. It's not that the section isn't interesting and informative, rather, it's that I think because the sections build on one another, some of them are 'bridges'.
In this, the thing that's stuck in my mind is the phrase, 'free with the freedom of the gift'. Pope John Paul II was speaking, of course, of Adam and Eve, before the fall. How, in their original innocence, they were free in a way that we can no longer be. It's all speculation, of course. We have no real way of knowing what things were like, assuming that they were real people, what life was like.
I think, in my mind at least, I imagine they were childlike, in their innocence. Kids don't have a sense of shame until we give it to them. Kids trust and love, all the time. Adults are the ones who teach them that life is hard. That it's dangerous. That we can't be trusted. We lie and say things that we don't ever mean to follow through with. Kids say what they think, when they think it, until we teach them otherwise. So I imagine Adam and Eve would have been a lot like that. Innocent and open.
Can you imagine *walking* with God? I mean, literally, sitting down next to Him? Which raises the question, *if* the Genesis account were literal, what did God look like? We're told later on that no one could look on God's face and live, but maybe that was only because after the fall we had lost that openness and innocence. So could Adam and Eve look on God without dropping dead? Or, because God is outside of time, when they walked and talked with God, were they speaking to Christ in His Incarnate form? These are the things I think about, people.
Anyway. 'Free with the freedom of the gift.' What gift? Life. The Universe. Everything. (The answer to the ultimate question, by the way, is 42. Now you have to figure out what the question is...) But why were we given the gift? Love. So, in essence, the gift, whatever the physical manifestation of it might be, is, in fact, Love. And I capitalize that on purpose. Love vs. love. We love. We love other people, ourselves, our pets. Things, some of us. There are different kinds of love, different shades. But they are all reflections, snippets of the ultimate Love. So it could, alternately be stated that they were 'free with the freedom of Love'. They had it. They knew it, even if they had no words for it - not needing them, of course, since Love was all that there was, at that time. And they were free with it. They reflected that Love at one another, and at God.