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18. The Unity of Will in Christ

1. Since nature is "essence equipped tooperate," human nature is the human essence with its faculties(that is, powers for operating), and especially its noblestfaculties which are the intellect and the will. Christ had aperfect human nature, and hence he had a human will. Therefore,there are two wills in Christ, the human will and the divine will.Our Lord himself contrasts these two wills when he prays (Luke22:42): "Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me;nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." Now, as God,Christ has the divine will undividedly with the Father and the HolyGhost. Hence, in the prayer quoted, he speaks of "mywill" as his human will.

2. Human nature is not purely spiritual; it is animal too.The appetites of the flesh belong to human nature. These appetitesare meant to be under the complete control of reason whichexperiences their urging, and thus, while they belong to thesensitive order, they are called "rational byparticipation." Since reason includes will,these appetites also belong to the will by participating its act,and they are called the sensitive will. Such a will was inChrist, because he had perfect human nature.

3. The rational human will of Christ is not itself adouble, but a single faculty.

4. Christ's human will had the full perfection of sucha will. Therefore it had the perfection called freedom ofchoice.

5. The human will has a twofold act. It tends to what isagreeable to human nature, and under the aspect of this tendency itis called "the will as nature." By this will a man willshealth, and anything elsethat is in itself beneficial to ahuman natural being. The will has another act, in exercising whichit is called "the will as reason"; by this will a manchooses what he understands as a means to his desired endor goal, even if the thing chosen is not, in itself, desirable;such, for instance, as difficult fasting as a means to achievegrace, or bitter medicine or painful surgery as a means to health.In addition to these two acts of the rational will (that is, thewill as nature, and the will as reason), there is the sensitivewill or sensual will, which is the pull on the rational willexercised by the fleshly appetites. Now, our Lord by his human willas reason, always willed what God willed. By the rationalwill as nature, and by the sensitive will, hecould tend away from things that God willed, such as his Passionand Death. And so, subduing the sensitive will to the rational willas reason, he said, "Not my will, but thine be done."

6. There is no contrariety or contradiction in Christ, and hencethere is no conflict in him between the human will and the divinewill. The tendency of sensitive will, or of the rationalwill as nature, never prevails in Christ, or constitutes ablock to the sure and absolute rule of his will as reason;by this will as reason his whole voluntary life is incomplete conformity with the divine will.

"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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"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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