The Profession of Faith
Because “human nature was assumed, not absorbed,”
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:
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.
Christ’s soul and his human knowledge
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.
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,”
and would even have to inquire for
himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from
This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary
emptying of himself, taking “the form of a slave.”
But at the same time, this truly human knowledge of God’s
Son expressed the divine life of his person.
“The human nature
22 § 2.
22 § 2.
100 Cf. Damasus I: DS 149.
104 Cf. St. Gregory the Great, “
ad Eulogium, Epist. Lib.
10, 39: PL 77,
1097A ff.; DS 475.