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19. The Unity of Operation in Christ

1. In Christ, the human nature acts by its own power, andso does the divine Nature. But the divine Nature makes use of thehuman operations as instruments to its own operation.

2. In man, we discern three types of vital operation: thevegetal, the sensitive or animal, and the distinctively human orrational. Now, in Christ, the perfect man, the distinctively humanoperations prevailed, so that no sensitive movement took placewithout his will; even natural bodily (vegetal) operations belongedin some sense to his will, for, as St. John Damascene says (DeFid. Orthodox iii), it was Christ's will that his fleshshould do and suffer what belonged to it. Hence, there was perfectunity in the operations of Christ.

3. To merit is to earn, that is, to establishtitle to what is not yet possessed. Now, our Lord, as man, couldmerit or deserve of God what he did not yet possess. Before hisPassion, our Lord did not yet possess the glory of body which camewith the Resurrection, or the splendor of the Ascension, or theloving veneration of the faithful of his Church. As man, Christalready possessed the beatific vision, and all the excellencesconferred on him by reason of the hypostatic union. Therefore,Christ as man could merit from God the excellent things not yetpossessed, but he could not merit or earnwhat he already had.It is fitting that Christ could merit some things, for he is themodel as well as the source of merit for his rationalcreatures.

4. Christ could merit for others. He is the Head of theChurch; the meriting activity of this Head reaches all the members.St. Paul speaks of our Lord's meriting for others when he says(Rom. 5:18): "As by the offence of one, to all men untocondemnation, so also by the justice of one [that is, Christ] untoall men to justification of life."

"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."
St Philip Neri

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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