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4. The Nature Assumed

1. It is most fitting that human nature was assumed byGod. For human nature has the dignity of being rational; it wasmade to know and love God; it stood in need of redemption andtherefore of the Incarnation. No other nature has these points offitness for being assumed. Irrational natures lack dignity; therational nature of the good angels is without the need foratonement, since they have not sinned; the rational nature offallen angels is confirmed in unrepented sin, which makes atonementand redemption impossible. Of all created natures, only humannature presents the characteristics, qualities, and conditions thatmake the Incarnation perfectly suitable.

2. The Son of God assumed the nature of man, butnot the person of a man. In Christ the human nature ishypostatically united to the divine Nature in the one Person of Godthe Son. Therefore, Christ is (by the human nature assumed), trulyhuman, but he is not a human person. He is adivine Person. And that Person is the Second Person of theTrinity.

3. Christ is not a man assumed by God. He is not a mandivinized by God's boundless power. He is God himselfwho has assumed, not a man, but the complete nature of man.

4. It has been foolishly asserted that the Son of Godought to have assumed human nature as such, in an abstractway, so that Christ would not have an individual humannature, and would be man, but not this man. Now, humannature is the nature of a bodily creature; such a creature cannotreally exist except in an individual way, as this bodilything. Hence, the Son of God took an individual human nature,and was born as a human individual of his Virgin Mother. St. JohnDamascene (De Fid. Orthodox, iii 11) says: "God theWord did notassume a nature that exists in thought alone . .. this would have been a false and fictitious Incarnation."Therefore, God the Son did not assume human nature as it ismentally conceived in the universal idea of man, that is,as separated from individuals. God became man, and God-made-Man isChrist, and Christ is this one man, and no other. And thisone man is a divine Person, not a human person.

5. Certainly, it was not suitable that the Son of Godshould become incarnate in all human individuals. Thiswould make the whole human race one divine Person. And this wouldbe derogatory to the divine dignity. Besides, it would make theredemptive work of Christ both needless and impossible.

6. St. Augustine (De Trin. xiii 18) says that Godcould have assumed human nature otherwise than from Adam'srace; yet he chose to assume it from that race, so that he mightvanquish the enemy in the nature which the enemy had vanquished.The power of God is gloriously manifested in assuming a nature thatwas weakened and corrupted; to stand, in that nature, perfect inpurity, power, and glory.

"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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