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  #1  
Old Jun 15, '12, 9:56 am
Colorad007 Colorad007 is offline
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Default Two tough theological questions

1.) I'm struggling with understanding Christ's nature before the Incarnation. I understand that he was pure spirit before the Incarnation, but afterwards, including after His Ascension into Heaven, he maintained his body, though in glorified form, correct? I was having trouble understanding, then, how we can say that God is unchanging. Is only His divine nature unchanging? It seems that after the Incarnation, Christ totally changed for the rest of eternity. Moreover, wouldn't that change sort of "tie" him to temporal existence? In other words, if God is above time, then wouldn't having a body, even a glorified one, make him a part of history, time, etc.?

2.) If Mary is fully unitied to the Blessed Trinity, and the Trinity lives in our hearts, is it fair to say that Mary and the Saints likewise live in our hearts?

Thanks for all of your help with these tough questions.
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  #2  
Old Jun 15, '12, 11:05 am
SonCatcher SonCatcher is offline
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Default Re: Two tough theological questions

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Originally Posted by Colorad007 View Post
1.) I'm struggling with understanding Christ's nature before the Incarnation. I understand that he was pure spirit before the Incarnation, but afterwards, including after His Ascension into Heaven, he maintained his body, though in glorified form, correct? I was having trouble understanding, then, how we can say that God is unchanging. Is only His divine nature unchanging? It seems that after the Incarnation, Christ totally changed for the rest of eternity. Moreover, wouldn't that change sort of "tie" him to temporal existence? In other words, if God is above time, then wouldn't having a body, even a glorified one, make him a part of history, time, etc.?
Indeed. God became a part of time and a part of creation by taking our form upon Himself. Doing so did not lessen Himself, however. He is still eternal. Rather, it is the method by which He chose to perfect us, His creation, and make it possible for us to enter timeless Heaven.

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2.) If Mary is fully unitied to the Blessed Trinity, and the Trinity lives in our hearts, is it fair to say that Mary and the Saints likewise live in our hearts?
I don't think so. Even though the Saints are no longer bound by time and place, they do not have the ability to transcend either. They can participate to the extent that God enables them but cannot will any action separate from Him.

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Thanks for all of your help with these tough questions.
You're welcome.
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  #3  
Old Jun 15, '12, 11:28 am
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: Two tough theological questions

Here are some of the basic theological formulations to serve as a starting point.

God is a Trinity of Persons. He is one in essence / substance, but made up of three persons. These three persons are divine persons and are pure spirit.

Jesus, the Son, is the second person of the Blessed Trinity. In the Incarnation, Jesus took on human flesh. He remains one divine person, but he has two natures: a divine nature and a human nature. The union of these two natures in the one divine person is called the hypostatic union.

In His divine nature, Jesus never changes because God never changes. However, in his human nature, Jesus did develop and "increase in wisdom and stature" (Lk 2:52).

If you're looking to fully understand it, it will probably take a while. Jesus' Incarnation is a singularly unique event in history and also from a metaphysical standpoint. So it's difficult to draw direct comparisons or analogies to aid in our understanding.

I recommend reading through the section in the Catechism on Jesus, particularly CCC 422-682.

As to the second question, I don't have as clear cut a response. I think that, in a manner of speaking, one might say that Mary and the saints live in our hearts to a degree. But it would certainly be in a different way than the Trinity does.
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  #4  
Old Jun 15, '12, 4:47 pm
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DavidFilmer DavidFilmer is offline
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Default Re: Two tough theological questions

This was actually the very first question that I ever posted on CAF (some eight years ago). It had been bugging me for many years prior, and I joined CAF specifically to post this question.

Unfortunately, I did not get an answer that satisfied me, although post #7 might be a good place to start. Unfortunately, I did not explore the reply in more detail. And it probably didn't help that I correctly cited the distinction between assumption & absorption from the CCC, but then proceeded to mix up the terms.

(this was back in the days when I preferred highly structured writing - I have loosened up a lot since then.)
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Old Jun 16, '12, 7:05 am
perro sarnoso perro sarnoso is offline
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Default Re: Two tough theological questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorad007 View Post
1.) I'm struggling with understanding Christ's nature before the Incarnation. I understand that he was pure spirit before the Incarnation, but afterwards, including after His Ascension into Heaven, he maintained his body, though in glorified form, correct? I was having trouble understanding, then, how we can say that God is unchanging. Is only His divine nature unchanging? It seems that after the Incarnation, Christ totally changed for the rest of eternity. Moreover, wouldn't that change sort of "tie" him to temporal existence? In other words, if God is above time, then wouldn't having a body, even a glorified one, make him a part of history, time, etc.?

2.) If Mary is fully unitied to the Blessed Trinity, and the Trinity lives in our hearts, is it fair to say that Mary and the Saints likewise live in our hearts?

Thanks for all of your help with these tough questions.



The key to your answer is in your question when you say, " ..., even a glorified one,....A glorified body does make a difference. It is the prototype of what we will be when we go to heaven. The body as it is now cannot exist in heaven unless glorified.

The Supernatural is proper only of God. It is above the natural-ours, and the praeternatural-the angels and saints in heaven.

The mystery of the Incarnation simply shows us that nothing is impossible for the Omnipotence of God and that in order to defeat the ravages of sin in its domain (the body), God the Son became flesh and lived among us in a temporal existence. This does not affect the spiration of the Father and the Son nor the paternity of God- nor the filiation of the Son- nor the procession of the Holy Spirit.

I'm sorry if that's as clear as mud.
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  #6  
Old Jun 16, '12, 9:51 am
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: Two tough theological questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorad007 View Post
1.) I'm struggling with understanding Christ's nature before the Incarnation. I understand that he was pure spirit before the Incarnation, but afterwards, including after His Ascension into Heaven, he maintained his body, though in glorified form, correct? I was having trouble understanding, then, how we can say that God is unchanging. Is only His divine nature unchanging? It seems that after the Incarnation, Christ totally changed for the rest of eternity. Moreover, wouldn't that change sort of "tie" him to temporal existence? In other words, if God is above time, then wouldn't having a body, even a glorified one, make him a part of history, time, etc.?
God did not merely create us to leave us on earth and watch us from afar. God wants to participate in our lives at the most intimate level. I forgot which saint, but one had the opinion that had Adam and Eve not sinned, Jesus would still have taken flesh and dwelt amongst us. It is God's divine plan all along to be one of us.

Partaking of human nature did not change Him. Remember, He remained fully God with a Divine Will. And because Jesus perfected human nature when He became man, when we receive our resurrected bodies we will be incorruptible and immortal as God is.

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Originally Posted by Colorad007 View Post
2.) If Mary is fully unitied to the Blessed Trinity, and the Trinity lives in our hearts, is it fair to say that Mary and the Saints likewise live in our hearts?

Thanks for all of your help with these tough questions.
Quite possibly, although I don't know if saying it this way would connote something. The Communion of Saints is where we all live in communion with God and with each other. That is why Christ asks us to love one another, to love even our enemies. When we get to heaven, its not just Jesus and us, there are no personal relationships in heaven. We are in communion with God and with everyone in communion with God. Maybe its theologically wrong to say Mary and the Saints live in our hearts, but if God is in our hearts then through God our heart is connected to their hearts.
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