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.

"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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"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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"He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed, should give but few orders."
St Philip Neri

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