Choose a topic from Part 3a:

50. The Death of Our Lord

1. Christ died: (a) to satisfy for man who was undersentence of death by reason of the first sin; (b) to prove that heis true man; (c) to deliver man from the fear of death; (d) toteach us to die spiritually to sin; (e) to instill in us the firmhope of rising from the dead.

2. When our Lord died, the divinity or Godhead was notseparated from the body on the cross and later in the tomb. Forwhat is bestowed by God's grace is never taken away exceptthrough fault; scripture says (Rom. 11:29): "The gifts andcalling of God are without repentance." The human nature, andthus the flesh of Christ, was united hypostatically or personallywith the Word of God, and this union remained permanently; it couldnot be disrupted by the death of Christ as man.

3. And therefore also, the Godhead or divinity was notseparated from the human soul of Christ during its hours of thesoul's separation from the sacred body.

4. Yet it is not correct to say that Christ was man duringthe period of his death; for a man means a living man, and Christduring this space of time was not living but dead. His soul did notthen animate the body, for he had truly died. Christ remainedreally dead from the moment his soul left the body on the crossuntil the moment it revivified the body for the Resurrection.

5. The body which hung dead upon the cross was buried inthetomb. This was the same body which had undergone thePassion, and which was to rise glorious and immortal. For the bodyof Christ, living and dead, was identically the same body. It wasnot, indeed, totally the same, for there is a differencebetween a body living and the same body dead. But, apart from thisdifference, the body in the tomb, and the body which suffered thePassion, and the body glorified at Resurrection was the samebody.

6. St. Augustine (De Trin. iv) says that the one deathof Christ in the body saved us from two deaths, that is, the deathof the body and the death of the soul. We are, of course, to die abodily death, but now it is not a victory over us: "Death isswallowed up in victory" (I Cor. 15:54). And the death ofChrist destroys in us the necessity of dying in sin and beingplunged into the endless death of eternal torment.

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

* * *

"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

* * *

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

* * *