Choose a topic from Part 3a:

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."

"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

* * *

"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

* * *

"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

* * *