Both Human and Divine

As Christians we are all aware of our Lord Jesus Christ being, fully human and fully divine; two natures in One Divine Person. As such, He is a prototype and the absolute Perfection of the Church and the Christian Soul.

The Mystical Body of Christ (the Church more properly understood) is both a human and Divine institution and thereby, in essence, Christ among us. The Divine aspects of the Church are in constant tension with the fallen human nature aspect and seems far from submitting to the Divine nature: but She still remains actively involved in the attempt to do so, offering forgiveness and mercy, nourishment and wisdom.

As we enter Lent on this Ash Wednesday, we might take time to see how this same tension is our own internal struggle as well and that this Spiritual Battle that we are constantly engaged is a result of the Faith to which we have assented; to deny ourselves, take up our cross and to follow Him.

The saints have been very clear on the battle that we face individually in the Christian spiritual life. We too have carnal appetites and desires which vie for ascendency and control over our bodies while the soul, and its Divine attributes restored after Baptism, is seeking to master and bring this fallen state, including our concupiscence, under control of the Divine – the Holy Spirit given us in this Sacrament.

Christ has shown us the way and He gave us a Church to teach us the way and yet humanity, with the after effects of our fallen human nature, rebels and tries to throw off the yoke of the Church and is reluctant to follow the Spirit of the Church and all that has been given to aid us in our quest for the real freedom we desperately need; from the grip of this world and all our disordered appetites. For we should now count them as nothing.

Though I am dismayed at the carnal side of the human for being stronger than we would like, it is not because we have not been given means to counteract and defeat this menace. Many will not make the effort, others will try and then fail but some will find the peace, joy and freedom that is accorded to those who have given up everything and will do whatever it takes to possess the Pearl of Great Price. So our Faith, Hope and Love must give us encouragement in this struggle.

Christ, is the template and the perfection of the human person; for the Divine nature ruled His human nature and thus it was purified and was holy and without sin. The other two:,the Church and the individual human soul, are also called to the same transformation in Christ: through the pursuit of holiness – so that we too might be likened to Christ.

Our success lies primarily on our abandonment to Divine Providence and the daily toil to suppress our worldly appetites whilst keeping our eyes constantly on our Lord Jesus Christ. Should we be willing to let God transform our personal life we can aid the Church in achieving the same transformation which will attract and win over more adherents to the Way of Life that God has intended for our true happiness. Many more souls might then find their way to God.

8 thoughts on “Both Human and Divine

  1. My understanding of the view of baptism held by sacramental churches is that by baptism the candidate becomes an inheritor of eternal life and a member of the church (the mystical body of Christ). This definition comes from my wife who was brought up in an Anglo Catholic Church. Is this basically the view of the RCC on baptism?

    I also understand that the RCC recognises baptisms in the name of the Trinity performed by other Christians who are not members of the RCC. i.e. that if such a Christian were to ‘convert’ to the RCC they would not be re-baptised.

    If both these understandings are actually those of the RCC how is it that the RCC considers other Christians outside of the Church which is Christ body or somehow connected but only second class members of it?

    I’m glad to have found you again and would appreciate your clarification on these questions.

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    • Hi Rob. Yes the RCC teaches that baptism makes us inheritors in as much as we are now incorporated into the divine family once again; having the pain of original sin forgiven. That is no assurance that the effects of original sin will not claim the soul (for the effects remain) but that the person is now capable of receiving God’s gift of reconciliation and a means to combat evil and gain the prize that is promised for those who incorporate themselves into God’s family. So, though baptized, a soul can still lose her inheritance; just as an inheritor might not be remembered in the patrons will.

      It is correct that we do not re-baptize if the proper formula (Biblical) is used for we believe that once the sacrament has been done and the proper desire is present (either by the guardians of the soul or the person themselves) the soul is free from the burden of original sin: again, not the effects of original sin (concupiscence etc.).

      As to being a second class member in the church is only the fact that we feel the ‘gateway’ to this new spiritual life has been opened and therefore this ‘new’ soul is now capable of receiving all the gifts of the Church (the other sacraments) that they remain separated either willfully or in ignorance from the ‘helps’ that have been afforded to the baptized soul by the death of Christ on the Cross, are, in a sense, starved of the full nutrition of a full spiritual life as Christ established. It is not up to me to declare whether they will stumble and fall from this lack of help but if the soul understands that the RCC has these aids and refuses to eat and drink with the same family (so to speak) then one must ask if he has truly been incorporated into this divine family. If so, then why do they resist full incorporation. That is why we consider them ‘separated brothers and sisters in Christ.’

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      • Thanks for the clarification, it explains Catholic understanding clearly.

        I am currently reading through the document you provided the link to on Catholic Biblical Apologetics. The document explains that it is primarily written for Catholics and I think it would probably appear very convincing for Catholics however it does not appear that way to me.

        We continue our journey in Christ with some differing views but hopefully through our interaction at AATWT and the new site with greater understanding of one another and mutual respect.

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