Adam knew great grief when he was banished from paradise, but when he saw his son Abel slain by Cain his brother, Adam’s grief was even heavier. His soul was heavy, and he lamented and thought:
Peoples and nations will descend from me, and multiply, and suffering will be their lot, and they will live in enmity and seek to slay one another.
And his sorrow stretched wide as the sea, and only the soul that has come to know the Lord and the magnitude of His love for us can understand.
I, too, have lost grace and call with Adam:
Be merciful unto me, O Lord! Bestow on me the spirit of humility and love.
O love of the Lord! He who has known Thee seeks Thee, tireless, day and night, crying with a loud voice:
I pine for Thee, O Lord, and seek Thee in tears.
How should I not seek Thee?
Thou didst give me to know Thee by the Holy Spirit,
And in her knowing of God my soul is drawn to seek Thee in tears.
The desert cannot pleasure me; nor the high mountains, nor meadow nor forest, nor the singing of birds.
I have no pleasure in any thing.
My soul sorrows with a great sorrow:
I have grieved God.
And were the Lord to set me down in paradise again,
There, too, would I sorrow and weep – ‘O why did I grieve my beloved God?’
The soul of Adam fell sick when he was exiled from paradise, and many were the tears he shed in his distress. Likewise every soul that has known the Lord yearns for Him, and cries:
Where art Thou, O Lord? Where art Thou, my Light?
Why hast Thou hidden Thy face from me?
Long is it since my soul beheld Thee,
And she wearies after Thee and seeks Thee in tears.
Where is my Lord?
Why is it that my soul sees Him not?
What hinders Him from dwelling in me?
This hinders Him: Christ-like humility and love for my enemies art not in me.
God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe.
Adam walked the earth, weeping from his heart’s manifold ills, while the thoughts of his mind were on God; and when his body grew faint, and he could no longer shed tears, still his spirit burned with longing for God, for he could not forget paradise and the beauty thereof; but even more was it the power of His love which caused the soul of Adam to reach out towards God.
Silouan the Athonite (1866-1938; Eastern Orthodox): Adam’s Lament (extract), from St. Silouan the Athonite, by Archimandrite Sophrony @ Mystagogy.