(A long time ago, I started a religious work and didn’t know how to finish it. I am posting chunks of it this May.)
Before there was anything else, before there was time or matter or the compound of elements that is called water, or the thing learned men call light but cannot fully explain, there was God. He Was, and He Is, and He Will Be. He is One, but in some sense that we only dimly understand, He is also Three, and although the joy and love of His creatures is pleasing to Him, He does not need it, nor any form of companionship outside of Himself.
All power, and all wisdom, and all joy, and love are His. He made all that exists, and He sustains all that exists, and He has a plan for the joy and the glory of all that exists. He is Love, and He desires that all thinking creatures should share in the joy of that love. But love is only love when it is freely given, and so He created two kinds of beings, that we know of, which have free will.
These creatures still exist, and they have the power to choose, whether to love rightly and act rightly towards God and all creation, or to love wrongly, in a way that becomes hatred of God and His creation. The first kind are pure spirits, who had power over the physical world but did not belong to it. They have a terrible clarity of thought and will: to turn their attention to a thing is to know it with every part of their being, and to know it is to either love it or hate it with every part of their being, forever and ever.
The ones who love God and His Creation, and also love themselves in the right way, are called angels, and they do everything in their power to advance God’s plan for all Creation. But some of the spirits choose to love themselves so much that they hate everything else, and with this hatred they torment themselves so much that even their self-love is a kind of hatred. They fight against God’s plan, and are called devils.
The second kind of creature which can truly love or hate, is both a spirit and a body of flesh and blood. It can feel sensations and passions that a spirit alone would never know; it can learn by gathering information through its senses, but normally it cannot know things as directly as a spirit. Nothing is forever with this kind of creature, until God calls it before Him at the end of its life. Until then, it has the power which the angels lack, of changing what it loves and what it hates. These are called humans, which is to say, us.
They were meant to dwell in harmony with God and each other, with the angels and with all creation. But the first man and the first woman chose to be persuaded by one of the devils, and they rebelled against God’s plan. No one on earth knows what exactly they did, but this writer believes that they may have altered time and the physical world in such a way that pain, suffering and disorder entered all Creation, and infected it straight back to the beginning of time.
But God’s plan remains, and it unfolds in spite of every evil done by man or woman or demon. The core of His plan is the Incarnation: the Act in which God became Man and transformed the horror and suffering that humans had brought into the world by taking it upon Himself. From the moment creation was tainted, He has been reaching out to humanity, offering to show them how to rightly love Himself, and themselves, and everything else.
This is called Grace, and it comes from the Incarnation, even when it comes to those who lived before the Incarnation, for God is not bound by time or space or anything else that He made or that man and woman damaged. And yet the Incarnation made the channels of Grace broader, clearer and far more open, for the times which came after it than for the times which came before it.
If you seek to love God, He will give you the strength to love Him and cooperate with His plan. This is also called Grace. Many waver and falter along the way-this writer certainly has. Most of those who stand firm, still bear the scars of humanity’s rebellion in their souls or on their body.