Theology Thursdays No.1
Happy New Year!
Greetings from sunny and warm Chicago! I have the great privilege of accompanying 46 nieces and nephews to SLS18, a conference put on by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). It has been such a beautiful week!! Very chilly--both going outside in the windchill of -25 and the fact that these incredible speakers keep giving me chills. For 2018, we'll be adding a new THEOLOGY THURSDAY segment to AskAuntKatie.com because this faith is just too beautiful not to explore. I hope you enjoy this and all future segments!
God bless you & please pray for the 8000+ participants gathered for this year's Student Leadership Summit!!
Fresh out of law school, my juris doctor still in its wrapping, I moved back home at the age of 26 (humility is a virtue, right?), and I dove into the greatest academic and spiritual adventure of my life--pursuing a Masters in Theological Studies. To kick of Theology Thursdays I'll share with you the first and most life-changing lesson I learned that first day of class. Ever have those moments when you learn something new and realize you've been totally wrong about everything your whole life? It was that kind of mind-blowing. It was from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC460:
460 The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature (2 Pt 1:4)":"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres)." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God (St. Athanasius, De inc.)." "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 (St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc.)."
Say what, now?
This earth-shifting article is very fitting for the Christmas season... why did Jesus come? To redeem us? Sure. To save us? Sure. To repair the damage done by our first parents? Sure. Because He's God and being human could be fun? Maybe. But ultimately... it was to give us the ability to become PARTAKERS IN THE DIVINE NATURE.
So what are we? Humans. Human persons with human natures. Jesus was a Divine person with a Human Nature & a Divine Nature. His entering into humanity gives us the opportunity to partake in the divine nature!! There's no divine nature partakage without Jesus' incarnation. That's HUUUUGE. As St. Athanasius put it (even more directly)... that we might become God. No, not like tiny minor gods of our own future planets (though I can see the appeal...) like God Himself. Sharing in His DIVINITY!
When the eternal becomes part of our everyday mentality everything changes. If you want to make 2018 an unforgettable year take 5 minutes a day... or even 30 SECONDS a day to contemplate this truth. Our involvement with the divine is not just a remote relationship dotted with some Our Fathers and lottery ticket dreams. He wants us to participate in His divinity!
So next time you're stuck in a shame hole or dappling in Jansenism, remember God's plan for you involves eternity with Him.
Forever is a long time. Thank God.