The personal sin of Adam and Eve is called “originating original sin,” and the sin that is passed on to their descendants, with the exception of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, is called “originated original sin.”  Adam and Eve’s sin affected the whole human family by depriving them of the supernatural life they would have receive at birth were it not for their fall from grace.  A side affect of original sin is the inherited tendency to sin called “concupiscence.”  Etymologically, “concupiscence” can refer to any intense form of human desire.  Christian theology has given it a particular meaning: the movement of the sensitive appetite contrary to the operation of the human reason.  The apostle St. Paul identifies it with the rebellion of the “flesh” against the “spirit.” Concupiscence stems from the disobedience of the first sin.  It unsettles man’s moral faculties and, without being in itself an offense, inclines man to commit sins (CCC # 2515)Also see the Council of Trent: DA 1515.


Baptism destroys original sin, but as long as the body has not been “clothed with immortality” as it was prior to the Fall, sin may still find a way to reassert itself in a mortal body (see 1 Cor 15:54; Rom 6:12-14; CCC405; 978-980, 1264; 2520).


In 1 John 2:15-17, St. John wrote about the temptations of the world and how to overcome them: Do not love the world or what is in the world.  If anyone does love the world, the love of the Father finds no place in him, because everything there is in the world—disordered bodily desires, disordered desires of the eyes, pride in possession—is not from the Father but is from the world.  In this passage St. John identified three kinds of covetousness or concupiscence.  Compare St. John’s list of temptations in 1 John 2:15-16 to what tempted Eve to disobey God’s covenant prohibition in eating the fruit of the forbidden tree in Genesis 3:1-6.




1 John 2:15-16



Genesis 3:1-6


If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father finds no place in him, because everything there is in the world—

Love of God must come before, and not be in conflict with, love of what is in the world.



Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees…?


…disordered bodily desires,

the temptation of the flesh



The woman saw the tree was good to eat


…disordered desires of the eyes

the temptation of the what looks “good”



and pleasing to the eye, and


pride in possession

the pride of life in possessing that which is forbidden by God—a perceived “good” that God has judged “not good.”



that it was enticing for the wisdom that it could give

M. Hunt © copyright 2009