Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"...Wanting to Make Us Sharers in His Divinity..."

I was trekking through part of the Catechism that explains why the Word became flesh. I'd gotten up to Catechism of the Catholic Church, 459, about a month ago. (October 24, 2012)

... To Really Mess Things Up, You Need a Computer

I had written the framework for this post late Monday afternoon. Then, somehow, I deleted the whole thing. Irrevocably. Every trick I know for recovering 'deleted' data - didn't work.

I took a break, then started reconstructing the post. I knew where I'd found most of the information, and still remembered most of the structure. That kept me occupied until after midnight. My after-midnight work tends to be a trifle unstructured; or strangely-structured; or both.

The rest of this post is an effort to break that mass of text and lists into something that might pass as an orderly set of ideas.

Should you choose to continue reading, good luck. I should be much more coherent by Friday: emphasis on "should." :)

Issues and an Election

Issues at stake in America's national election encouraged me to go 'off schedule' for late October and most of November. I even put one of these 'Wednesday' posts on a Monday. (November 5, 2012)

The election didn't turn out entirely as I'd hoped. By the way, this isn't a political blog: but having standards sometimes means discussing my native land's leadership.

The Ultimate Role Model

One of the reasons the Word became flesh was "to be our model of holiness." (Catechism, 459) There's more to Jesus than that, but like God the Father said:
"...'This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.' "
(Mark 9:7)
I went over that last month:

Eternal Life: Good News, Bad News

Listening to Jesus seems prudent, since each of us will live forever. That's good news, or bad news: depending on what each of us decided to do with our lives. (Catechism, 1021-1022)

Some of my take on eternity:
When Jesus died on Golgotha, and then stopped being dead, my Lord made eternal life available. (Catechism, 1026)

"Partakers of the Divine Nature"

Jesus is more than just a good role model. My Lord became one of us so that we could become "partakers of the divine nature." This doesn't mean that I'm God; or we'll all God; or will become God. As I've said before, "God's God, I'm not."

On the other hand, St. Thomas Aquinas said Jesus came to "make men gods." Lower case "g:"
"The Word became flesh to make us 'partakers of the divine nature':78 '... '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.'81"
(Catechism, 460)

Fully Understand - - - GOD?!

I talked over "...might make men gods" with someone who's been Catholic longer than I've been alive. He said that a better translation of St. Thomas' words might be "...might make men like gods."

That cleared things up a bit, but I still don't completely understand: which is about par for the course. St. Augustine said:
"If you understood him, it would not be God"
(St. Augustine of Hippo, quoted in Catechism, 230)
Then there are the last chapters of Job, and I'm getting a little off-topic. Which is also about par for the course.

Learning About God

I'm a finite creature. I don't expect to fully understand the infinite Almighty; but we're all expected to:
  • Know God
    (Catechism, 31-35)
  • Know about God
    (Catechism, 36-38)
    • As much as a finite creature can understand the infinite Creator
      (Catechism, 39-43)

Describing God

"There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written."
(John 21:25)
I think what John wrote applies to efforts to catalog the characteristics of God. That didn't keep me from assembling this list:
  • A "mystery without words"
    • Even after revealing Himself
      • "If you understood him, it would not be God"
        (St. Augustine)
    (Catechism, 230)
  • All-powerful
    • Created everything
      (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 268)
      • Out of nothing
        (Catechism, 296)
    • Didn't have to create anything
      (Catechism, 295)
    • Upholds and sustains what He created
      (Catechism, 301)
  • The source of
    • Every good
    • All love
    • All truth
    (Catechism, 1723, 2465)
  • The great HE WHO IS
    • From everlasting to everlasting
    • Without origin and without end
    (Catechism, 212-213)
  • Infinitely good
    (Catechism, 385)
  • Loving
    (Catechism, 268)
  • Merciful
    (Catechism, 270)
  • Holy
    (Catechism, 208)
I've posted most of that list before:
Related posts:

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.