did God dress Adam and Eve?
Lucia of Fatima wrote a last book that she finished on the 25th
of March 1997. Her
title in Portuguese is “Apelos da Messagem da Fatima”. We
got the English translation, “Calls from the message of Fatima”,
from a friend living in Fatima, Mr. Robert Nesnick. The address where
copies of Sister Lucia's book can be obtained is: Secretariado dos
Pastorinhos, 2496-908 Fatima, Portugal.
this book, Lucia speaks about the customs of her country at the time of
the apparitions and, naturally, she speaks about the clothing.
Sister Lucia of Fatima
that the clothes people wear in our own day had even a touch of the
modesty, the respect for human dignity, displayed by those worn by the
village women of those days! It will be good for us to recall here what
Sacred Scripture has to say on this subject: “Yahweh
God made clothes out of the skins for the man and his wife, and they put
them on.” (Gen. 3, 21).
did God clothe the first two human beings if, before that, they were
naked? Scripture itself tells us the answer:
Yahweh God gave the man this admonition, `You may eat indeed of all
trees in the garden. Nevertheless of the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil you are not to eat, for on the day you eat of it you shall most
surely die' (...) The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and
pleasing to the eye... she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave
some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes
of both of them were opened and they realized that they were naked. So
they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loin cloths.
God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put
them on.” This sacred text shows us that God covered the bodies that
had stripped themselves, through sin, of the garment of grace. For this
reason, we must all clothe ourselves decently, modestly and with
dignity. Those who appear indecently dressed are an incentive to sin,
and so are responsible not only for their own sins but also for those
that others may commit because of them. Reflect that fashion, if it is
indecent – and we see that the world unfortunately follows it as if it
were a law – is a trick of the devil, a clever trap in which the devil
catches souls, in the same way as hunters catch game in the woods and
did not give us clothing as an adornment in order to feed our human
vanity and frivolity. No! He gave it to us as a protection against sin,
as a sign of penance for sin committed, and a punishment for it, as well
as to remind us of the laws of God which we are all obliged to obey.
us begin by examining how it is a sign of punishment and penance for sin
committed, and a protection against temptation. The sacred text tells us
that, after they had sinned, Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with
fig leaves; but God did not think this was enough because, Sacred
Scripture tells us, He “made
clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on.”
(Gen. 3, 21).
follows a description of the punishment and the penance imposed on
account of the sin: “Yahweh
God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he
had been taken” (Gen. 3, 23). And this “until you return to the soil, as you were
taken from it. For dust you are and to dust you shall return.”
(Gen. 3, 19). Thus, after clothing them, God expels them from the
garden, but only after having imposed on them the penance of work,
telling them to cultivate the earth until they return to the ground from
which they were taken, in other words until they die.
beings brought the sentence of death on themselves by sinning in
disobeying the commandment of God, who had told them: ”But
of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in
the day that you eat of it you shall most surely die”.
(Gen. 2, 17) Yes, your body will die because you sinned and transgressed
the law of your God. But worse still, your soul will be lost forever
unless you repent and do penance. You will die, if you do not change
your life, if you do not return to obeying the law of your God.
however, that it is not only for these two reasons – punishment and
penance for our sins – that God clothes us; it served other purposes
too. Besides being a protection against sin, the modest clothing with
which we must cover ourselves is a distinguishing mark setting us apart
in the stream of immorality and enabling us to be, for the world, true
witnesses of Christ.
also serves to remind us of the laws of God, and of our serious
obligation to obey them. God, in fact, asked his people to wear, over
their clothes, concrete signs which would remind them of his holy
commandments: “Speak to the people of Israel and bid them
to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their
generations, and to put upon the tassel of each corner a cord of blue;
and it shall be to you a tassel to look upon and remember all the
commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart
and your own eyes, which you are inclined to go after wantonly”
(Num. 15, 38-39).
us look at what God is saying here: The
tassels of your clothes will serve to remind you of the commandments of
the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own
eyes, which you are inclined to go after wantonly.
clothes, then, are to be a protection for the eyes and the heart, so
that we will not allow ourselves to be caught in the temptations of the
flesh, the devil and the world.
tassels mentioned in the text undoubtedly envisage some kind of
decoration on our clothing; but such decoration must be in accordance
with modesty, with the dignity of the human person, with decency, in
short, with morality, prompting us to observe the commandments of the
Law of God.
let us reflect of the expression that God uses: “throughout
your generations”. This makes us think that God was not speaking
for the sake of the Israelites of the time alone. What He said to them
concerns us too, today, as it will concern those who come after us –
not in the external form of the sign chosen which, naturally, changes,
but in the meaning and specific purpose we must not lose sight of, if we
are to respect the order of things as God created them. Because the Law
comes to us from God and does not change; it is immutable as He himself
Sister Lucia of Fatima
This article was published in the May-June-July, 2003 issue of “Michael”.