Choose a topic from Part 3a:

6. Order of the Elements Assumed

1. With the assuming of the human soul, complete human naturewas assumed. For it is the soul which is the substantial form (oressential substantial constituent and determinant) of a livingbodily man. What the soul determines and substantially constitutesis the flesh-and-blood man. Hence, we say that God the Son assumedhuman flesh through the medium of the human soul.

2. The human soul has a capacity for God inasmuch as itcan know him, and then love him. Now, the faculty of knowing God(the fundamental act which aligns the soul with its true end orgoal), is the mind or intellect. The intellect is the highest,noblest, purest faculty of the soul. Hence, through the medium ofintellect, God assumed the soul; and through the medium of thesoul, he assumed the flesh.

3. The human soul of Christ was not assumed separatelybefore the flesh. For human nature demands body-and-soul, and it ishuman nature that was assumed.

4. Nor did the Son of God first assume the flesh, andafterwards the soul. St. John Damascene (De Fid. Orthodox,iii 2) says: "At one and the same time, the Word of Godwas made flesh, and the flesh was united to a rational andintelligent soul."

5. The Son of God assumed human nature entire,and therefore assumed its parts. He did not assume part after partuntil the whole was made up; he did not assume human nature throughthe medium of parts, but he assumed the parts through the medium ofthe whole.

6. If we understand the word grace to meanGod's free giving of Christ to redeem mankind, then grace isthe effective cause of the assuming of human nature by God the Son.But even in this meaning of grace, we cannot say that grace isa means for effecting the union of the human nature andthe divine Nature. More precisely, grace means either: (a) thegrace of union, which is the very Person given freely to subsist inhuman nature; or (b) habitual or sanctifying grace whichconstitutes the human nature in holiness. Now, the grace of unioncannot be the means for assuming human nature; this graceis Christ, the term or outcome of the assuming. Nor can habitualgrace be the means of assuming the human nature; thisgrace presupposes the human nature already assumed. Therefore, wesay: the human nature of Christ was not assumed by means ofgrace.

"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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