Choose a topic from Part 3a:

35. The Nativity of Christ

1. The nativity, the being born, refers to Person ratherthan to nature. In an ordinary human birth, what is born is aperson, not merely human nature. It is the person who has thenature that is born; it is the hypostasis that isborn. So the Nativity of Christ is the birth of God the Son assubsisting in human nature; it is the birth of the Son of Godas man.

2. The Son of God is eternally generated, orborn, of the Eternal Father. In time, he is born as man ofthe Virgin Mother.

3. In its activation, the conception of Christ wasGod's own work. And the Nativity was effected withoutdisturbing or violating the perfect virginity of Mary, even in thephysical meaning of the word virginity. And yet Christ is true manas well as true God; he is truly Mary's Child; Mary is trulyhis mother.

4. Mary's Child is true God. She is the true mother ofthat Child. Therefore, Mary is to be called the Mother of God. Itis heresy to deny this truth.

5. The filiation or sonship of Christ as aSubsistent Divine Relation in the Trinity is one and not multipleor manifold. If we speak of a new filiation or sonship ofChrist with reference to the Blessed Mother, we do not mean tomultiply filiations in the Son of God. We say that, in one way,there is only one real filiation in Christ, and this is inreference to the Eternal Father, and is itself eternal.Yet there is a temporal filiation of Christ with regard tohis Mother.

6. Our Lord was born of Mary without opening her virginalwomb. Therefore, Mary had no suffering, no pains or distress, ingiving birth to her divine Son.

7. For two reasons it was fitting that Christ should beborn in Bethlehem. First, he who was called by the prophets,"the seed of David," suitably chose to be born in thecity of David, that is, Bethlehem, where David himself had beenborn. Secondly, the name Bethlehem is interpreted as"the house of bread," and hence it was a suitablebirthplace for "the living bread which came down fromheaven" (John 6:51).

8. We know that Christ was born at a fitting time, for hechose the time and he is the all-wise God. As we have notedelsewhere, the time of his coming was neither too soon, before manhad learned by bitter experience the evil of the primal humanrebellion against God, nor too late, when humbled pride must havesunk into despair.

"It is well to choose some one good devotion, and to stick to it, and never to abandon it."
St Philip Neri

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"It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come."
Thomas á Kempis

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"He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed, should give but few orders."
St Philip Neri

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