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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.

"Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

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"O Lord, my God, who will seek you with simple and pure love, and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first and go out to meet those who seek you? "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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