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Suzette Vallieres wrote:

Good morning and blessings,

I am very disturbed by my teacher who is teaching a large group of students about the Incarnation of Christ: that Jesus came to earth to lift man up and make him into Gods - Plural.

This is in the Catechism in paragraph 460.

This is the evilest thing I can imagine . . . such arrogance and pride. Satan fell because of his pride. 2 Corinthians 4 tells us that we have come to proclaim Jesus Christ — not ourselves. I could go on with the saints who have humbled themselves to proclaim Jesus. This is like Buddhism or Hinduism — this belief in many gods. Personally, most people I know I would be afraid if they were a god.

Sincerely,

Suzette

  { Why is my teacher and the Catholic Catechism teaching the most evilest thing I can imagine? }

Paul replied:

Dear Suzette,

The meaning and context of this statement is paramount. Reading it the way you have, I too would be completely taken aback by the arrogance. I think what the bishops mean here is that Christ assumed humanity so that humanity may partake in divinity. This is most evident in the person of Jesus Christ, who is fully Human and fully Divine by His nature but the Incarnation did not occur only for Him.

Salvation includes His Extended Body, the Church, partaking in the divine nature. Hence, we become children of God. (1 John 3:1)

In the sharing the divine nature, children of humans are humans; so too children of God are gods.

This would never make us mere creatures equal to our Almighty Trinitarian Creator and Father, but rather it is a humble recognition that by sharing in His Life, as He wills it, we become like Him as His children. Our nature is assumed into His.

Hope this helps.

Peace,

Paul

Bob replied:

Dear Suzette,

To add to what Paul said, I have one reference to offer. The Scriptures have numerous allusions to this sonship that we share.

Check out 2 Peter 1:4, where Peter talks about us overcoming the effects of Sin by becoming partakers of the divine nature.

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Suzette,

As Paul implied, context is important.

Because Jesus [was/is] the Divine Person, His Sacrifice on the Cross happened once in time and outside of time so it was perpetuated throughout history. Each Sunday, when we renew our covenant with the Lord by going to Sunday Mass, we just enter into that One Sacrifice.

Although Jesus [was/is] the Divine Person while you, me, Bob, Paul, and our Blessed Mother are human persons, it was His Will that we partake in His Divine Nature, as the Scriptures and Bob pointed out, and become His adopted sons and daughters.

What He is by nature, we are by His Will and Grace.

  • Make sense?

Mike

Eric replied:

Hi, Suzette —

If you read the Catechism carefully, this is an ancient and well-attested teaching of the Church. So we must strive to understand it rather than rejecting it out of hand, as foreign as it may seem. It's a doctrine called deification, divinization, or theosis.

We become by grace what Christ is by nature. That was the whole purpose of His Incarnation: to unite humanity and divinity. That is why the priest says in the Mass when mixing the water and wine:

"May we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity."

Even Jesus uses this argument to prove his own divinity in John 10:35.

It's like a poker that is warmed in the blacksmith's fire. It becomes red hot by taking on the fire, yet it remains (unlike Buddhism) distinct. The fire imparts its characteristics to the poker.

So it is with us.

The key is that we are becoming God in God, not apart from God or independent of God, not replacing God but becoming His sons and daughters. That's one difference from Hinduism. The other difference is that they believe that everything is God (Pantheism), and we do not.

2 Peter 1:4 says,

"Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

1 John 3:2 says,

"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

It's really a very beautiful doctrine when understood correctly.

Eric

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