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.

"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

* * *

"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

* * *

"The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

* * *