Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Humanity is something that we all have; human is what we are. Our humanity is the "image" of God spoken of in Genesis. If we are totally depraved as the Calvinists say, then it follows necessarily that we are not human. If the image we were created in is totally depraved, there remains nothing left to call human. Christ is called the "kinsman redeemer." It was St. Gregory of Nazianzus who said that, that which is not assumed is not redeemed. Christ redeems humanity and if there is no humanity to redeem, then there is no redemption. The heretical doctrine of Total Depravity seeks to nullify the Incarnation.

Man is certainly depraved by concupiscence; that is not doubted or disputed. However, can one human be more human than another? By all means and this is the work of Christ. Let us begin a discussion of forms. Imagine before you there are two knives. One is dull on the point and on its edge, also corroded and dirty; the other knife is sharp on the point and on it's edge, clean and shinning. Further, imagine that the dull knife has a worn handle that is falling apart and dry rotted. And suppose that the sharp knife's handle is sturdy and sound. If necessity was upon you, which knife would you choose? Certainly, you would choose the sharper, cleaner, and sturdier knife over the dull, decaying knife.

Each of them are knives, no doubt. Yet, you would choose the good knife to the one in disrepair, because the good knife is more like a knife. That is to say, if we define as knife a tool of utility meant for the cutting of food and cloth and other things of a similar sort, then, it is evident to us that the good knife is truer in form to what a knife is than the shoddy knife. The good knife has more knifeness than the bad knife. So, it follows that while they are both knives, the good knife is more of a knife than the bad knife.

Again, let us examine a fruit, a plant. Imagine, that before you are two apple trees; one of them is blotched and cancerous, while the other is healthy and sound. Suppose that the desire to eat an apple came upon you, which tree would you extend your hand to? Would you choose the malformed and blotched, hard fruit of the cancerous apple tree? Or would you not be more likely to reach out and take an apple from the healthful tree, which is succulent, ripe, and shinning? To be sure, you would prefer the wholesome apple to the depraved apple for the very reason that it is more like an apple. It is better for eating and is without blemish or malformation, and is more like an apple than the diseased permutation. Therefore, the good apple and the bad are both apples, yet the good apple has more appleness than the bad apple.

Once more, let us examine animals. Imagine a bitch gave birth to a litter of pups and one of them was mutated, with a malformed jaw and sealed eyes, while it's siblings were sound in form. Suppose further that you were interested in obtaining a pup for breeding other dogs, so as to carry on a pure breed. Which would you choose for this venue? A sound animal or the mutant? Certainly, you would choose one of the sound offspring over the mutant, because it is more like it's own species and breed. Therefore, while all are certainly being dogs, the mutant is less of a dog than its siblings who are sound in form.

We could go on this way with angels as well, and any other species of plant, animal, or object ad infinitum, but there is no need. Therefore, it is rightly said that whatever is more like unto itself is truer. Here we digress to the issue of humanity.

Original Sin deformed mankind so that humanity became less like itself. As a means of remedy, Christ came as a man. In fact, as we can readily discern from our experiment, Christ was more human than the humans he lived amongst and came to die for. Thus, St. Paul was right in calling Him the Second Adam in that He had in His person undelimited humanity. Comparatively, if we use ourselves as the definition of what human means, Christ was superhuman. Yet, in point of fact, Christ alone is the definition of what a human is; He is completely human and it is we who are deficient in humanity.

The Eucharist, which may only be found in the Churches of the Apostles, is given unto us to strengthen us. By receiving the Eucharist, we not only obtain divine graces and mercy, but also become more human by virtue of Christ's humanity which we receive into ourselves. When we look at what God said to Adam in the Garden, we know that Adam was without death. Then, we look at what Christ, Who is God, says to us in the Gospel," Whoever does not eat of My Flesh and drink of My Blood has no life in Him." 

This is the truth and we can go to no one else, for as the apostles said, who else has the words of Life? The more human we become, the more like God we become, because our humanity is being restored to its full glory, the true image of God. But this is not the end of Christ's work, for we are brought into God by receiving the Holy Spirit into us. But here, I've committed to only speaking to you about humanity and must digress from theosis and divinity, though admittedly they are intertwined.

Hitherto, those who faithfully receive the Eucharist and continue in it are becoming more human; they are attaining to Christ's humanity. This is why it is so important to be in a Church with VALID sacraments. This is the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. This is why one should be a Catholic, and why being a "Bible Christian" is not enough. This is only part of what the Most Blessed Sacrament does for us. It is the power of God to put our souls into order. It is the power of God to place our bodies in subjection to the soul. It is the power of God, to literally undo the Gordian Knot of sin and restore our nature. This is how God returns us to being a true microcosm of the Macrocosm, as discussed in my previous note Ecclesiasticus. 

And everything on top of this is working out our salvation, attaining to and obtaining the promises of Christ, becoming joint heirs with Christ. How wonderful that we are not only set in order, having our humanity restored to us, but that we have separate graces so as to participate in the righteousness of God. This is eternal life, the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith.
"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

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