Choose a topic from Part 3a:

25. The Adoration of Christ

1. We adore Christ, God and man, with the same adoration.For what we adore is the Person called Christ. Even though thisPerson has two natures, the human and the divine, he is one Person,and that Person is God. Even the humanity of Christ is adored asthe humanity of a Person who is God.

2. St. John Damascene (De Fid. Orthodox, iv 3)says that we adore the flesh of Christ, not for its own sake, butbecause the Word of God is united with it. And, since we givedivine worship (called latria) to God, we give the samesort of worship to the humanityof Christ unitedhypostatically with divinity. Only when we consider the humanity ofChrist apart from the hypostatic union do we pay it the honor ofreverence (called dulia) instead of the adoration oflatria.

3. When we honor an image of Christ, we honor Christ. Wedo not give any honor at all to the image as a piece of paintedcanvas or as a carved bit of wood or marble or metal. The image ismeaningful only in what it represents. And what it represents isChrist whom we worship with the adoration of latria.

4. The same thing is true of the honor and reverence wegive to the cross on which our Lord died. What we see in the crossis not the wood of which it is made, but the whole meaning of theCrucifixion. And we adore the Word Incarnate, with the worship oflatria, whose death for us the cross calls to ourremembrance and appreciation.

5. The Blessed Mother is not venerated by latria,for this is divine worship and is owed to God alone. She has thereverence paid to holy creatures, saints and angels, and this iscalled dulia. Indeed, since she is the Mother of God andthe queen of all angels and saints, we pay to the Blessed Virgin aspecial and higher type of dulia which belongs to heralone and is called hyperdulia.

6. We honor the relics of the saints (theirbodies, bones, or things they used or had about them during life)with a true veneration that is directed to the saints themselves.And in honoring the saints we honor Christ whose members the saintsare.

"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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