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The Profession of Faith

119

IV.

H

ow

I

s

the

S

on of

G

od

M

an

?

470

Because “human nature was assumed, not absorbed,”

97

in

the mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over

the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ’s human

soul, with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human

body. In parallel fashion, she had to recall on each occasion that

Christ’s human nature belongs, as his own, to the divine person of

the Son of God, who assumed it. Everything that Christ is and does

in this nature derives from “one of the Trinity.” The Son of God

therefore communicates to his humanity his own personal mode

of existence in the Trinity. In his soul as in his body, Christ thus

expresses humanly the divine ways of the Trinity:

98

The Son of God . . . worked with human hands; he thought

with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with

a human heart he loved. Born of the VirginMary, he has truly

been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin.

99

Christ’s soul and his human knowledge

471

Apollinarius of Laodicaea asserted that in Christ the divine

Word had replaced the soul or spirit. Against this error 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

favor 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

97

GS

22 § 2.

98 Cf.

Jn

14:9-10.

99

GS

22 § 2.

100 Cf. Damasus I: 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 the Great, “

Sicut aqua

ad Eulogium, Epist. Lib.

10, 39: PL 77,

1097A ff.; DS 475.

516

626

2599

363