Almost any culture, ethnic group or civilisation, since time immemorial, has a creation myth—to explain the existence of life and help people to cope with the hardships and the mysteries of living. Generally, myths are more or less elaborated stories of the birth of the Cosmos and of humanity itself. For Jews and Christians, the myth of Adam and Eve, already present in older religious traditions, is the opening key of the Bible. Myths have evolved into the most intricate theological speculations which present an obvious danger: when they tend to ossify and are seen as real facts, instead of pointing upward to an ultimate reality, they actually debase it. Literalism is, and always was, a source of religious misunderstandings, sectarian splits, even wars. Together with its twin brother, fundamentalism, it obscures the transcendence of the story—what was just a myth is able to spread fear and irrationality, even in a faith that has as one of its core messages: “Fear not!”
BASKING IN THE STRENGTH OF THE MYSTERY
What our faith assures us is the final liberation of humankind through God’s intervention and our personal and corporate collaboration, our personal and social covenant. Yes, evil is a mystery! How evil becomes personal sin is a mystery; how evil becomes a social sin is a mystery. Our own task is not to solve intellectually the mystery but it is to bask in the strength of the mystery because the mystery unleashes tremendous positive energies. We don’t need the solution for the mystery, what we need for a better life is an exposure to the mystery: such an exposure liberates us from the danger of all types of idolatries and opens us to infinite possibilities.
BY FR FRANCESCO PIERLI | COMBONI MISSIONARY, THEOLOGIAN