CCC paragraph 460 - we become God?


#1

I started reading the CCC and am totally confused by paragraph 460 where, in the middle, it says …*“For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” *(xref St. Athanasius) . Does anyone know what this means? I can’t imagine the Church is teaching that we actually become God…??

The paragraph starts out saying that The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”, but the sentence I quoted above, following that introduction, seems to take this a lot further than that.


#2

Somebody will give you a better answer, but it refers essentially to the fact that we become a part of the mystical body of Christ.

We become, as some would say, “as” God. That only means that we can achieve sanctification and be free of sin and whatnot.

It doesn’t mean we become God Himself. Rememeber that that is just a quote from a Saint. It might make more sense if you were to read the quote in context of what the Saint actualyl wrote.

It all gets back to partaking in the divine nature and being part of Christ’s body.


#3

We become like God.

Do a search on the teaching of theosis/divinization. This is more of an Eastern Catholic/Orthodox teaching. You should find a good explaination, although it is a difficult concept to grasp.


#4

[quote=Elzee]I started reading the CCC and am totally confused by paragraph 460 where, in the middle, it says …*“For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” *(xref St. Athanasius) . Does anyone know what this means? I can’t imagine the Church is teaching that we actually become God…??

The paragraph starts out saying that The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”, but the sentence I quoted above, following that introduction, seems to take this a lot further than that.
[/quote]

I have been studying the Eastern Church this summer. Several of the Eastern Fathers of which Athanasius is one explain this in their writings. We may want to read more into this with the language of today. But it really does just revolve around that fact that in Christ, God and Man , human and Divine natures are united. This allows us, human beings to enter into the Divine nature and become one with God.


#5

The definitive website for this topic:
geocities.com/apotheoun/theosis

geocities.com/apotheoun/theosis2


#6

Another good website for Catholics especially:

home.nyc.rr.com/mysticalrose/grace3.html

Let us know what you think… this can be difficult at first.

  • Hugo

#7

[quote=Elzee]I started reading the CCC and am totally confused by paragraph 460 where, in the middle, it says …*“For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” *(xref St. Athanasius) . Does anyone know what this means? I can’t imagine the Church is teaching that we actually become God…??

[/quote]

Please allow me to quote the whole paragraph because as you stated it gets a lot stronger:

[quote=CCC 460]The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “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.” “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.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.”
[/quote]

This is one of the neat little secrets of the Good News. Those who have active lives and are trained mostly in the dogmatic/kataphatic Church tradition have a rough time accepting this because it seems the real Good News is too good to be true. Yet, the Good News is far greater than a lot of people give it credit for.

Those in the “contemplative community” who study the apophatic tradition of the Church don’t have any problem with this kind of language.

One good place to start is to read closely what Jesus says in John 10:

As I understand (I don’t claim to be expert), the word “the” in “the Son of God” in verse 36 was interpolated in the Authorized Version (KJV) and could be more accurately interpreted “a Son of God”

Son here meaning “of the nature of” like if you call someone SOB you mean they are like a bitch, or bitchy. If you call someone a Son of God, that was culturally correct language to mean a divine person. Therefore Christ was referring to His divinity, which he came to share with us. We were made “in the image of God” but Jesus came to undo the separation from God (loss of divinity) in the garden, so that by adoption we all become His brothers, and we all therefore have potential become Sons of God, or divine souls. Really that’s just another way of saying saints.

Why not be saints? Many Catholics think it’s presumptuous and arrogant to claim we are even pretending to have hope of becoming a saint, but I think we are all called to sainthood by Christ’s admonition “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We can be perfect in His blood, and become a spiritually mature as we wish. The Good News is that Christ came to share in our humanity so that he could convey to us a share of His divinity. We’re family now, no longer separated. That’s the real Good News.

For another witness, read the entire chapter John 17

I’ll continue in another post. This one’s getting too long.

Alan


#8

Looking more at John 17, here are some clips from it, where Jesus is praying His famous prayer:

This is the Really Good News! Jesus is actually sharing His divine relationship with His Father, with us!

So many people don’t realize how awesome this is. It’s as if we actually become divine through Christ, like satan claimed Eve and Adam could become divine by separating their wills from the Will of the Father. By submitting our wills to God through Christ, we become part of them and from the way I read it we actually become an integral part of the Trinity.

If you think I’m boasting I’m not. These are all gifts about which we can only boast of the love of God. Like Rich Mullins once said, “It so awesome to know that God loves me. That doesn’t make me special, it just means God ain’t got very good taste.”

We are often so busy worrying about rules and teachings, it pays to step back from the trees and take a look at the forest of love we have been given freely by God. The Good News is not that Jesus came and helped us become better people, although He did do that. The Good News is that he truly united us to God.

For other ideas about how to achieve real union with God, consider looking into contemplative prayer forms. The CCC paragraphs 2697-2724 discuss Christian prayer forms. Regarding contemplative prayer:

This is why people who have had mystical theology or spiritual direction experience are so adamant that everybody should maybe try some to balance out and complete the learning they get from their strictly intellectual theological studies.

Alan


#9

You all are wonderful and so helpful! I would be so lost without this forum. You’ve given me a lot to read and pray about. Thank you so much for helping me.


#10

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