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Creation of Man

Adam and Divine Infatuation by Fr Tadros Malaty

A Relationship of Reciprocal Love

God is love; and in His love, He created the soul, a breath emanating from Him, capable of love not on account of its own being, but on account of the soul’s relation to God, Who is unconditional love. The soul is on the image and likeness of God; it longs for Him; it is drawn to Him and is fulfilled by Him.

The divine-human relationship is not like that of a statue with its maker nor an irrational creature with a mighty god. Rather, it is a relationship of reciprocal love; even an infatuation between two lovers where one is the image or shadow, and the other is the archetype.

There is a chasm between humanity and the rest of creation. God did not create man like the rest of earthly creatures the telos of which is their utter and instinctual obedience from which they cannot deviate. As for man, his relationship to His creator is likened to an attraction between an image and its archetype. [Our] worship is that of reciprocal love. The archetype is pleased with the image and adopts it while the image receives the pleasure of the archetype. [The image] rejoices in Him willingly rather than by necessity.

God made man not because of His need for him or his worship. God is not even in need of the heavenly ranks that long to serve Him. Rather, He created man on His image and likeness to be the subject of His pleasure because man is His express image—before [such image] was ruined by man [in the Fall]. We are indebted to the beneficent God because of His love for us even before we were made. Zephaniah thus says,

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). 

God’s Pursuit of Man

  • God loves and man receives His love.
  • God gives and man receives the gift.
  • God cares and man comprehends divine care.

Oh, how ignorant are those who imagine a mighty God sitting on a high and elevated throne far from people and their troubles not caring whether they rejoice or toil. They imagine Him as did Aristotle for whom God was like a chess player moving the pieces regardless of their will or a leader that stands like a dignified statue while human beings are mere soldiers who imperatively move according to his command.

You constantly embrace me as if there is none but me!

God did not create man to distantly behold him nor to terrorize him commanding him to offer sacrifices and oblations to appease Him lest He consumes man with anger, as some suppose. Rather, God is love infatuated with His beloveds. What then does He offer to His beloved man? He offers Himself as paradise for the human soul. He offers him [a physical] paradise to fulfill the needs of his body. Likewise, He gave man dignity, bestowed on Him a command of love, and planned for him a salvation when he fell… Finally, God created man on the last day of creation that the extent of His preoccupation with and care for man may be manifested. God made all things for man to grant him sublime joy.  

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