2. Angela’s Paradise
Little Angela was so excited with all those things her mum told her about the creation of the world and man, that it took her a long time to fall asleep.
The following day when she woke up, she got up quickly and ran into her mummy’s arms and gave her a kiss. Her mother hugged her sweetly, kissed her on her little head and asked her if she slept well.
-Mummy, I slept so nicely last night in our sweet God’s embrace, that I am not able to describe my happiness to you!
-I am glad my sweet love that you slept so well.
-Mummy, I dreamed about all those things you told me last night about heaven, earth and everything that our God created. It was so wonderful.
-What did you dream about and that made you so happy?
-Well, mummy, I saw the good God making all those things that you told me about. But most of all, mummy, I was happy when He took me in His arms and showed me Paradise. How wonderful it was mum! There were many angels shining brightly and they smiled at me. But there were also many people shining like the angels and who were so happy mummy! There were many children too. I didn’t want to leave there at all! I begged our good God to let me live there along with the other children, but He told me that this will happen one day, but not now. He said to me, that if I'm a good child, one day I will go and live there permanently. And I told Him that I will try very hard to be a good child and do good deeds, like my mum and dad, in order to go to Paradise.
-What else did you tell Him my sweetheart?
-I told Him mummy that I have two siblings, Christina and Joseph, whom I love so much, and that they would also love to come to the beautiful Paradise.
-And what did our good God answer?
-Yes, my little Angela, if they are good children too and love everyone, I will also bring them here to My Paradise. Tell everyone Angela, that I made Paradise for all My children who live on earth and I want all of them to come here. But since only love and peace exist here, I will bring here all those children who live on earth with love and serenity in their hearts, doing good deeds to each other. That’s what He told me.
-Then you should tell these things to your siblings my Angela.
-Mum, can I tell these things to my friends at school too?
-Of course my baby, our good God will be very pleased.
-Then I will eat quickly mum, so that you can take me to school earlier today, so I have time to tell them.
-You will have enough time in the breaks to tell these things to them, my sweetheart. But, you didn’t tell me, did you give our good God a sweet kiss, when you were in His embrace?
-Yes, mummy, He was also continually giving me so many kisses, that I didn’t want to ever leave His embrace. I have never felt such happiness and joy mummy. You and dad love me very much, but the love our good God gave me was so great that it was unlike any other. I felt so much happiness and joy close to Him, mummy!
Mother Sophia was listening with surprise to what her little treasure was saying about her dream. Many times she felt very emotional and tears of joy were pouring from her eyes. She felt that it wasn’t just a dream but a little revelation of God to her simple and innocent little angel, so that all of us can learn how much God loves us and wants all of us to go into His Paradise.
But she also took more courage to continue the path of love and virtue with greater desire. It's nice to know that at the end of this road your heavenly Father and God is waiting for you to enclose you in His divine embrace and enjoy His wonderful Paradise.
While her mother Sophia was preparing Angela’s breakfast, our little girl, fascinated by her beautiful dream, kept thinking about Paradise where she had been. She wanted so much to go there one day that she was determined to do everything in order not to lose it. She wanted all the people to go there and her friends too. She was living the happiness she had felt in God’s embrace so intensely, that she couldn’t imagine that one couldn’t want to go there. While she was eating she asked her mother:
-Mum, are there any children who don’t want to go to Paradise?
-No, my child, but there are some people and children as well, who don’t want to live as our good God wants them to, and they hurt Him a lot with their mistakes, so they can’t go there.
-Why don’t they want to live as our good God wants us to?
-Because, my child, they just don’t trust His words and so they don’t want to obey His fatherly divine advice.
-And why, mummy, don’t they trust our good God?
-Because they don’t love Him with all their heart like their Father and God, and the result is that they don’t think that it is necessary to listen to His advice.
-So why doesn’t He scold them as a dad, as my own dad does, when I make mischief?
-My baby, God wants whatever we do in our life, to do it with our own will and not by force or violence. He wants us to love Him because we want to and not because He is forcing us to. Why do you love me? Because your sweet heart loves me or because someone is forcing you?
When little Angela heard those words, she stood up immediately from the table where she was eating and went into her mum’s embrace.
-Mum, my sweet mum, you know how much I adore and love you! Nobody is forcing me to love you. You're the sweetest mum in the world, therefore I adore you.
Sophia hugged her little treasure tightly in her arms and covered her with caresses and kisses.
It was an amazing sight seeing a sweet mother holding her treasure tightly in her embrace. Neither Sophia could hold her little girl enough, nor did little Angela want to let go of this wonderful mother. A perfect picture of unique love and adoration.
There can be many kinds of love on earth, which every man seeks according to his desires, but the most perfect love which exists is between a mother and her baby; you cannot find such a love anywhere. It isn’t just a simple kind of love, but the most perfect personal love that can exist between people.
The source of this motherly love is in the heart of God our Father and from this each mother draws her love to offer it to her baby. For this reason, although it is said that this love is motherly, essentially it is divine. God loves each man with the same motherly adoration and love.
Angela seemed to be deep in thought, when her mum told her that it was time to go to school. But a new question troubled her mind.
-Mother why aren’t we in Paradise, since our good God made it for us?
Little Angela’s simple observation gave to mum Sophia the chance to think that she should soon explain to her little girl the tragic history of Adam and Eve’s eviction from Paradise.
-Tonight I’ll explain to you, my dear Angela, the reason why we are not in Paradise now, but we must struggle to become good people in order to enter it. Today I will tell you about Adam and Eve’s mistake in Paradise, so that they were sent out of it and therefore we are all not in Paradise.
Angela’s anxiety to learn about this event was great, but also the time had passed and she had to leave. So she kissed her mummy sweetly, took her motherly blessing and left for school.
The joy of Paradise
The evening came soon. After dinner, Angela sat in her father’s embrace, beside the fireplace. She adored her dad. For her he was "her king". But he also enjoyed her childish love and seemed to be the happiest dad in the world, having "his little queen" in his embrace.
Mother Sophia took little Joseph in her arms and sat near the warm fireplace too.
Angela, whose query about us not being in Paradise now was urgent, started the conversation first.
-Come on, mum, tell us about Adam and Eve. I am anxious to learn about them. What happened in Paradise that our good God sent them out of it?
-Before I continue the story, I would like you Angela to tell me if you remember how our God created the first man.
-I remember mum. First He took soil from the earth and made man’s body and then He blew His divine breath of the Holy Spirit into him.
-Well done, my Angela. Do you remember how He created Eve?
-Yes, when Adam fell asleep, He took one of his ribs and made his wife, Eve.
-Very well. What did our good God do next?
-He blessed them and told them how they should live in order to be joyful and happy.
-Do you remember what He advised them?
-No mum, you didn’t tell me what He advised them.
-Well, we will continue our story from this part. When Adam saw in front of him the woman who God gave him, he couldn’t hide his joy and happiness. He had a human like himself before him, to whom he could talk and keep company with from now on.
He was so glad that he couldn’t stop showing Eve the beauties of Paradise; the animals, his beloved friends, the lakes and rivers, the beautiful flowers and everything that adorned Paradise with their presence.
Eve seemed to enjoy everything she was seeing. But above all her heart was beating with great joy and love when she was looking at her beloved God.
But God also couldn’t enjoy the happiness of His children enough. He said to them that He made this beautiful Paradise for them and His will was to take care of it and to enjoy the tasty fruits from the trees, which would be their food. He only asked them to be careful of one tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which was in the middle of Paradise and to never eat the fruit from this tree.
-Why mum didn’t He want them to eat this fruit?
-Because they would immediately lose the innocence which was given to them by the Holy Spirit, since in their minds there would not only be the concept of good but also the concept of evil. So man wouldn’t like to do only good things but also bad things. Then he couldn’t live in a holy way, as God would want, but with many sins and badness which would hurt God. As a consequence of this, man is not able to be close to our holy God anymore, but he must go away from Him, and so his spiritual death would happen.
-What does spiritual death mean mum?
-It means, not living in the grace of the Holy Spirit; that is, not feeling the presence of God. Then you don’t have joy, serenity and happiness anymore in your soul but sadness, agitation, anxiety and absolute spiritual loneliness.
-Oh my! I can’t imagine that I could do something to hurt our good God and make me go away from Him!
-This command of God was the first which He had given to humans and wanted in this way to test their trust in Him.
-Mum, why did He want to test their trust?
-Because in real love, the person who loves trusts the other and doesn’t refuse to do anything that is asked of them by the other person. Can you trust someone you don’t love? And if you cannot trust him, are you willing to do whatever he asks you to do?
-No mum. I trust whatever you say to me and I want to do whatever you ask me, because I love you so much.
-Well done my little girl. What makes a mummy happy is, when her child loves her, trusts her and does what she says, because her child knows it's for his own good. My joy, my baby, is not so great when you tell me that you love me, as when you trust whatever I tell you and you do it with good will. That’s exactly what God wants from all His children; to show their love towards Him by absolutely trusting Him and doing His holy will. That was the meaning of His first command to man. He wanted to test his love through the absolute trust that he would show Him and the obedience of His holy will. Did you understand this, my baby, or do you want me to explain it to you better?
-I understood it mummy. Our God would be happy if man would trust Him with all his heart and would do with pleasure what He would ask him to do.
-Well done, my sweet love. When you know that the one who loves you trusts you sincerely, then you feel joy and happiness in your soul.
-I also have joy and happiness, mum, because I trust you and my sweet daddy a lot.
Little Angela’s last words caused emotion and joy to mother Sophia as well as to her beloved husband. Her dad held his brilliant little princess tightly in his fatherly embrace and her mum glorified God once more for her little treasure.
Everyone in this house lived the joy of Paradise while still living on earth, because of the love they had for each other, but mostly with the love and absolute trust they had in their beloved God and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.
It was easy for mum Sophia to interpret all these great issues of faith, because both she and her husband as a couple, lived in joy and happiness through the trust they had for each other and also their obedience to God's holy will.
They wanted to transfer the experience they live to their children. They believed that this is the main role of a good parent; to live God’s will and then to help his children, first by his example and then with his teaching, so that they live according to His will too.
They believed that every child should learn that the real father and affectionate mother of his soul is the heavenly God himself. His parents are just God’s divine nannies, who take care of him with much affection and love in order one day to become a real angel of God, a pearl of heaven.
God’s sadness in heaven
After they all had a hot cup of tea, mum Sophia continued the story. It was the right time to help her child to understand what great harm was caused to man by the entrance of sin into his life.
Sin is the greatest obstacle for a human soul to enter the joy of Paradise, which is the heavenly God’s Kingdom. The angels of God live in this heavenly kingdom as well as all those people who loved God with all their heart and while on earth they struggled with all the power of their soul to live according to God the Father’s will.
Sophia wanted to help their children become faithful Christians and saints in Heaven one day.
-There was someone who was very jealous of the joy of Paradise, that the first people created lived, my dear Angela, and wanted to destroy it.
-Really mum? But weren’t all those people in Paradise beloved and friends to each other? Who was the jealous one?
-There was someone there, who was created before God made this entire beautiful world, as I told you. He was an angel in heaven at first, indeed, the leader of angels. His name was Lucifer. When he saw the great glory of God, he was very envious and wanted to drive our good God away from His throne and become god of the world himself.
-Oh my! Why did he do this mum? Asked little Angela surprised.
-When, my child, selfishness and jealousy enter a soul, then this soul becomes dark instead of bright and bad instead of good. Then it can’t bear being close to our good God and goes far away from Him. From that very moment this soul doesn’t want to do good things anymore, but only evil and sin, which hurt our good God a lot.
-And what did God do then?
-He was very sad with the ingratitude of His creature and He sent him out from the heavenly Kingdom, so that he didn’t infect it. Then Lucifer, from an angel of God and a bright creature, became a horrible demon with an awful and dark form.
-What did the other angels do mum?
-It created a great disturbance in heaven. Lucifer tried to trick the other angels into following him, by telling them that he will become god and he will rule over the entire world.
Then a great archangel called Michael, stood among them and told them the real truth with divine words. He told them they would only be absolutely cheerful and happy close to the true God and their Father, while they would live only pain and unhappiness near the ungrateful Lucifer.
Fortunately, the majority of angels followed the great archangel Michael and remained faithful to the true God and their creator. They have remained good and bright angels ever since. The rest, who were deceived by the convincing words of Lucifer and followed him, became demons and instead of being handsome, good and bright which they were at first, they became very ugly, evil and dark. God allowed all of them to fall into a dark and miserable place, hell, and this place was to become their home. Since then Lucifer and all the demons that have followed him, have a unique work to do; the opposite of what our good God wants. Their purpose is to lead into hell where they live, all God’s creatures, who believe and follow them in their dirty work.
When trust is lost
-How sad our good God would be with what happened! Are there many people who follow the evil demons and do what they tell them?
-Unfortunately yes, my child. There are several who were deceived by evil Satan and do very bad things.
-And did Adam and Eve get tricked and do anything bad?
-Yes, they were tricked by Lucifer’s cunning and disobeyed our good God.
-And how did evil Lucifer appear in Paradise, mum?
-He took the form of the most intelligent and prudent animal that was in Paradise, the form of a snake, and appeared to man. We don’t know how the first form of the snake in Paradise was, because it changed and took the form we know today, after it was cursed by God when it led man to sin.
-What did it say to him and trick him?
-It went near to Eve, when she was alone and told her how nice and tasty the fruits of the tree were which had been forbidden by God. Eve’s first reaction was to say that God didn’t want them to eat the fruit from that tree because they would die immediately. But the snake insisted on saying to her cunningly that everything that God told them were lies. They wouldn’t die, but by eating that fruit they would know the knowledge of good and evil which only God knows and so they would have infinite knowledge like God. To sum up, it told them that as soon as they ate this fruit, they would become gods.
-What did Eve do then, mum?
-She couldn’t understand the cunning of Satan, who was testing her trust in God with trickery at that moment and started walking along with the snake towards the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Then she noticed for the first time how beautiful and aromatic its fruits were.
-Why, mum, didn’t Adam help her?
-Because, on the one hand, he wasn’t there when the devil approached her and on the other hand, she didn’t go to discuss with him what the evil snake had told her. So Eve herself without realizing it made the tragic mistake of not trusting her husband with what happened to her, but she made the decision by herself to do something without Adam’s approval.
-So she ate a fruit from the tree, which our God had forbidden?
-Yes, she stretched out her hand, picked the fruit from the tree and ate it. It seemed to her very tasty and aromatic, so she picked another one to give to Adam.
-And what about him? Did he eat too?
-Yes, my child, despite at first refusing and telling Eve that it wasn’t God’s will, seeing her insistence to try it, he took it and ate it. Satan’s plan had succeeded. All those things that God had promised to give man wouldn’t happen now.
-What had God promised to man, mum?
-When He created him, my little girl, He said to him that He made him the finest creature on earth. He made him so that he looks like his God, as His perfect image; having mind and logic to be able to become one with his God. Just like wine and water unite in a glass and become one, man would be too, through the absolute love and trust he would have in God. That’s what Satan was jealous of and wanted to definitely ruin our good God’s plan.
-Did Satan finally succeed mum?
-Not completely. He certainly managed to get Adam out of Paradise, but our good God prepared a salvation plan for His deceived creature in order to restore Paradise back to him. What was this plan mum?
-He would send His beloved son Jesus to earth to be born like man and teach us how we could enter God’s Kingdom.
-This is wonderful mum and I would like you to tell me about it!
-I'll tell you about it next time so you can see what a sweet and affectionate heavenly Father we have. But now I will continue the story, my child, about what happened to the first humans when they ate the forbidden fruit. As soon as they ate the fruit they started feeling weird. The grace of the Holy Spirit slowly started abandoning them as well as the joy and peace they had in their hearts. Their souls’ innocence was lost and a cunning, which they never had until then, started ruling over their minds.
-How did they realize it, mum?
-Well, when they saw each other, they immediately felt ashamed because they were naked.
-Didn’t they feel ashamed before?
-No, because their souls were innocent, like a small child’s. Does our little Joseph feel ashamed, when I wash him naked or when you change his clothes?
-No mum, because he is still baby.
-That’s exactly how Adam and Eve’s souls were. They were both innocent like babies, that’s why they weren’t mean or cunning. But when they ate the forbidden fruit, they lost their innocence and the knowledge of evil and cunning began entering them. Therefore, when God came to Paradise to visit them that afternoon, they hid amongst the trees feeling ashamed.
"Where are you, Adam?" cried God. "I heard your voice Lord and I was afraid, because I am naked" he replied to Him. "And who told you that you are naked? Did you eat from the forbidden fruit?"
Then, my dear Angela, unfortunately instead of apologizing to our good God for his mistake, he started justifying himself.
-What did he say mum?
That it wasn’t his fault but Eve made him eat the fruit. Then God asked Eve why she did that. She, instead of apologizing for her disobedience to God's command, said to God that it was the snake’s fault as it had deceived her.
-Our good God must have been very sad with their behaviour, mustn’t He mommy?
-Yes, my baby, He was very sad, not only because man infected his soul with evil and cunning but also because he didn’t have the courtesy to apologize for his mistake so God could forgive him.
-What did God do then mum?
-He decided to evict them from Paradise.
-Oh my! Mum, I am so sad now! Why did He have to send them away from Paradise?
-Because man’s soul had already been infected with sin and Satan, with his cunning and badness, had power over man, so evil will be in Paradise forever. Then Paradise wouldn’t be a place of joy and happiness anymore but of cunning and evil.
Do you see, my sweet little girl, what bad came to man because of his lack of trust and obedience to our good God?
-Yes, mummy. But I am so sorry for Adam and Eve. They must have been very unhappy!
-Yes, indeed, they were very unhappy. They didn’t have joy and peace in their hearts anymore but the pain, sorrow and distress that sin causes.
-Is that the way all the people lived from then on, mum?
-Yes, my baby, until the time when God with mercy for His children wounded by the devil, would apply their salvation plan, which He had decided.
-What was God’s plan for man’s salvation, mummy?
-Now, my little girl, it is already late and you look a little tired. We will all go to sleep and tomorrow we will continue our story. Goodnight my baby.-Good night mummy and thank you for everything I learnt from you today. Good night my sweet God! I believe in You, I adore You and I love You!