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Imitating Jesus Christ, Incarnate God
Since the dawn of Christianity, the divinity of Christ has been the single most frequently and strongly challenged mystery of our faith. We say that the Church is going through the most serious crisis of the twenty centuries of her history. At the center of this crisis is the widespread doubt and denial that Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, is the Son of the Living God. There is nothing else in our Catholic faith that needs to be more clearly understood and firmly believed than Christ's divinity.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart and Modern Christology
My plan for this paper is to do three things: first, to identify some of the prevalent errors in modern Christology which threaten to undermine the Sacred Heart Devotion; then to point out some of the legitimate developments of doctrine on the person and work of Christ, and again show how they bear on this Devotion; and finally to draw some practical conclusions.
Book Review - The Nazarene
Zolli’s book, "The Nazarene", was written shortly after his conversion to the Catholic Church. It is an unusual book, especially because it concentrates on the one word "Nazarene." Its author’s purpose is to concentrate on the title Nazarene.
Christ, The King of the Universe
The spirituality of St. Paul derives all it’s meaning and finds all its purpose in one dominant mystery of the Christian faith—namely, the person of Christ as the natural Son of God. After all, what is Christianity except the religion of a human being who was and proved Himself to be the Incarnate God?
Christ, God's Gift Through Mary
God chose Mary because of her humility. Everything about the Annunciation depicts Mary as a humble person who is troubled by the Angel’s extraordinary praise. Proud persons like to be praised, but they never get enough. Mary was far from being proud. She had vowed herself to virginity and she inquired, "How can this be so?" when told she was to be the Mother of the one Who is to come, even though she was vowed to virginity. Though she did not understand, she accepted because she believed in God’s omnipotence. "Be it done unto me."
Christ Our Light
Consequently, it is not only not surprising but should be obvious that what the Church first needs today is for her members to deepen and clarify and strengthen their faith convictions. If their faith is what it should be, all else has the promise of a true renascence in piety and the service of one’s neighbor. But if their faith remains weak or confused, or contaminated with error, the bright promise of a reformation in the Catholic Church will turn out to be a dream or, worse still, a deceptive mirage.
Christ Our Strength
We do not normally think of Christ or speak of Him as our strength. More frequently we refer to Him in terms He used of Himself when He said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. Moreover, we usually ask our Lord to give us strength, but we seldom think of Him precisely as not only giving us strength, but as being our strength. What, then, do we mean when we talk about the Savior as literally the strength on which we rely and without which—better, without whom—we would be unequal to the trials of life?
Christ Our Teacher and Leader in Morality
The foundation of Christian morality is not a set of rules. It is not even a list of commandments. It is a person. It is Jesus Christ.
Devotion to the Precious Blood
St. Peter gives us the revealed foundation for our devotion to the Precious Blood. "You were redeemed," says the Apostle, "not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as the Lamb without blemish or stain" (1 Peter 1:18-19). Given this foundation of faith, we ask ourselves what exactly do we mean when we say we were redeemed by the Blood of Christ?  We mean that unless Christ had shed his blood for us, we would not be redeemed.
Jesus Christ, Incarnate God
The heart of Christianity is faith in the Incarnation. We believe that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity became man. We believe the Incarnation is the union of the divine nature of the Son of God with human nature in the person of Jesus Christ. We believe that the Son of God assumed our flesh, body and soul and dwelt among us like one of us, in order to redeem us. We believe that His divine nature was substantially united to our human nature. We believe that Jesus Christ is God who became man and will remain man for the endless reaches of eternity.
Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Truth
Our present meditation is on Christ, the Truth, our duty to know Jesus Christ. There is no more stark contrast between the Old Testament and Christ’s understanding of the Decalogue than in the eighth commandment. As we have seen, the stress in the Mosaic code was on the prohibition of lying. Given our fallen human nature, we all have a propensity for not telling the truth. In other words, it is natural to fallen man to lie. Not to know that is not to understand human nature.
Jesus Christ, the Savior
Our present meditation is on Christ, the Truth, our duty to know Jesus Christ. There is no more stark contrast between the Old Testament and Christ’s understanding of the Decalogue than in the eighth commandment. As we have seen, the stress in the Mosaic code was on the prohibition of lying. Given our fallen human nature, we all have a propensity for not telling the truth. In other words, it is natural to fallen man to lie. Not to know that is not to understand human nature.
The Precious Blood of Christ
Our present conference is on the Precious Blood of Christ. As you know, we are reflecting on the principal attributes of Christ which Father Gerald identifies as the foundation stones for the imitation of Christ. He saw the most fundamental premise for the imitation of Christ.
The Temptation of Christ by the Devil
In the present meditation we shall concentrate on the narrative which is found in the gospels, for our purpose especially in St. Matthew, with an explanation of the meaning to understand what exactly took place when Christ was tempted. Our next meditation we will be to see the implications, the profound implications for our moral, spiritual, and collective lives of society which, I can honestly say, is being deeply penetrated by the evil spirit.
The Name of Jesus: Its Power in Our Lives
Our reflections are on the name of Jesus, its power in our lives. Whoever enters on the path of sanctity must keep his focus clear. What are we doing? Whom are we following? How are we to act? Why are we acting as we are? All of these questions can be answered in one word: Jesus.
Why God Became Man
This is no ordinary question, never was. But it is extraordinarily important to have the right answer today. There are certain mysteries of our faith that are fundamental to Christianity. No one should have any doubt that the most fundamental mystery is the fact that Jesus Christ is true God.
Manuscript: Historical Christology - Table of Contents
A study of Catholic teaching about Christ from Biblical times to the present.
Manuscript: Historical Christology: Chapter I - Messianism
Unique among the religious traditions of the world, Judaeo-Christianity is the religion of hope. Its sacred writings from Genesis to the Book of Revelation are eschatological; they always press forward in expectation and recount the past as a presage of the future. One of the benefits of a science like Comparative Religion is to discover this uniqueness, first among the ancient people of Israel and then among their inheritors, the followers of Jesus Christ…The forward thrust of Jewish eschatology has a general aspect that covers the gamut of Israel's faith in Yahweh to lead His people through an earthly Promised Land to their final and beyond-this-earthly destiny. Its more particular form, called Messianism, is the historical background of the Christian religion and the foundation for any comprehensive understanding of Christology.
Manuscript: Historical Christology: Chapter II - Witness Of The New Testament
Christians imply more by the term, "New Testament," than meets the eye. They affirm two levels of God's communication to the human race, an early witness that spanned the centuries before the coming of Christ, and a latter testimony which began with the Incarnation but will continue until the end of time. Against the background of Jewish Messianism, we are in a better position to appreciate how truly different this New Covenant is, even as fulfillment differs from prophecy and the reality differs from hope. No matter how clearly the prophets had spoken--and they could be obscure--they would give us only an inkling of the One they predicted. Our first stage of genetic analysis, then, traces the witness of the Christian scriptures--the Synoptic Gospels, St. Paul and St. John--to the person and mission of the Savior. Our purpose will be as much to discover how the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ as to lay the foundation for a more scientific Christology in the later Patristic and Conciliar age.
Manuscript: Historical Christology: Chapter III - The Early Apologists
From the dawn of Christianity, the apostles and first leaders of the Church were at pains to verify the origins of their faith and how radically, therefore, the Christian religion differs from the mythology of pagan Greece and Rome. They were conscious of the strength of their position in having a historic center. "We do not utter idle tales," they told their contemporaries, "in declaring that God was born in form of man." There never was a Mithra, the Romans were reminded; and he never slew the mystic bull. There never was a Great Mother of sorrows to wail over Attis and become a true mother to the suffering daughters of humanity. For all her beauty, Isis was only the idealized product of Egyptian zoolatry. The Logos of the Stoics was a pure abstraction, and of their ideal Wise Man, Plutarch wrote, "He nowhere on earth, nor ever has been"; whereas for Christians the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Manuscript: Historical Christology: Chapter IV - Origins of Comparative Christology
The beginnings of the science of comparative religion should be traced to the first centuries of the Christian era, when defenders of the new faith found themselves in contest with contemporary Greek and Roman religions. Devotees of Zeus and Jupiter were not going to yield easily, and three hundred years of persecution reflect the gravity of the conflict. Since the foundations of Christianity were laid on the person of its Founder, not unnaturally those who rejected the claims of Jesus of Nazareth focused on His person and achievements to compare them with what they believed were equally true of their own deities and demigods. Moreover, since the center of the Christian faith was attribution of divinity to Jesus, pagan apologists turned to their own religious culture to proclaim similar attributes of persons whom they worshipped. In a word, Christianity was no better than other mythologies of the Mediterranean world.
Manuscript: Historical Christology: Chapter V - Arianism and the Council of Nicea
If the person of Christ was a stumbling block among His own contemporaries, and the test of discipleship was acceptance or rejection of the Savior, the same condition prevailed as the Church approached the end of her catacomb days and was to take her place of freedom in the Roman Empire. There had been challenges to the divinity of Christ from the beginnings of the Christian era and John's Gospel was written mainly to meet the critics of the first century who, in his words, wished to "dissolve Christ," and separate the man Jesus from Christ, the Son of God. The whole period from the apostolic age to the time of Constantine was not without its "heretics from within and hecklers from without" who sought to change the ancient faith. A new crisis, however, faced the Church on the eve of her liberation, and continued through four centuries of her existence, to the time of Mohammed and for another hundred years after the rise of Islam.
Manuscript: Historical Christology: Chapter VI - Christology of the Fathers
Between the Councils of Nicea and Ephesus arose a series of patristic writers that have shaped Christology on its kerygmatic side more than any other factor in the history of the Church. Nicea had clarified the divine nature of the Savior and Ephesus would define His divine personality, but in the interim was a century that for output of theological genius has not been duplicated since; and even the thirteenth century produced its great synthesis of faith only because it had the monumental work of Augustine, Jerome and Chrysostom to lean upon. It is impossible to do more than get a glimpse of these hundred remarkable years; but they cannot be passed by without leaving a one-sided impression of the Christian religion--as though it depended solely on the periodic councils to forward the development of dogma. Actually the councils themselves could be so effective because they had the wisdom of saintly scholarship on which to draw for a deeper understanding of revelation, here of the Word of God become Man.
Manuscript: Historical Christology: Chapter VII - Ephesus and Chalcedon
True to their native tendency of philosophizing the faith, theologians in the East were not satisfied with the plain orthodoxy of Nicea. Arianism had by no means disappeared, even after the death of its great supporter, the Emperor Constans (350 A.D.), although its main thrust was shifted to the West and Northwest and continued to harass the Church for centuries through the Arian hordes of Goths, Vandals, and Lombards. Preoccupied with the question, "What think you of Christ?" Eastern speculators directed their attention from Christ as God (vindicated at Nicea) to Christ as man. They asked themselves: if Christ has two perfect natures, human and divine, how is He only one person? If He is only one individual, it seemed to some of them that at least one component part was perfected by the union. Since it could not be His divinity, it must have been His humanity. Christ had to lack something as man, which His divinity supplied.
Manuscript: Historical Christology: Chapter VIII - Christology of Thomas Aquinas
Five and a half centuries are a long time between the Council of Constantinople which condemned the Monothelites and the birth of Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 A.D.) who climaxed the Church's highest period of speculative theology. In the interim the science of Christology had not substantially grown beyond what it was at the end of the patristic age. Yet the person of Christ was not for that reason less dominant in the lives of the faithful, or less relevant in the life of the Church. It was only that generations of battling the Vandal hordes, and more generations in stabilizing European culture precluded serious academic investigation. With the rise of the great universities, first as day schools attached to monasteries or cathedrals and later as full-blown institutions of higher learning, all branches of human study grew apace--including the religious sciences. The life and teachings of Christ became part of these studies, and by the end of the twelfth century we find a library of manuscript production on every phase of the Incarnation and Redemption.
Manuscript: Historical Christology: Chapter X - Jesus Christ in Symbol and Devotion
The person of Christ is more deeply venerated in the Catholic world than even most Catholics realize. No doubt Christians in the Protestant tradition have a great respect for the Savior, and their piety is permeated with references to Jesus Christ, to a point that Catholics sometimes apologize for their "institutional religion" and apparent lack of emphasis on the One who stands above all forms of institutionalism. Actually devotion to Christ is widespread in the Roman Catholic Church, and, though obscured for some people because of semantics, it is the most popular form of piety practiced by millions of the faithful--under the form of cultus of the Sacred Heart.
Lesson Seven - The Ascension of Christ
What needs to be emphasized is that the Ascension, no less than the Resurrection, was not something merely symbolic. Less still was it something which the disciples imagined. The Ascension took place at a given point of time in history, at a given place in geography.





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