Do we have a human and divine nature

A priest at my church said a homily and said that we have a human and divine nature like Jesus because the holy spirit is in us or something on the lines of that. Is this heresy?

I hope you mis-heard the priest.

We have a human nature only. The Holy Spirit dwells in us, but does not become us (nor do we become the Holy Spirit).

Hey, I just realized - that’s consubstantiation. Luther was on to something, but he was applying it in the wrong place.

Well I did not mis hear the priest but I think he was trying to say that we have God within us. However, do you think this is a bad way to articulate that?

What the priest said could probably be understood a number of different ways and I don’t know exactly what he may have meant. Jesus has a divine nature, by nature, since he is the only begotten Son of the Father which is why Jesus is God. Human beings, angels, and the rest of creation are creatures created by God and they will always have this status of being creatures. Through the created gift of sanctifying grace which we receive in baptism and regain in confession if we have had the misfortune of losing it, we are made partakers of the divine nature. Sanctifying grace is a supernatural gift God bestows on our soul which elevates our human nature to a supernatural order and a participation in the divine nature. This participation in the divine nature does not make us God himself but a likeness to God and a share in His beautitude while retaining our status as creatures.

Through sanctifying grace, the Blessed Trinity also comes and makes their abode in us as Jesus declared in the gospels. As such, we are able to have an intimate relationship with God. However, God will always be God and we will always be creatures, adopted sons and daughters of God.

We are human only – being and nature.

Our LORD is a divine being, who took on a human nature to become “one of us.”

And, in the words of a Padre whom I trust wholeheadedly: “In eternal life, we maintain our human nature, but will achieve a divinized being.”


Not exactly(I am pointing to your assertion that said it was heresy). The priest is probably referring to the doctrine of Theosis or Deification which is a teaching of the Eastern Churches. While humans do not have a divine nature they can be partakers of the Divine Nature as St. Peter had written in one of his letters. The doctrine of Theosis is very important to Eastern Christians as the Catholic Church is fast discovering. Jesus had spoken to certain people when He stated “Is it not written in your Law, I have said you are gods?” The problem with humans is not discovering their greatest potential. The more we become human the more we can become like the Lord Jesus. The failure of humanity is it does not work in becoming the fullest potential to be what is human. In fact we are short by an incredible distance. That is why the Lord Jesus had come to us. He is showing us what our human nature can become. Yes it needs the Holy Spirit to accomplish this for us but in truth the Holy Spirit is trying to help us to overcome our many weaknesses to find our greatest potential in becoming human. It is your human nature that needs to be deify.

Is it possible the priest used the following example in his homily?

2 Pet 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers ( κοινωνοὶ )of the divine nature.[a](“ Peter+1:4&version=RSVCE#fen-RSVCE-34641a”)]

Interesting. All parents participate with God in creation every time a baby is conceived. We are co-creators in making a human being, its not merely a biological or physical act, it is also a divine act. Does that make sense? Is that an example of Theosis?

When we talk about the “nature” of something, we are talking about a subset of philosophy called ontology.

The study of ontology is a major component of ANY seminary education. It was at the heart of EVERY early heresy (such as Arianism, which denied the divine nature of Jesus). Docetism (along with Apollinarianism, Ebionism, and Eutychianism) denied the human nature of Jesus.

It is difficult to imagine that ANY Catholic priest could be confused about the ontology of ordinary humans. The ontology of Jesus was a point of great confusion and conflict in the Early Church - was he ONLY human in nature, or ONLY divine in nature? It took the Church CENTURIES to firmly teach that he was BOTH. Jesus has since been universally recognized (in both East and West) as the ONLY being who has EVER existed who was BOTH. Not even Mary was BOTH.

If you heard the priest correctly, then surely he is guilty of nothing more than over-simplifying the topic, to the point that essential truths are lost (kinda like people who try to explain the Trinity with the heresy of modalism - that God wears three different masks). I would find it hard to accept the idea that ANY Catholic priest really believes that ordinary humans are coexistent/coeternal (homoousian) with the divine Nature of God.

Our nature is a Human Nature, we do not have a Divine Nature even when we are in the Grace of the Holy Spirit.

When we are in the State of Sanctifying Grace, we share in God’s life. The State of Sanctifying Grace is our deepest relationship with God. *CCC *Glosary, Sanctifying Grace, page 898.

Our human nature unites the spiritual world (our rational soul) and the material world (our decomposing anatomy) It is possible to say that we are a spiritual being, but we are not a super-natural Spiritual God. Genesis 1: 26-27 is a literal fact.

Jesus Christ is one Person with two natures. CCC 456-483 contains interesting information about Jesus Christ, True God and True Man.

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