And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
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Augustine of Hippo
[Man and woman] were aware, of course, of their nakedness, but they felt no shame, because no desire stirred their organs in defiance of their deliberate decision. The time had not yet come when the rebellion of the flesh was a witness and reproach to the rebellion of man against his Maker.
In the beginning, when God created man, he set him in paradise (as the divine holy Scripture says) adorned with every virtue and gave him a command not to eat of the tree in the middle of paradise. Adam was provided for in paradise, in prayer and contemplation in the midst of honor and glory, healthy in his emotions and sense perceptions, and perfect in his nature as he was created. For to the likeness of God did God make man, that is, immortal, having the power to act freely and adorned with all the virtues. When he disobeyed the command and ate of the tree that God commanded him not to eat of, he was thrown out of paradise and fell from a state in accord with his nature to a state contrary to nature, a prey to sin, to ambition, to a love of the pleasures of this life and to the other passions; and he was mastered by them and became a slave to them through his transgression.
Following this it says, "The two of them were naked, but they were not ashamed. " [ Gen. 2:25 ] It was not because they were ignorant of what shame was that they were not ashamed; for had they been infants, as the pagans say, Scripture would not have said that "they were naked but were not ashamed," nor would it have spoken of "Adam and his wife" had they not been adults. The names which Adam gave should convince us of his wisdom, and the fact that it says that "he was to work it and guard it" is to indicate his strength. Likewise, the law laid down for them is meant to testify to their adulthood--and the transgression of the law to testify to their arrogance.
It was because of the glory in which they were wrapped that they were not ashamed. Once this had been taken away from them, after the transgression of the commandment, they were ashamed because they had been stripped of it, and the two of them rushed to the leaves in order to cover not so much their bodies as their shameful me...
They were not ashamed because of the glory with which they were clothed. It was when this glory was stripped from them after they had transgressed the commandment that they were ashamed because they were naked. .
The resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to paradise those who were cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of life is compared to the angels.
"They were both naked," the text says, remember, "and were not ashamed." [ Gen 2:25 ] You see, while sin and disobedience had not yet come on the scene, they were clad in that glory from above which caused them no shame; but after the breaking of the law, then entered the scene both shame and awareness of their nakedness. So, from what source, tell me, did these things come for him to utter? Surely it's obvious that before his disobedience he had a share in prophetic grace and saw everything through the eyes of the Spirit.
These matters, however, I am bringing to your attention not without purpose; my intention instead is that even in this early instance you may grasp God's surpassing love (l23d) displayed in regard to human kind in granting them from the outset an angelic way of life, bestowing countless benefits on them and regaling them with prophetic grace along with all other goods. Then, when by contrast you see mankind's lack of response despite such works of kindness, you may ...
I WOULD LIKE TODAY, dearly Beloved, to open up for you spiritual treasure, which though distributed is never fully exhausted, which though bringing riches to everyone is in no way diminished but even increased. You see, just as in the case of material treasure people able to collect even a tiny nugget acquire for themselves great wealth, so too in the case of Sacred Scripture you can find in even a brief phrase great power of thought and wealth beyond telling. Such, after all, is the nature of this treasure: it enriches those receiving it without itself ever failing, rising as it does from the source which is the Holy Spirit. It remains for you, however, to keep careful guard on what is entrusted to you and preserve the memory of it untarnished so that you may with ease follow what is said, provided we make our contribution zealously. Grace, you see, is ready at hand and looks only for people welcoming it with generosity. Let us listen today also to what is read so that we may come to ...
“They were both naked,” the text says, remember, “and were not ashamed.” You see, while sin and disobedience had not yet come on the scene, they were clad in that glory from above which caused them no shame. But after the breaking of the law, then entered the scene both shame and awareness of their nakedness.
After stripping you of your robe, the priest himself leads you down into the flowing waters. But why naked? He reminds you of your former nakedness, when you were in paradise and you were not ashamed. For Holy Writ says, “Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed,” until they took up the garment of sin, a garment heavy with abundant shame.