Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
One of the astonishing discoveries we have made during the last two decades of research into the evolution revolution is that, to use the words of Darwin’s most effective salesman, Ernst Haeckel, “evolution’s greatest triumph” was not the result of scientific demonstration but of persuasive iconography. Indeed, the Church leadership’s failure to turn back the revolution resulted in large part from a failure to refute the false iconography of the evolutionists with the true iconography of Sacred Tradition. Today, most Catholic intellectuals actually try to reconcile the false iconography of evolution with the Catholic Faith, completely oblivious of the true Catholic iconographic tradition.
The Original Splendor of Adam’s Nature
The first mention of clothing in the entire Bible occurs in the book of Genesis after the Fall of Adam. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were clothed in the glory of God. This is why the Byzantine Vesper Verses for the Feast of the Transfiguration liken the glory of Jesus on Mt. Tabor to the original glory of Adam:
Through your transfiguration, You returned Adam's nature to its original splendor, restoring its very elements to the glory and brilliance of your divinity. Wherefore we cry out to you, the Creator of All, "Glory be to you."
The Blessed Mother bore witness to the exalted character of man’s original nature and told Venerable Maria of Agreda that:
Adam in regard to the body was so like unto Christ that scarcely any difference existed. According to the soul, Adam was similar to Christ. From Adam God formed Eve so similar to the Blessed Virgin, that she was like unto her in personal appearance and in figure. God looked upon these two images of the great Originals with the highest pleasure and benevolence, and on account of the Originals He heaped many blessings upon them, as if He wanted to entertain Himself with them and their descendants until the time should arrive for forming Christ and Mary.
According to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich:
Adam and Eve] were like two unspeakably noble and beautiful children, perfectly luminous, and clothed with beams of light as with a veil. From Adam’s mouth I saw issuing a broad stream of glittering light, and upon his forehead an expression of great majesty.
In contrast to the exalted reality of our first parents’ physical and intellectual perfection, crowned by divine grace from the moment of their creation, the iconography that adorns the textbooks of most Catholic schools and universities all over the world portrays the first human beings as “primitive.” This false iconography conditions our young people to believe that what the Angelic Doctor calls the “first perfection of the universe” never existed and leads them to believe that we have “evolved” far beyond the primitive state of our remote ancestors. This, in turn, prepares them to receive the anti-gospel of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and his disciples who tell them that we will achieve perfection in the future by taking evolution into our hands, modifying the genetics of plants, animals, and our own bodies, to reach the Omega Point, the perfection that never existed in the past. The Teilhardians exhort Catholic youth to embrace a New World Order in which a one world government will manage the environment, the climate, public health, and the global economy to achieve Utopia on earth.
The Fall and Its Aftermath
The children of the Enlightenment based their rejection of Divine Revelation on a new faith in naturalism. It was more “reasonable,” they argued, with Descartes, that the same natural processes occurring today produced the present order of nature than that the creative action of God produced the order of nature in the beginning. It followed from this article of their creed that there had not been an original state of perfection in the beginning of creation. Instead of an exalted human nature, which fell into the present state of corruption through Original Sin, they imagined a primitive state, followed by a long history of progress, not through the assistance of God’s grace, but through man’s unaided efforts to acquire knowledge and to master the material world. From her bed of suffering, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich gave the lie to these arrogant speculations by bearing witness to the violent contrast between the world before and after the Fall, as she beheld it in her visions. She told Clemens Brentano:
Adam and Eve before sin were very differently constituted from what we, poor, miserable creatures now are. With the reception of the forbidden fruit, they imbibed a material existence. Spirit became matter; flesh, an instrument, a vessel. At first they were one in God, they sought self in God; but afterward they stood apart from God in their own will. And this self-will is self-seeking, a lusting after sin and impurity. By eating the forbidden fruit, man turned away from his Creator. It was as if he drew creation into himself. All creative power, operations, and attributes, their commingling with one another and with all nature, became in man material things of different forms and functions.
Once man was endowed with kingship of nature, but now all in him has become nature. He is now one of its slaves, a master conquered and fettered. He must now struggle and fight with nature—but I cannot clearly express it. It was as if man once possessed all things in God, their Creator and their Center; but now he made himself their center, and they became his master. I saw the interior, the organs of man as if in the flesh, in corporeal, corruptible images of creatures as well as their relations with one another, from the stars down to the tiniest living thing. All exert an influence on man. He is connected with all of them; he must act and struggle against them, and from them suffer. But I cannot express it clearly since, I, too, am a member of the fallen race . . .
The first man was an image of God, he was like Heaven; all was one in him, all was one with him. His form was a reproduction of the Divine Prototype. He was destined to possess and to enjoy earth and all created things, but holding them from God and giving thanks for them. Man was, however, free; therefore was he subjected to trial, therefore was he forbidden to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. In the beginning, all was smooth and level. When the little mound, the shining hill upon which Adam stood arose, when the white blooming vale by which I saw Eve standing was hollowed out, the corruptor was near.
After the Fall, all was changed. All forms of creation were produced in self, dissipated in self. What had been one became many, creatures no longer looked to God alone, each was concentrated in self.
Mankind at first numbered two, then three, and at last they became innumerable. They had been images of God; but after the Fall, they became images of self, which images originated in sin. Sin placed them in communication with the fallen angels. They sought all their good in self and the creatures around them with all of whom the fallen angels had connection; and from that interminable blending, that sinking of his noble faculties in self and in fallen nature, sprang manifold wickedness and misery.
While Enlightenment savants spun fantasies about man’s original happiness in a state of nature, Blessed Anne was shown heart-breaking visions of Adam and Eve’s misery in their fallen condition:
After some time, I saw Adam and Eve wandering about in great distress. They were no longer beaming with light, and they went about, one here, the other there, as if seeking something they had lost. They were ashamed of each other. Every step they took led them downward, as if the ground gave way beneath their feet.
They carried gloom wherever they went; the plants lost their bright colors and turned gray, and the animals fled before them. They sought large leaves and wove them into a cincture for their loins. They always wandered about separate.
The effects of the false iconography of “primitive man” pervade our culture. I will confine myself to mentioning one particularly insidious example in this newsletter, which has eroded the virtue of modesty, even among Catholics who strive to take their faith seriously. On several occasions I have heard Catholic teachers say that since our first parents were “naked and were not ashamed” before the Fall, and since Our Lord redeemed us from all our sins, we need not be overly concerned with “old-fashioned standards of modesty”! In reality, God Himself clothed our first parents in animal skins to protect their modesty from the time of their banishment from Eden, and He always exhorted His people to practice strict modesty in dress in both the Old and the New Testaments. This is explained and demonstrated in detail in the article “The Genesis of Modesty.”
Through the prayers of the Mother of God, may the Holy Ghost guide us all into all the Truth!
P.S. Today is a First Saturday. Please be sure to answer Our Lady’s appeal for the First Saturday devotions as described by the Fatima Center at this link.