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43. The "Mission" or "Sending" of the Divine Persons

1. Our Lord says (John 8:16), that the Fathersent him. God the Son is sent into the world. This sendingor mission of a divine Person is not something done by command oreven advice; this would seem to imply inferiority in the Personsent, and the divine Persons are coequal. For a divine Person to besent means to begin to exist in a new way in the world or in thesouls of human beings. God the Son is everywhere eternally; butwhen he became man, he began to be in the world in a new way, thatis, as man. This is what is meant by his being sent.

2. If we should take the word mission to includethe divine proceedings of generation and spiration, then themission or sending of divine Persons is something eternal. But ifwe limit the word, as we usually do, to signify the coming of theSon into the world, and the coming of the Holy Ghost into men'ssouls by grace, then mission or sending means somethingtemporal.

3. It is suitable that a divine Person should be sent, asnewly existing in a rational creature. This sending is always byway of sanctifying grace.

4. The Person of God the Father is not sent. Sending ormission is from another, and the Father is not fromanother. The Son is from the Father, and the Holy Ghost isfrom the Father and the Son. Hence only the Son and theHoly Ghost are sent.

5. Thus it belongs to the Son and to the Holy Ghost to besent to dwell in us by grace. The Father is in us too, but notas sent.

6. The invisible mission or sending of a divine Person bygrace into men's souls is a fact in all who are in the state ofgrace and who are renewed or increased in grace.

7. The Holy Ghost came visibly on our Lord at His baptismby John; He also came visibly in the form of tongues of fire onPentecost Day. And the Son came visibly when He was born of Mary.These visible missions or sendings are of greatest benefit, for manneeds visible manifestations to help him understand invisibletruths. Mission or sending of a divine Person is for man'ssanctification. The Son is sent visibly as the author ofsanctification; the Holy Ghost is sent visibly as the sign ofsanctification.

8. When the Person sending is designated as the principleof the Person sent, then the Son is sent by the Father only, andthe Holy Ghost is sent by the Father and the Son only. But when thesender is considered as the principle, not of the Person sent, butof the effect of the mission, then the sender is the Trinityitself.

"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to You. give me all that will lead me to You. Take me from myself and give me to Yourself."
St Nicholas Flue

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"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."
St Philip Neri

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