“And yet, Dom Paulo’s own Faith told him that the burden was there, had been there since Adam’s time…a burden impressed upon every generation before the opening of the womb, the burden of the guilt of original sin. Let the fool dispute it. The same fool with great delight accepted the other inheritance – the inheritance of ancestral glory, virtue, triumph, and dignity which rendered him “courageous and noble by reason of birthright,” without protesting that he personally had done nothing to earn that inheritance beyond being born of the race of Man. The protest was reserved for the inherited burden which rendered him “guilty and outcast by reason of birthright,” and against that verdict he strained to close his ears. The burden, indeed, was hard. His own Faith told him, too, that the burden had been lifted from him by the One whose image hung from a cross above the altars, although the burden’s imprint still was there. The imprint was an easier yoke, compared to the full weight of the original curse.”
– Excerpt from “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller, Jr.