Monthly Archives: July 2011

In the Beginning was the Word

THAT THE SON OF GOD IS GOD

[1] Consideration must, of course, be given to the fact that the names mentioned are used by the divine Scripture in its exposition of the creation of things, for in Job (38:28-29) it says: “Who is the father of rain? Or who begot the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice; and the frost from heaven who engendered it!” Therefore, lest nothing more be understood by the words for “paternity,” “sonship,” and “generation” than the efficacy of creation, the authority of Scripture added something: When it was naming Him “Son” and “begotten”, it was not silent about His being God, so that the generation mentioned might be understood as something more than creation. For John (1:1) says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That by the name “Word” one should understand Son is made plain in the sequel, for he adds: “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the Father” (1:14). And Paul says: “The goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared” (Titus 3:4).

[2] Neither was the writing in the Old Testament silent about this; it named Christ God. For a Psalm (44:7-8) says: “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of your kingdom is a sceptre of uprightness. You loved justice, and hated iniquity.”—That this is spoken to Christ is clear from what follows: “Therefore God, your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above your fellows.” And Isaiah (9:6) says: “A Child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of peace.”

[3] Thus, then, are we taught from sacred Scripture that the Son of God, begotten of God, is God. And Peter confessed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He said: “You are Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mat. 16:16). He Himself, therefore, is both the Only-begotten and God.

Sacraments of Healing

Just as Baptism causes a spiritual cleansing from spiritual stains by means of a bodily washing, so this sacrament causes an inward healing by means of an outward sacramental healing: and even as the baptismal washing has the effect of a bodily washing, since it effects even a bodily cleansing, so too, Extreme Unction has the effect of a bodily remedy, namely a healing of the body. (ST. Supp, q. 30, a. 2)

Both penance and extreme unction are sacraments of healing.  As a human, we are body and soul, and although it is our soul that is the form of the body, and thus its state is of more eternal importance, nevertheless Christ, in the gift of His Sacraments, cares for the whole man.

Private penance begins (500-1000 A.D)

 

Private Penance developed as a result of monasticism and the relationship between religious and their confessor and spiritual director, who were generally the same person.  Thus, often, spiritual direction would begin with a confessing of sins, and likewise, spiritual direction given would obviously include guidance on avoidance of those faults confessed.

Today, there are mixed opinions about whether one should have the same person as spiritual director and confessor, but the two are certainly well suited to each other, since growing in holiness cannot but include our turning away from our sins and towards the Lord.

Jesus calls to conversion: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”…It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life. (CCC 1427)

Unlike the angels, our decision to serve or not serve our God is not a momentary and once for all event.  As creatures subject to time, our conversion is continual.  We fall and we repent.  We certainly do not want this to become a rote habit where we see forgiveness as something mechanical to be repeatedly obtained after sinning freely, but we also do not despair when we fall yet again, for God is merciful.  We do what we can, and pray for God to make up for what we cannot, praying most especially for the grace of final perseverance.

 

Parts of the Sacrament of Penance

The first necessity of the sacrament is contrition. As Isidore defined it, “Contrition is a tearful sorrow and humility of mind, arising from remembrance of sin and fear of the Judgment.” In other words, we must recognize that we have done contrary to the will of God, and must overcome our pride and wish to render the honor to God that we refused in sinning.

Once we are contrite, we confess our sin.  We always confess to God, but the normal mode instituted by Christ Himself is the Sacrament of Penance, especially for mortal sins.  Here, we confess our sins to a priest of Christ, ordained in the Church He founded.

We are then given a penance, normally, and we agree to carry it out.  This Satisfaction may include retribution to those we have harmed, and prayer as well.  Besides any repaying of those we may have harmed, the penance is not so much for us to repay a debt as it is a medicine for our soul, that we may be turned back to God and trust in doing His will.

Anointing of the Sick

Mark 6:13 and James 5:14-15.

“And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:13) Jesus has just sent out the apostles, in twos, to preach the kingdom.  We see here that He has given them a participation in His authority (we will see this even more clearly in Jesus’ words in Matt 28) to be conveyors of His grace.  The casting out of devils and the healing with oil shows both the spiritual and physical care that God has for His people, and the oil demonstrates that Christ, Himself incarnate, of course, uses material means as instruments of grace because we are not merely spiritual but corporeal beings as well.

James tells us that this ministry and sacrament has not ceased with the Ascension of Christ, but continues through His Church. “Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:14-15)

 

The fruits of this sacrament (CCC 1520-1523).

When we are sick or in old age, we often face grave temptations against the faith.  Even the greatest of saints have often faced temptations against the faith itself as they neared death. In fact, God allows these trials, but He always gives the grace to grow by them.

As the Catechism says, “The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death.” (CCC 1520)

“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church” (Col 1:24) says Paul. And further, we are “joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.” (Rom 8:17)

Sometimes we are truly called upon to suffer with and for Christ, and we can merit for ourselves and even for others when we do so willingly.  The Sacrament of Extreme Unction is a great gift in the grace it gives in such times.

Summa Contra Gentiles

I have spoken already of the Summa Theologica, and in fact, it is the primary source and purpose of this blog.  St. Thomas, of course, wrote prolifically, and all of his works are worth study and contemplation (a task I am far from completing).  At this point, I am of the opinion that, although the Summa Theologica is “written for the instruction of beginners,” that in all actuality, the Summa Contra Gentiles, written earlier and actually complete (the Summa Theologica was never completed, as St. Thomas, in deep contemplation of God, realized “all he had written was as straw” compared to the beatific vision and thus refused to take up the pen again), is easier to read, for it is written in a straight forward style (without the objections and replies of the scholastic format) and thus for many would make a better introduction to the systematic thought of St. Thomas.

Written as four books, it is divided into two parts:

  1. That knowledge of God which can be reached by human reason alone
  2. That which can only be known by God’s revelation of Himself

The first of these is divided into three books, treating of God, Creation, and Providence. The fourth book, then, is titled Salvation.

Notes:

If one wishes to purchase these books, Providence is divided into Part I and Part II.

It is available online for free here.

Veritatis Splendor, the Virtues, and Happiness as the goal of morality

There is a huge dividing line between those that look on moral theology and morals in general as the pursuit of human happiness or merely the duty of obligation.  It is a difference of understanding our human nature and its end, or of merely following the arbitrary rules of a God who is simply “in charge.”

Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and the Catholic faith have always emphasized the former, without neglecting the obligation it entails.  Thus human happiness is brought about by the perfecting of the specifically human powers, in which the passions play an important role.  These passions, being morally neutral, are rightly to be brought under human reason, as they are the third power of human beings (the others being will and intellect).

All this leads to the question of why the virtues are so important for Pope John Paul II, and that moral instruction is more than just an examination of sin.  “There are two interior sources of moral formation and one exterior one.  The internal sources are virtue and sin; the other exterior source is grace.”1 Here we will examine the internal sources, especially virtue.

The Beatitudes are not specifically concerned with certain particular rules of behaviour. Rather, they speak of basic attitudes and dispositions in life and therefore they do not coincide exactly with the commandments… there is no separation or opposition between the Beatitudes and the commandments: both refer to the good, to eternal life… In their originality and profundity they are a sort of self- portrait of Christ, and for this very reason are invitations to discipleship and to communion of life with Christ.”2

There is no opposition between the beatitudes and the commandments.  There is, we see, no opposition between the disposition we should obtain in our soul and rules we must follow.  The commandments are not arbitrary rules of an arbitrary God, but invitations to communion of life with Christ.

The Catholic tradition has always been one of a freedom for excellence.  The relationship between freedom and divine law will manifest itself in our virtues, for it is they that will allow us “to live our moral life in a way worthy of our sublime vocation as ‘sons in the Son’.”3 Human beings enjoy freedom of action, unlike rocks and even animals.  With this freedom comes a responsibility to act in conformity to our end. Virtue is this quality of mind by which we live rightly, and cooperate in the seeking of our end.

We are not free to decide what our end is; that was done at our creation.  But we are given the freedom to seek it an cooperate in obtaining it. Here, we recognize the eternal law and our status as both a servant and free.  We do not make the law, but in freely following it we obtain our happiness. “The follower of Christ knows that his vocation is to freedom.”4

Following Christ is thus the essential and primordial foundation of Christian morality… it involves holding fast to the very person of Jesus, partaking of his life and his destiny, sharing in his free and loving obedience to the will of the Father.5 This is the central point then; sharing in His “free and loving” obedience.  It is not just obedience, but “free and loving” obedience.  The virtues are “a permanent quality which enables us to act in a way that is not only prompt and skillful, but full of zest and pleasure as well.”6

Our virtues are formed by way of habit, in that we do what is right and, in time, we are conformed to this way of acting.  At first, it is often a struggle, but these habits conform us more and more to the Son, that we may “[share] in his free and loving obedience to the will of the Father.” Our late Holy Father very much emphasized this loving obedience, not in contradiction to the obligation to obey, but because it is the peak of love, which acts not from being the slave, but the son.

In emphasizing the virtues, the Holy Father in no way neglected that grace is necessary.  These habits are not formed from human effort alone, for if they were, they would never be obtained. “As universal and daily experience demonstrates, man is tempted to break that harmony: ‘I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want.’” 7 However, “Man always has before him the spiritual horizon of hope, thanks to the help of divine grace and with the cooperation of human freedom.”8

Certainly it is our duties to know what is sin and to avoid it.  But loving God, which is both our obligation and our path to happiness, is not a mere meeting the minimum standard, but a life of freedom for excellence. It is loving God with all our mind, heart, and strength. The virtues are emphasized by John Paul II because they are what conforms us interiorly, not just exteriorly, to the beatific vision.  After all, the beatitudes show us that it is our interior hearts that conform us to God.  We are called, not to be Pharisees, who “are inside full of dead men’s bones,” but disciples, called “to discipleship and to communion of life with Christ.”9

Footnotes:

  1. Mullady, Both a Servant and Free (pg. 187)
  2. Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, 16
  3. Ibid, 18
  4. Ibid, 17
  5. Ibid, 19
  6. Brennan, Image (pg. 232)
  7. VS, 102
  8. Ibid, 103
  9. Ibid, 16

Summa III, Question 22 – Christ’s Priesthood

Article 1. Whether it is fitting that Christ should be a priest?

“The Lord showed me the high-priest standing before the angel of the Lord. (Zechariah 3:1)” It seems that to be a priest is to be less than an angel. However, “We have therefore a great high-priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. (Hebrews 4:14)”

The office of a priest is to be a mediator between God and the people. “Every high-priest taken from among men is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins.” Christ does exactly this in the perfect and only truly efficacious way.

“Wherefore, as to others, one is a lawgiver, another is a priest, another is a king; but all these concur in Christ, as the fount of all grace. Hence it is written (Isaiah 33:22): The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our law-giver, the Lord is our King: He will come and save us.”

Article 2. Whether Christ was Himself both priest and victim?

It is the duty of the priest to slay the victim. Christ did not slay Himself, but of His own free-will He exposed Himself to death, according to Isaiah 53:7: “He was offered because it was His own will.” Thus He is said to have offered Himself.

Man is required to offer sacrifice for three reasons. For the remission of sin, that he may be preserved in a state of grace, and in order that his spirit be perfectly united to God. All these effects were conferred on us by the humanity of Christ. Therefore Christ Himself, as man, was not only priest, but also a perfect victim, being at the same time victim for sin, victim for a peace-offering, and a holocaust.

Article 3. Whether the effect of Christ’s priesthood is the expiation of sins?

The blood of Christ, Who by the Holy Ghost offered Himself unspotted unto God, shall cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9:14)”

The stain of sin is, indeed, blotted out by grace, by which the sinner’s heart is turned to God: whereas the debt of punishment is entirely removed by the satisfaction that man offers to God. The priesthood of Christ produces both these effects. Christ was a priest, not as God, but as man, yet one and the same is both priest and God.

The Eucharist obviously ties in with the current topic, as seen in the reply to the second objection: The Sacrifice which is offered every day in the Church is not distinct from that which Christ Himself offered, but is a commemoration thereof. Wherefore Augustine says (De Civ. De. x, 20): “Christ Himself both is the priest who offers it and the victim: the sacred token of which He wished to be the daily Sacrifice of the Church.”

Article 4. Whether the effect of the priesthood of Christ pertained not only to others, but also to Himself?

“In the days of His flesh, with a strong cry and tears He offered up prayers and supplications to Him that was able to save Him from death.” Was the priesthood of Christ effective  not only in others, but also in Himself? Thomas told us in question 19 that in His passion Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice, and by His passion He merited, not only for others, but also for Himself.

We read in the acts of the Council of Ephesus “If anyone say that Christ offered sacrifice for Himself, and not rather for us alone, let him be anathema.” Therefore the priesthood of Christ had no effect in Himself.

The sinner needs someone between himself and God, who of himself cannot approach to God; and such a one is subject to the priesthood by sharing in the effect thereof. “For the influence of the first agent in every genus is such that it receives nothing in that genus: thus the sun gives but does not receive light; fire gives but does not receive heat.” Therefore it is not fitting that Christ should receive the effect of His priesthood, for He is the cause of all that His priesthood effects.

Article 5. Whether the priesthood of Christ endures for ever?

It would seem that the priesthood of Christ does not endure for ever, because, at the end of time, the saints in heaven will have no sin, being all just, and there is no redemption for those in hell However, It is written “Thou art a priest forever. (Psalm 109:4):”

The end of the sacrifice which Christ offered consisted not in temporal but in eternal good, which we obtain through His death. The Saints who will be in heaven will not need any further expiation by the priesthood of Christ but will need consummation through Christ Himself, on Whom their glory depends.

Although Christ’s passion and death are not to be repeated, yet the virtue of that Victim endures forever, for, as it is written “by one oblation He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”

Article 6. Whether the priesthood of Christ was according to the order of Melchisedech?

“Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech.” In this, the answer seems clear, but we should look at an objection to it by way of reason.

Objection: Christ is the fountain-head of the entire priesthood, as being the principal priest. Now that which is principal is not secondary in regard to others, but others are secondary in its regard. Therefore Christ should not be called a priest according to the order of Melchisedech.

Reply: Melchisedech was not a more excellent priest, but he foreshadowed the excellence of Christ’s over the Levitical priesthood.

As always, there are different ways in which something may be predicated of another.  Thomas, the rigorous thinker, is always careful to point out these distinctions, wanting always the clearest understanding possible of the great mysteries of the faith.

Could we say, rather, that Melchisedech was a priest according to the order of Christ? Thomas does not answer this question, but if he did, I would assume careful distinction would be made on the relation of Christ to Melchisedech.  Obviously, Melchisedech was not the cause of Christ’s type of priesthood, but Christ was the exemplar cause of Melchisedech’s. What is prior in time is not always prior in cause.

Likewise, Mary is the new Eve, and even though Eve was her “mother” in humanity, Mary is the exemplar of all humanity as human person, the one human person that all of humanity and indeed creation is based on. This is not the place to go into depth here, but I bring it up for its similarity.

Summa III, Question 21 – Christ’s Prayer

Article 1. Whether it is becoming of Christ to pray?

“And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain, and He passed the whole night in the prayer of God.”

There are two wills in Christ; one human, and one divine.  The human will, like all human wills, needs prayer to conform itself to the will of God.

In the reply to the second objection, it is said that “Amongst the other things which He knew would happen, He knew that some would be brought about by His prayer.” Now, we do not pray to change the mind of God, but we know that God has, from all time, decreed certain things to happen as a result of our praying for them.  He is a creator always respectful of His creation, including cause and effect.

Article 2. Whether it pertains to Christ to pray according to His sensuality?

Prayer transcends particular things, and rises above. It is a raising of the mind to God. The senses, however, do not transcend these particulars, and thus, although we can pray for things that our senses tell us are good (to not experience pain, etc) it is never in sensuality that we pray. Pray requires the intellect, which proper object is universal being and not particular things. Prayer is an act of reason.

Article 3. Whether it was fitting that Christ should pray for Himself?

The objection is made thatno one prays save for what He wishes, because, as was said, prayer is an unfolding of our will to God that He may fulfil it. Now Christ wished to suffer what He suffered. Therefore it was not fitting that He should pray for Himself.”

On the contrary, our Lord Himself said while praying to “Glorify Thy Son.”

Christ prayed for Himself, first, by expressing the desire of His sensuality, as stated in Article 2. He prayed “let this cup be taken from Me.” He also prayed by expressing the desire of His deliberate will when He prayed for the glory of His Resurrection.

Christ wished indeed to suffer what He suffered, at that particular time: nevertheless He wished to obtain, after His passion, the glory of His body, which as yet He had not. This very glory which Christ, while praying, besought for Himself, pertained to the salvation of others according to Romans 4:25: “He rose again for our justification.”

Article 4. Whether Christ’s prayer was always heard?

It is objected that “It would seem that Christ’s prayer was not always heard. For He besought that the chalice of His passion might be taken from Him, as we read (Matthew 26:39): and yet it was not taken from Him. Therefore it seems that not every prayer of His was heard.”

Christ was always heard in what He willed with reason, in conformity with the Divine will.  However, as man, He prayed for what His sensuality desired, as said above, and this was not always answered in the way His sensuality would prefer.  Nevertheless, His prayers were always heard, and His reason and will were always in conformity to that of the Divine reason and will.

Of note is the reply to the second objection:Our Lord did not pray for all those who crucified Him, as neither did He for all those who would believe in Him; but for those only who were predestinated to obtain eternal life through Him. Wherefore the reply to the third objection is also manifest.”

In 1722, certain professors try to censure this reply because, to them, it had Jansenistic tendencies. Indeed when I first read this, Calvinism came to mind (Christ died only for the elect).  We know, of course, that Thomas was not a Jansenist or a Calvinist.  How do we understand him here, then?

As always, Thomas makes careful distinction between conditional prayer, efficacious prayer, etc. Here, he is referring to Christ’s efficacious prayer. Earlier in the Summa, St. Thomas has said much on the difference of sufficient grace and efficacious grace, for example, and also of God’s antecedent will that all be saved.  For Thomas to remain consistent, we must understand his reply above in light of all he has earlier said.

Thus, the attempt at censure of this reply was condemned by Rome in 1726. St. Thomas is clearly no Arminian, but he is no Calvinist either.  There is great mystery in God’s antecedent will that all be saved and His consequent will that not all are saved.

John’s Prologue: a Christological Overture

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him.  He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name.Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John beareth witness of him, and crieth out, saying: This was he of whom I spoke: He that shall come after me, is preferred before me: because he was before me.

And of his fulness we all have received, and grace for grace.For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

How to change the world:

Start with yourself:

Prayers of Adoration
O my God,
I am heartily sorry for
having offended Thee,
and I detest all my sins,
because I dread the loss of heaven,
and the pains of hell;
but most of all because
they offend Thee, my God,
Who are all good and
deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve,
with the help of Thy grace
to confess my sins,
to do penance
and to amend my life.

Amen.

A short reflection on “following your conscience”

In Veritatis Splendor, the pope reaffirms the traditional Catholic teaching on objective morals and conscience place in the moral life as a “conversation with God” where conscience is the “proximate norm of personal morality” but eternal and divine law is the “universal and objective norm of morality.” (VS 60)

 

The pope quotes an earlier encyclical, saying that

 

“Conscience is not an independent and exclusive capacity to decide what is good and what is evil. Rather there is profoundly imprinted upon it a principle of obedience vis-à-vis the objective norm which establishes and conditions the correspondence of its decisions with the commands and prohibitions which are at the basis of human behavior.” (VS 58)

 

In Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II properly lays out the Thomistic and Catholic understanding of conscience and its authority, along with the duties of developing it.  St. Thomas has a lengthy treatise on this (Disputed Question on Truth), and affirms that, although it is never permissible to go against one’s conscience, it in no way guarantees that one is doing what is objectively right.  In fact, if one does what happens to be objectively right, but against his own conscience, he is sinful.Likewise, one’s doing what his conscience tells him is not a guarantee that what he does is right, and does not necessarily remove culpability merely because he acted in conformity with conscience.

 

We see, then, that our conscience does not create license to :be true to thine own self” as many today would put forth, but rather to be true to God’s eternal law:

 

“The maturity and responsibility of these judgments — and, when all is said and done, of the individual who is their subject — are not measured by the liberation of the conscience from objective truth, in favour of an alleged autonomy in personal decisions, but, on the contrary, by an insistent search for truth and by allowing oneself to be guided by that truth in one’s actions.” (VS 61)

 

It was Cardinal Newman who said “conscience has rights because it has obligations.” “Be true thine own self” isn’t worth a flip if your “self” isn’t properly formed. Most people use that second phrase as a pretext to do whatever they feel like and have no actual intent of it being “right.”

“Men have a right to do what it is right for them to do.” Rights mean obligations. Everyone wants their rights; I never see people complain about not being allowed to fulfill their obligations. This is our current crisis!

Summa III, Question 20 – Christ’s subjection to the Father

Article 1. Whether we may say that Christ is subject to the Father?

“The Father is greater than I”(John 14:28). In the form of a servant Christ is subject to the Father.

Human nature from its beginning has a threefold subjection to God:

  1. By degree of goodness: “Why askest thou Me concerning good? One is good, God.” (Matt 19:17)
  2. As regards God’s power: “The Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)
  3. By submission of will to God: “The creature serving Thee the Creator.” (Wisdom 16:24)

Article 2. Whether Christ is subject to Himself?

Augustine says (De Trin. i, 7): “Truth shows in this way…that the Son is less than Himself,” and what’s more, Christ in His human nature is the servant of God the Father, according to John 20:17: “I ascend to My Father and to your Father to My God and your God.” And whoever is the servant of the Father is the servant of the Son; otherwise not everything that belongs to the Father would belong to the Son.

To be master or servant is attributed to a person or hypostasis according to a nature, so Christ as man is subject to Himself inasmuch as He is Divine. This should not be confused with the Nestorian heresy, as if there are two persons, as if there was the person of the Word of God ruling and the person of the man serving.

“Whatever pertains to Him in His human nature is rather to be attributed to Him with a qualification; so that we say that Christ is simply greatest, Lord, Ruler, whereas to be subject or servant or less is to be attributed to Him with the qualification, in His human nature.”

I am reminded a bit in this article of Plato’s Republic, for the entire work is a dialogue is seeking “what is justice,” and the “republic” seems to come about by showing how one part of the same “body” is rightly subject to another.