I know this question has come up on these boards before, and I have looked at the responses and not been able to understand. I would request that those responding not resort to convoluted language or stock phrases with no added explaination if you can help it. just give me a plain answer. pretend I am a not very bright ten year old.my question is: theosis or divinization, deification whatever you want to call it, what EXACTLY is meant by this? at the end of the day does it simply mean that those in heaven will be filled with God’s nature, and absorbed into his being in a certain way while still remaining his creatures, just sanctified, purified, and drawn completely into communion with him through Christ etc. second scenario, if this is the case why all the talk about humans becoming Gods? I thought I understood when I ran across phrases such as men will become God, and took it to mean that we will be so absorbed by God as to be completely sharing in his nature, but it is the S on the end of the word Gods that gets me. what does this mean. I can easily see someone hearing this and immediately picture themself in heaven being omnicient omnipotent, omnipresent and with powers of creation even the ability to hurl lightning bolts like zeus or something. or even as a God and creator of another planet etc. this second way of thinking is very distressing and does not sound at all kosher. what is meant by these things in the most elementary terms possible. is it the first scenario I described?
Although I am not sure about the terms you are using, I think I understand what you are asking. I will attempt an answer.
Let’s start at the beginning. God created mankind, giving us everything and asking only to respect certain limits that were in place for our own good. We have nothing of our own to give Him except our obedience. He gives us everything and we are to give it back to Him. This is what constitutes a loving relationship.
God is Love. He is perfect relationality in His existence as the Trinity. The Father gives all He is to the Son, who gives Himself back to the Father in loving filial obedience. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and thereby God is love complete in Himself.
We took God’s love for ourselves, refusing His offer of love, by not offering ourselves back to Him. This is sin and has dire consequences - death. While in time, God would be surprised at our refusal; in eternity, His loving response was the sacrifice of the Lamb without blemish. In time, humanity was prepared for the coming of the Son incarnate, and in His crucifixion, God’s love, mercy and forgiveness was revealed.
Through the spilling of Christ’s blood, our sins are taken up by the Word and we are cleansed. Humanity is redeemed and saved through His sacrifice. God established a Church which would act as the soul of humanity. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, our prayers, works of charity, contemplation of His teachings and participation in the mass and the sacraments, we grow in the living Way, who is Christ - man and God, eternal. The Eucharist feeds us spiritually, Jesus enters and we become more like Him. In doing so we become more loving people. Our Hope is to be Saints.
The Beatific Vision, in my understanding is the culmination of creation’s search for God. In Heaven, we join all the Angels and all the Saints, glorifying God who showers us with His love. It is not so much a permanent merger with Him and we are not exalted in ourselves. My sense is that we flow(?) in and out of the infinite joy and bliss that is God. Rejoicing as other and entering into union with all the mysteries of creation and the Source that is Existence itself.
So for you and me, no personal omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence or superhero abilities. Simply the superhuman, Christ-like ability to give completely of ourselves to God and to each other as we would ourselves.
That’s what I think.
God stands in the assembly of gods; and in the midst of them will judge gods. - Psalm 82:1
No need to be distressed. It is a teaching that goes all the way back to the Apostles. It’s simply an expression of the fullness of our salvation. That the Divine Logos became everything we are as humans so we could become what He is by Grace. Scripture makes it clear that if we suffer with Him we will be co-heirs and sons of God with Him. What it doesn’t mean is that we will become infinite or omniscient or anything like that. What is does express is what St Peter said, that we will become partakers of the Divine Nature.
just to clarify I was mostly talking about this from the catechism
"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.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become 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.” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 460)
could somebody unpack this a little bit? I think I get it but the wording just seems so ambiguous that I am not sure. I know it is an essential belief and I agree with all that the church teaches, I am just having a difficult time understanding this passage and quite frankly any talk of us humans being exalted too highly makes me feel a bit icky for various reasons. almost like this kind of talk is trying to take glory away from God or say that we are ultimately going to be his complete equals or something even in power and knowledge etc? it brings up thoughts of what the serpent suggested in genesis and the evil one’s thirst for all power etc. surely that cannot be what this is saying can it?
alright this is what I was pretty sure it meant. I was just taken aback a bit by running across this today and thought it might be something really wacky I had not been aware of before. when you put it in clearer terms it just reinforces the way I always understood this. thanks for allaying my anxieties a bit. the wording just struck me as so ambiguous and I don’t know… floaty. I am studying theology quite in depth but my knowledge is well developed in small areas while I remain shockingly absurdly ignorant in others.
My friend Google came up with paragraph 460 in the *Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition. *This particular paragraph refers to us as “partakers of the divine nature.” (2 Peter 1: 3-4) Google then dropped me in the middle of the CCC section “Grace and Justification.” While I did not read this section, I did spot a reference to “the *sanctifying or deifying grace *received in Baptism.” in *CCC *1999.
Since my brain is older than dirt, I would start with something simple like Genesis 1: 26-27 when explaining deification to a ten year old. We need to picture God as a pure spirit without human ears. We, human creatures, are both spirit and matter aka soul and body. Because we have a spiritual soul, we are kind of like God in a small way. We can say that we are in the [spiritual] image of God.
Amazingly, being in the “spiritual image” is enough so that we can share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life here on planet earth and in joy eternal, never turning away from being face to face with God aka the Beatific Vision in heaven. A 10 year old might ask if he would need his smart phone in heaven. Maybe not a smart phone; however, we need to be in the State of Sanctifying Grace. (Information source. CCC 355 -357; CCC Glossary, Sanctifying Grace, page 898; *CCC *Glossary, Beatific Vision, page 867))
It would be a good idea to remind our ten year old that when someone is Baptized, that girl or boy becomes an adopted child of God. This means that the girl or boy has received spiritual sanctifying grace because her or his spiritual soul is in the spiritual image of the Maker of heaven and earth of all things visible, and invisible. Our soul is real, yet, it is invisible to our human eyes. (Creed professed at Sunday Holy Sacrifice of the Mass)
My point is that when it comes to explaining deification, one must start with the basics of our own spiritual soul and what Sanctifying Grace is. Sanctifying Grace does not automatically turn us into a full-fledged deity. When we are baptized, we keep our human nature. In some way, we need to understand that being in the image of God is based on our spiritual soul which is directly created at our conception. (Information source. *CCC *362-366)
Once a ten year old is clear about being in the image of God, one might ask – Are you the same as God? Recall that God does not eat junk food because He does not have a material anatomy like ours. I cannot speak for all adults, but a ten year old knows the difference between a human person and God. God does not need a smart phone.
The word deify usually means to make a god out of something, human or animal. When it is understood that Baptism’s sanctifying grace does not change our material/physical bodies into something new and different, but rather it allows us to share in God’s own life, then one can understand deification in the real sense that we become “partakers of the divine nature.” (CCC 460)
No, we will not become either " gods " or God. Such phrases simply indicate that in Heaven we will have a special relationship with God. He will make his Presence known to our intellect and we will know him somewhat like we know the things we see - except it will be a spiritual and intellectual seeing. We will also experience total peace, happiness and comfort in the knowledge that he is Present in us spirtually. But it is important to understand that we will not become a part of God and he will not become a part of us.
Get it out of your head that your smarter than other ten year olds. You sounded really stupid to me. Being a Christian isn’t about theology, it is about loving that comes from the heart. You sound as if you talk above everyone and think you are superior. Show a little patience and try to understand the intelligence of other ten year olds, they might teach you something.
you misunderstand Catholic teaching on deification, Catholics truly believe that we partake in the DIVINE NATURE in a real sense,these are just some referrences:
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
“[T]he Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.”[Primary 1]
"'For we cast blame upon [God], because we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods; although God has adopted this course out of His pure benevolence, that no one may impute to Him invidiousness or grudgingness he declares, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are sons of the Most High.”
St.Clement of Alexandria
“[T]he Word of God became man, that thou mayest learn from man how man may become God.”
“For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God”
“[H]is is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, “Men are gods, and gods are men.” For the Word Himself is the manifest mystery: God in man, and man God”
St. Justin Martyr:
“[Men] were made like God, free from suffering and death, provided that they kept His commandments, and were deemed deserving of the name of His sons, and yet they, becoming like Adam and Eve, work out death for themselves; let the interpretation of the Psalm be held just as you wish, yet thereby it is demonstrated that all men are deemed worthy of becoming “gods,” and of having power to become sons of the Highest.”
St. Thomas Aquinas:
“Now the gift of grace surpasses every capability of created nature, since it is nothing short of a partaking of the Divine Nature, which exceeds every other nature. And thus it is impossible that any creature should cause grace. For it is as necessary that God alone should deify, bestowing a partaking of the Divine Nature by a participated likeness, as it is impossible that anything save fire should enkindle.”
God stands in the assembly of gods; and in the midst of them will judge gods. - Psalm 82:1
By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world.-2nd Peter 1:4
this is catholic Tradition(capital T)
None of this means we will become God. " To share, " to " partake, " in these contexts means that we will be in God’s grace, he will dwell in us in a loving way. But we will not become a part of God and he will not become part of us. Indeed St. Thomas tells us that to participate in God’s being means to be caused by him, not to be a part of him. And when he speaks of God’s grace above he means we will be in God’s grace, not that we will be a part of God or that he will be a part of us.
So you are wrong, it is not Cathlic Tradition.
in the liturgy it says “…may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity”
SHARE IN DIVINITY
Does it say we will become Christ or that Christ will become us? No. Unless you can find some where were Christ says we will become him, or he will become us, unless you can find a Church document where the Church says we will become God or God will become us, we must conclude that such terms as " share " or " participation, " or " participate. " or " will become gods " mean nothing more than we will, in our own unique human personality be confirmed in sanctifying grace. It further means that God will enlighten our intellects and make his presence known to us in an unmistiakable way and perpetually.
In this life we share in Divine life when we are in the state of sanctifying grace and we know God by faith only, though, from time to time we experience that peace and consolation that " surpases understanding." In heaven, we will know God, not by fairh, but by his direct inlightenment, we will know him like we know eachother. But we will still be entirely separate beings from God, he will still be God ,and we will still be ourselves, each ontologically separate from the other.
Granny has made some good comments above.