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-   -   For the Son of God became man so that we might become God. (http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=420405)

Corruich Jan 27, '10 11:38 am

For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
Could you please help me to better understand Section 460 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church? It reads as follows:

460
The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81


I am especially concerned about the quote from St. Athanasius ("so that we might become God") as well as the quote from St. Thomas Aquinas ("so that he, made man, might make men gods").

These are from the following sources:

80 St. Athanasius, De inc., 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.

81 St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57: 1-4.

Thank you for your time.

-Corruich

FCEGM Jan 27, '10 11:45 am

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Corruich (Post 6219053)
Could you please help me to better understand Section 460 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church? It reads as follows:

460
The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81


I am especially concerned about the quote from St. Athanasius ("so that we might become God") as well as the quote from St. Thomas Aquinas ("so that he, made man, might make men gods").

These are from the following sources:

80 St. Athanasius, De inc., 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.

81 St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57: 1-4.

Thank you for your time.

-Corruich

This is expressing the faith of the Church in what is called "theosis" or divinization. It means that by grace - not be nature - our incorporation into Christ raises us up to participate in His Divinity (as St. Peter teaches), not to have that divinity by our own right. This article should help:

http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/a124.htm

ryanoneil Jan 27, '10 12:34 pm

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
Is it related to becoming the Body of Christ?

Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of it. (1 Cor 12:27)

Corruich Jan 27, '10 1:25 pm

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ryanoneil (Post 6219258)
Is it related to becoming the Body of Christ?

That is how my deacon explained it to me. You become part of the Body of Christ. Christ is God. You become part of God. Therefore, you become God.

I was a little unsure of that explanation though. I thought I would post it here and get some more opinions.

-Corruich

Corruich Jan 27, '10 1:42 pm

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
I found the full St. Athanasius article De Incarnatione Verbi Dei (On the Incarnation) that is referenced in this section of the Catechism. However, I am still struggling to find the full text of the referenced St. Thomas Aquinas work.

I figured out that it is actually this:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusculum 57, in festo Corporis Christi, lectures 1-4

Even knowing that, I am still having trouble finding the full text online. Does anyone have a link to it?

Thanks,

-Corruich

DCNBILL Jan 27, '10 1:45 pm

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Corruich (Post 6219443)
That is how my deacon explained it to me. You become part of the Body of Christ. Christ is God. You become part of God. Therefore, you become God.

I was a little unsure of that explanation though. I thought I would post it here and get some more opinions.

-Corruich

There is a prayer said during The Mass that most Catholics do not hear because it is said “inaudibly,” that reflects this theology. During the pouring of the drop of water into the wine the deacon (or priest if no deacon is present) says, “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the Divinity of Christ as He humbled Himself to share in our humanity.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace,

bill

dnu Jan 28, '10 8:59 am

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
This concept of Theosis is what the Mormon Church tries to build on. Theosis is about becoming one in substance with God. The Mormons used this and teach that one can become one 'apart' from God through eternal progression. It can be tricky talking to them because they will say "the early church taught deification of man," which is, in part, true because of the notion of Theosis. It's just that Mormonism teaches Apo-Theosis, which is a different matter altogether.

Jesusaves777 Apr 27, '13 4:11 pm

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Corruich (Post 6219494)
I found the full St. Athanasius article De Incarnatione Verbi Dei (On the Incarnation) that is referenced in this section of the Catechism. However, I am still struggling to find the full text of the referenced St. Thomas Aquinas work.

I figured out that it is actually this:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusculum 57, in festo Corporis Christi, lectures 1-4

Even knowing that, I am still having trouble finding the full text online. Does anyone have a link to it?

Thanks,

-Corruich

Having trouble with this is pretty common, before I became a catholic it made me leave RCIA and the church. The quote from this part of the catechism is straight from a sermon that St. Thomas Aquinas did. The catechism puts it down verbatim. This is troubling for a lot of catholics..but a victory for Evangelical Christians and anti-catholics. One principle that we need to uncover is that the catholic church believes in the Trinity and that there is one God.Other heretical religions that state that you can "become a god" say it over and over for mind control to make you believe what the serpent said in the garden. The catechism says ;"I. "I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD"

200 These are the words with which the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed begins. The confession of God's oneness, which has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Covenant, is inseparable from the profession of God's existence and is equally fundamental. God is unique; there is only one God: "The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence."3

201 To Israel, his chosen, God revealed himself as the only One: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."4 Through the prophets, God calls Israel and all nations to turn to him, the one and only God: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.. . To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 'Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength.'"5

202 Jesus himself affirms that God is "the one Lord" whom you must love "with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength".6 At the same time Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is "the Lord".7 To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in the One God. Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as "Lord and giver of life" introduce any division into the One God:

We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal infinite (immensus) and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty and ineffable, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple.8" So, the catholic church expresses and believes in one God and Lord of all. I think maybe that could have been a mistranslation from St. Aquinas and no one caught it, but at any rate, we do not believe that we can become gods...there is no way! Sharing in His divinity, sure but we can never reach a state of "godhood" I think that line in the catechism needs way more research. So this was so long and I hope it was a help.

JimG Apr 27, '13 7:41 pm

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
To put it even more simply, we believe that incorporation into Christ through the sacraments imparts sanctifying grace, a free gift of God. And sanctifying grace is a sharing in the life of God, which sanctifies us, and makes us capable of living in heaven. It is not a piece of God, but rather a created sharing in his divine life.

fhansen Apr 28, '13 2:59 am

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
This doesn't mean that man can become God, but rather that he becomes a god, by God's divine fiat, a work of His, the Potter molding the clay into His desired creation. This has always been Gods will for us, because He wants the best for man, who's already made in His image, potentially an emanation or expression of His nature, and there's nothing better than to be God, which man already knew intuitively, and attempted to attain, but the wrong way:

398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully "divinized" by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to "be like God", but "without God, before God, and with God".279

Apart from God man can do nothing, to paraphrase John 15:5. Man can't be God; our very existence will always depend on Him, but man can participate in Gods nature, experiencing the pure, ineffable happiness that this goodness entails.

dmar198 Apr 28, '13 4:02 am

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Corruich (Post 6219053)
Could you please help me to better understand Section 460 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church? It reads as follows:

460
The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81


I am especially concerned about the quote from St. Athanasius ("so that we might become God") as well as the quote from St. Thomas Aquinas ("so that he, made man, might make men gods").

These are from the following sources:

80 St. Athanasius, De inc., 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.

81 St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57: 1-4.

Thank you for your time.

-Corruich

First, re: Thomas's Oposcula. "Oposculum" means "a little writing." Thomas wrote many works great and small. Some of his writings are only sermons or brief notes he wrote down for some reason. Since these "little writings" aren't large enough to publish as separate works, they have been collected together and given numbers for easy reference. The collected "little writings" are called "opoculua" because in Latin you can change some things from singular to plural by changing the -um into an -a. The specific document in Oposcula 57 is a sermon he gave on the feast of Corpus Christi, and a larger portion of that sermon can be found here.

Second, re: divinization. It does not mean men become God in the sense of changing what we are. It is in the sense of adding certain divine qualities to what we are. It is easier to think about if you realize that we will become equal to the angels: angels have much more in common with God than we do. They are pure spirit while we are matter and spirit. They have an instantaneous intellect while we have a slow and mechanical intellect. They see God directly while we don't see God at all. They can move instantaneously while we move slowly. Their choices are irrevocable while our choices change with time. They have immense power while we are absolutely weak. In all these ways angels share in the qualities of God to a much greater extent than we do, and in Scripture the angels are called gods because they share the divine nature, even though they are not divine persons.

Now when we go to heaven, we are made equal to the angels. All the ways in which we are now inferior to them will be glorified and we will not only be their equals, but in several ways we will surpass them, because not only our spiritual nature will be glorified, but, in the Resurrection, our physical nature will be glorified too, so we will have all that they have plus glorified bodies too. Because we will share equally with the angels all the divine qualities that God bestows, we say that we will become gods, similar to the way angels are spoken of as gods in the Bible, and this does not mean that they (or we) are divine persons, but that they (we) share in the divine nature much more completely than we currently do. In fact, St. Thomas Aquinas says that we will enjoy "the full participation of the Divinity, which is the true bliss of man and end of human life." (Summa Theologica III, Q. 1 A. 2) Every power and glory of God that is not part of His divine essence will be conferred on us, and this means a full participation in His divine nature (not His divine essence), but without losing our humanity, without becoming divine persons. It is the counterpart of the Incarnation: Jesus assumed every part of our human nature without losing His divinity and without becoming a human person. He remained a divine person, but added a human nature. We will remain human persons, but the divine nature (everything about God that is not part of His divine essence) will be added to us.

Anyway I hope that helps you understand something about this mystery.

grannymh Apr 28, '13 5:53 am

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
The primary explanation is Genesis 1: 26-27, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, paragraphs 355-368.

grannymh Apr 28, '13 5:35 pm

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
The texts for footnotes in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition are in this book.

The Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
A Compendium of Texts Referred to in theCatechism of the Catholic Church,
Ignatius Press. ISBN: 0-89870-450-2 (HB) ISBN: 0-89870-451-0 (PB)

snarflemike Apr 29, '13 8:17 am

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
I've often wondered if this, partaking in God's divine nature, is the answer to the question "why can't/won't we sin in heaven?" Perhaps it is this partaking in the divine nature that makes sin impossible, even while we still possess free will.

Do the unfallen angels partake in God's divine nature?

Jesusaves777 Apr 30, '13 5:30 am

Re: For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by snarflemike (Post 10681471)
I've often wondered if this, partaking in God's divine nature, is the answer to the question "why can't/won't we sin in heaven?" Perhaps it is this partaking in the divine nature that makes sin impossible, even while we still possess free will.

Do the unfallen angels partake in God's divine nature?

There is no such thing as sin in heaven. God hates sin and it cannot reside in His presence. In heaven we lose the flesh and are totally free from sin and made perfect, based on the fact that #1- Sin and the devil is for the weak #2- God is just that awesome and has dominion over death, hell and Satan...PERIOD!!!! Thank you I hope this was a help. :thumbsup:


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