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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    condemned Arius who had affirmed that the Son of God came to be from things that were not and that he was from another substance than that of the Father 88 466 The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person of God s Son Opposing this heresy St Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council at Ephesus in 431 confessed that the Word uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul became man 89 Christ s humanity has no other subject than the divine person of the Son of God who assumed it and made it his own from his conception For this reason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of God by the human conception of the Son of God in her womb Mother of God not that the nature of the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin but that since the holy body animated by a rational soul which the Word of God united to himself according to the hypostasis was born from her the Word is said to be born according to the flesh 90 467 The Monophysites affirmed that the human nature had ceased to exist as such in Christ when the divine person of God s Son assumed it Faced with this heresy the fourth ecumenical council at Chalcedon in 451 confessed Following the holy Fathers we unanimously teach and confess one and the same Son our Lord Jesus Christ the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity the same truly God and truly man composed of rational soul and body consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity like us in all things but sin He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and in these last days for us and for our salvation was born as to his humanity of the virgin Mary the Mother of God 91 We confess that one and the same Christ Lord and only begotten Son is to be acknowledged in two natures without confusion change division or separation The distinction between the natures was never abolished by their union but rather the character proper to each of the two natures was preserved as they came together in one person prosopon and one hypostasis 92 468 After the Council of Chalcedon some made of Christ s human nature a kind of personal subject Against them the fifth ecumenical council at Constantinople in 553 confessed that there is but one hypostasis or person which is our Lord Jesus Christ one of the Trinity 93 Thus everything in Christ s human nature is to be attributed to his divine person as its proper subject not only his miracles but also his sufferings and even his death He who was crucified in the flesh our Lord Jesus Christ is true

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience 102 This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself taking the form of a slave 103 473 But at the same time this truly human knowledge of God s Son expressed the divine life of his person 104 The human nature of God s Son not by itself but by its union with the Word knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God 105 Such is first of all the case with the intimate and immediate knowledge that the Son of God made man has of his Father 106 The Son in his human knowledge also showed the divine penetration he had into the secret thoughts of human hearts 107 474 By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal 108 What he admitted to not knowing in this area he elsewhere declared himself not sent to reveal 109 Christ s human will 475 Similarly at the sixth ecumenical council Constantinople III in 681 the Church confessed that Christ possesses two wills and two natural operations divine and human They are not opposed to each other but co operate in such a way that the Word made flesh willed humanly in obedience to his Father all that he had decided divinely with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our salvation 110 Christ s human will does not resist or oppose but rather submits to his divine and almighty will 111 Christ s true body 476 Since the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity Christ s body was finite 112 Therefore the human face of Jesus can be portrayed at the seventh ecumenical council Nicaea II in 787 the Church recognized its representation in holy images to be legitimate 113 477 At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus we see our God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see 114 The individual characteristics of Christ s body express the divine person of God s Son He has made the features of his human body his own to the point that they can be venerated when portrayed in a holy image for the believer who venerates the icon is venerating in it the person of the one depicted 115 The heart of the Incarnate Word 478 Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life his agony and his Passion and gave himself up for each one of us The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me 116 He has loved us all with a human heart For this reason the Sacred Heart of Jesus pierced by our sins and for our salvation 117 is quite rightly considered the

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    the Church confessed that the eternal Son also assumed a rational human soul 100 472 This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge As such this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time This is why the Son of God could when he became man increase in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man 101 and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience 102 This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself taking the form of a slave 103 473 But at the same time this truly human knowledge of God s Son expressed the divine life of his person 104 The human nature of God s Son not by itself but by its union with the Word knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God 105 Such is first of all the case with the intimate and immediate knowledge that the Son of God made man has of his Father 106 The Son in his human knowledge also showed the divine penetration he had into the secret thoughts of human hearts 107 474 By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal 108 What he admitted to not knowing in this area he elsewhere declared himself not sent to reveal 109 Notes 100 Cf Damasus 1 DS 149 101 Lk 2 52 102 Cf Mk 6 38 8 27 Jn 11 34 etc 103 Phil 2 7 104 Cf St Gregory

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Catechism of the Catholic Church Christ s human will 475 Similarly at the sixth ecumenical council Constantinople III in 681 the Church confessed that Christ possesses two wills and two natural operations divine and human They are not opposed to each other but co operate in such a way that the Word made flesh willed humanly in obedience to his Father all that he had decided divinely with the Father

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    What You Need to Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Action Alert SOLIDARITY MONTH 10 is as good as 1 000 Help set a new record for the number of gifts this month Goal 1 000 769 to go Catechism of the Catholic Church Christ s true body 476 Since the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity Christ s body was finite 112 Therefore the human face of Jesus can be portrayed at the seventh ecumenical council Nicaea II in 787 the Church recognized its representation in holy images to be legitimate 113 477 At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus we see our God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see 114 The individual characteristics of Christ s body express the divine person of God s Son He has made the features of his human body his own to the point that they can be venerated when portrayed in a holy image for the believer who venerates the icon is venerating in it the person of the one depicted 115 Notes 112 Cf Council of the Lateran

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    and all during his life his agony and his Passion and gave himself up for each one of us The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me 116 He has loved us all with a human heart For this reason the Sacred Heart of Jesus pierced by our sins and for our salvation 117 is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings without exception 118 IN BRIEF 479 At the time appointed by God the only Son of the Father the eternal Word that is the Word and substantial Image of the Father became incarnate without losing his divine nature he has assumed human nature 480 Jesus Christ is true God and true man in the unity of his divine person for this reason he is the one and only mediator between God and men 481 Jesus Christ possesses two natures one divine and the other human not confused but united in the one person of God s Son 482 Christ being true God and true man has a human intellect and will perfectly attuned and subject to his

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    to me according to your word 139 Thus giving her consent to God s word Mary becomes the mother of Jesus Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly without a single sin to restrain her she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him by God s grace 140 As St Irenaeus says Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race 141 Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert The knot of Eve s disobedience was untied by Mary s obedience what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief Mary loosened by her faith 142 Comparing her with Eve they call Mary the Mother of the living and frequently claim Death through Eve life through Mary 143 Mary s divine motherhood 495 Called in the Gospels the mother of Jesus Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son as the mother of my Lord 144 In fact the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit who truly became her Son according to the flesh was none other than the Father s eternal Son the second person of the Holy Trinity Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God Theotokos 145 Mary s virginity 496 From the first formulations of her faith the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit without human seed 146 The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own Thus St Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of the second century says You are firmly convinced about our Lord who is truly of the race of David according to the flesh Son of God according to the will and power of God truly born of a virgin he was truly nailed to a tree for us in his flesh under Pontius Pilate he truly suffered as he is also truly risen 147 497 The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility 148 That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancee 149 The Church sees here the fulfilment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son 150 498 People are sometimes troubled by the silence of St Mark s Gospel and the New Testament Epistles about Jesus virginal conception Some might wonder if we were merely dealing with legends or theological constructs not claiming to be history To

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    to go Catechism of the Catholic Church I CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 484 The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates the fullness of time 119 the time of the fulfilment of God s promises and preparations Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the whole fullness of deity would dwell bodily 120 The divine response to her question How can this be since I know not man was given by the power of the Spirit The Holy Spirit will come upon you 121 485 The mission of the Holy Spirit is always conjoined and ordered to that of the Son 122 The Holy Spirit the Lord the giver of Life is sent to sanctify the womb of the Virgin Mary and divinely fecundate it causing her to conceive the eternal Son of the Father in a humanity drawn from her own 486 The Father s only Son conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary is Christ that is to say anointed by the Holy Spirit from the beginning of his human existence though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively to the shepherds to the magi to John the Baptist to the

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