“The woman whom You gave to be with me, she deceived me…”
Do you understand what Adam is saying? “I am no longer looking for God, but only to justify myself.” Instead of hearkening to God, Who had called out to him, Adam has turned inward, so that God becomes a frightening, external force: “I heard the sound of You, and I was afraid.” And what is he afraid of? He is afraid of the truth about himself, afraid that God will not accept his self-justifying explanation of what happened. And what explanation was this? That God Himself was to blame for what happened! Because that is what Adam meant when he said, “The woman who YOU gave me, she deceived me, and thus this all all YOUR fault, God.”
This is the appalling sin that we commit every day: we seek to justify ourselves before God and those around us. We are ready to blame God in order to save our own life, to preserve ourselves in our state of sin. But once Adam had spoken in this way, there was no longer any possibility for communion between him and God. And that is also what has happened to us. Cut off from God, severed from the light, we are but miserable little creatures… infatuated with our selves and with no interest in looking to God.
And this happens every day. Suppose you have words with another nun, and after a few minutes, you learn that the elder wants to see you. Right away you think: “Hmm. She’s told him we’ve had words. But I’ll tell him what really happened!” At that moment, you fall away from God. You’re thinking only about your self; you’re concerned only to justify your actions, to preserve yourself in your state of sin….
And so it was with Adam: “I’m over here, hiding, because I was afraid to see you, because I’ve sinned. I’m afraid that you wouldn’t accept my excuses; that You’d say it was all my fault. I was afraid that you would not longer acknowledge me as Your child.” To be sure, Adam’s desire to justify himself, the various excuses he contemplated, were the signs of certain death. And this is why St. Makarios says: “When Adam fell away from God, he died spiritually.” Seeking to justify himself, Adam condemned himself to life without God.
Until then, the damage wasn’t fully done; the blow could have been blunted, the tragedy averted…. He could have raised his arms to God and cried: “God, I am your voice, your self-expression; I am your creation, your child, and I have sinned. Bend down and hold me; save me before I parish completely!” Instead, He said, in effect: “What do You want, God? Have you come here to judge me?”
~Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra