Now what is meant when we say Jesus is God? Is it his divine nature. As Thomas explains nature? Or was it his personage, that of the son? You obviously don’t need to be human to be a person since God has 3 personages and isn’t human. Do animals have personage? They seem to be able to reason to a point anyway. I’ve seen cats look up to tables one being taller than another and the cat picks out the shorter one and jumps the shorter distance.
There is a difference between a divine person and a human person.
For instance: you are one human person with body and soul, with one (human nature).
We know by faith that Christ is one divine person (God the Son) with body and soul, with a human nature and a divine nature, hypostatically united (meaning: the humanity and divinity of Christ retain their own properties, and together united in one subsistence and in one single person).
“The Divine Persons” (Aquinas, Summa Theologica)
“The Person of the Son” (Aquinas, Summa Theologica)
Nature (Catholic Encyclopedia)
Substance (Catholic Encyclopedia)
“I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God” (Catechism)
“in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord” (Catechism)
Now consider for a minute that you are a pious faithful from 1700 years ago who wants to learn the faith from one of the Church Fathers. You do not know how to read or write. You know nothing of theology. The terms “substance” and “person” do not mean much to you. Are you precluded from the faith? Of course not. We have had Professions of Faith or Creeds since the Apostolic Age, which suffice for you (and me) to know what we need to know concerning Christ.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary ...]
Nicene Creed (325 AD)
…] We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation,
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man. …]
Athanasian Creed (296-373 AD)
…] the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence.
For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited.
The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal.
As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite.
So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty.
So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal.
So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. …]
Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Essence of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Essence of his Mother, born in the world.
Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood.
Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood by God.
One altogether; not by confusion of Essence; but by unity of Person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. …]
Of course, we must count the Gospel of John as a Creed of excellence.
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
 He was in the beginning with God;
 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. …]
The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
What is meant when Paul said all things were created by and for him and he was at the beginning. The son comes by procession within the Godhead from the Father, if we believe what I think we do.
Exactly what it sounds like: the Father created through the Son, who would eventually be crowned King of the Universe.
The Son was at the beginning because He is God. He has always existed and will never cease to exist.
The son comes by procession within the Godhead from the Father, if we believe what I think we do.
The Son is eternally begotten of the Father. It’s the Spirit who eternally proceeds from Him.
One thing I do not quite understand though is Paul speaks of being like the saints. What saints? There were to my knowledge no saints before the apostles? Does this mean the Gospels could be pseudogoric or given Paul’s name?
We believe in the Communion of Saints. This is the apostolic faith, not something that came afterwards. In fact, the term “saint” in itself is found in previous books of Scripture.
Examples: Deuteronomy 33:3 (“He hath loved the people, all the saints are in his hand”), 1 Samuel 2:9 (“He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness”), 2 Chronicles 6:41 (“let thy priests, O Lord God, put on salvation, and thy saints rejoice in good things”), Psalm 30 (“Sing to the Lord, O ye his saints”), Psalm 33 (“Fear the Lord, all ye his saints”), Psalm 49 (“Gather ye together his saints to him: who set his covenant before sacrifices”), Psalm 96 (“the Lord preserveth the souls of his saints”), Psalm 149 (“Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints …] To execute on them the written judgment— This honor have all His saints.”), Psalm 150 (“Praise the Lord in His saints”), Tobit 2:18 (“we are the children of the saints”), Judith 6:15 (“O Lord God of heaven and earth, behold their pride, and look on our low condition, and have regard to the face of thy saints”), Job 15:15 (“Behold among his saints none is unchangeable, and the heavens are not pure in his sight.”),
Including the living saints of the Church Militant (men in state of grace), the holy souls in the state of purgatory (Church Penitent) and the holy souls admitted to the Beatific Vision in the state of heaven (Church Triumphant).
Now it is to be clarified what “saint” means: “chosen”, “elect”, “set apart”. It is not necessarily an indication of being in heaven, nor an indication of being perfect. In fact, the Catholic Church sings to Christ in the Gloria: “tu solo Sancuts”, “you alone are saint” or “you alone are the holy one”. But it is to be understood that a saint is one consecrated, set apart. A baptized is indeed a partaker of the very divine nature and a member of the body of Christ. Or as Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:9:
you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light
Isn’t the Church in Purgatory also called the Church Suffering?
The English word “Saint” is an Anglicization of a Latin word (I believe the root is “Sanctus” - meaning “Holy”). The “Saints” or “Holy ones” spoken about in Paul’s letters (and, in fact, all of the New Testament letters) were the entire community of believers. You’ll see such things as “To the saints in Ephesus” in some translations. And, they considered those who had died (or “have fallen asleep”) as full members of the Christian community.
(Note: I edited my post adding additional info).
I have heard the terms Ecclesia Penitens and Ecclesia Expectans (Penitent, Expectant) but it is fairly possible that they be termed Suffering, for that they certainly do. But I do not know when the term originated.
If you define “saints” as those who are in heaven, then there were saints during the time of the apostles, and most definitely at the time when the Gospels and Epistles were written. Heaven’s gates were opened with Our Lord’s sacrifice. All the good people who had died prior to that were allowed to enter after His crucifixion. (The Gospels and Epistles were written quite a few years after Jesus’ crucifixion.)
Does this mean the Gospels could be pseudogoric or given Paul’s name?
What does pseudogoric mean? (Google never heard of the word. ) Also, don’t understand what you mean about whether the Gospels could be given Paul’s name. Do you mean given Paul’s name as the writer? If so, what purpose would be accomplished by doing that?
Sorry. Perhaps wrong term.
Ok I see. Yes that term was used in the OT. When I was thinking of saints I was thinking of our saints. I don’t think many if any were from the OT were they? There’s of course the blessed mother and Joseph.
I believe the oldest saints were Ss. Joachim and Anne, Our Lady’s parents.
Well yes, for some reason I ignore, we don’t use the title for people in the OT…we commonly use the title “saint” for Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. Joachim, St. Anne, St Elizabeth, St. John Baptist, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Veronica, and other apostles afterwards…but I never heard it applied to people from before…it is probably just a matter of custom though.
Anyways, odds are Paul refers to the saints of the Church Militant - living men and women who had experience a radical conversion, and perhaps had been greatly blessed and gifted, since the Holy Spirit was working extraordinary graces in the Early Church. By their living example, these men and women provided a model of the Faith and an “image” of Christ worth following, much like the saints of the Church Triumphant do today for us, as we learn about their lives and pray before their images in a desire to imitate and resemble them, who so closely imitated and resembled Christ
Paul of course is very humble, but we know from Acts that he, too, was one such saint:
Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”
All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”
Paul himself confirms this writing to the Galatians:
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles …] I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they were glorifying God because of me.
In my studies of Theology, in terms of resolving: In consideration of God as the Creator of everything, what is this person’s greatest creation, why create it, and what must this person do in order to fulfill this creation? I find that Jesus is the person who created everything; who is three distinct persons that are each the person who created everything, in alignment with Catholic Theology.
Thanks for sharing an intriguing question! I look forward to further discussion.
You just happened to mention my favorite, after Mary, saint. Saul’s is such an inspiring story to me. From killer of believers to Martyrdom in the faith.