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Catholic Senior Citizen wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a great deal of difficulty with the phrase in paragraph 460 of the Catechism that states:

The Son of God became man so that we might become God.

Reference to this is becoming more and more frequent so it's hard to avoid. Even worse (for me) is what immediately follows:

The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.

  • So now we have to consider that there will be lots of gods running around?

Shema, shema, Israel, the Lord, your God is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4)

To me this all seems to be frighteningly presumptive.

I discussed this issue with our parish priest and we came to the conclusion that Christ sanctifies us — but we are made holy as human beings and, in Heaven, live in the presence of God.

After all, we will be resurrected body and soul so it seems to me that this is a logical conclusion.

  • Therefore, all of that considered, how can we still proclaim that we will become God?
  • Can you please explain this for me?

Catholic Senior Citizen

  { How can we still proclaim that we will become God when this is so frighteningly presumptive? }

Bob replied:

Dear friend,

We are to become partakers of the divine nature, (cf. 2 Peter 1:4). St. Peter tells us what St. John tells us elsewhere in different words:

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called children of God, yet that is what we are. (1 John 3:1)

What God is by nature, we can become by grace. It is not that we are somehow separate Gods of our own right, but we share in the divine life of God and, as His children, are somehow like Him.

We can love like Him, forgive like Him, have Mercy like Him, literally share in all of His Life. If you were to adopt a dog, you still couldn't make him your son unless you somehow imparted the capacity to him to share in your own attributes; he would remain simply your pet.

But God has the power to impart his own life to us so that we do become like Him. This is the very essence of the Gospel — the thing that is most repugnant to Muslims and why they can't accept the Incarnation. It is truly scandalous but it is the essence of all Christianity.

Reread all of the New Testament again and you will find this everywhere, beginning with the Incarnation. If you begin to realize what this means you will never look at your faith the same again.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Paul replied:

Dear CSC,

You are correct. There is, and always will be, only One God. In addition to Bob's very good answer, I would just like to add a short formula for you to consider:

  1. Jesus is God.
  2. the baptized are members of Christ's mystical body, and the saints in heaven are permanent members.
  3. Therefore, since we are part of the body of Christ, who is God, then we too are part of God.

Yet, we don't lose our individual identities . . . hence we will be gods by virtue of sharing in the life and being of the one true God.

Peace,

Paul
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