Friday, 28 May 2010
On the Fullness of Christ's Wisdom - Part 2
Let us continue the discussion by highlighting a basic principle that ran throughout the previous article. It is just and fitting that our Divine Redeemer should possess in His sacred humanity, especially His soul, the fullness of perfection that a creature could contain, in order to communicate His abundant graces to humanity.
'As it was His purpose to bring a great many of His (that is the Father's) sons into glory' (Heb. 2:10), it is appropriate that Christ's soul should be united more intimately with the Father than any other creature. It is proper to God's justice that He 'will repay each of you according to his deeds' (Rev. 2:23), therefore there are varying degrees or grades in the beatific vision where one will 'see God, Who is the cause of all things, more clearly than others do'. It therefore follows that the more one is able to grasp an object through comprehension; one is enabled to understand more fully the powers and effect of that cause.
Saint Thomas notes, ‘And so some of those who see the essence of God see more effects or natures of divine works in God Himself than do others, who see less clearly’. It is becoming that the universal and efficient cause of our reconciliation with the Father receives the vision of God with the greatest degree of clarity which a human being could ever obtain, and therefore arrive at a cognizance of all creatures that the Creator has brought into existence from nothing, whether past, present or will at some point give actuality to.
Although the soul of our Divine Lord far exceeds the abilities and understanding of the Godhead that we can reach, ‘nonetheless, Christ’s soul cannot extend to comprehending divinity’, as such knowledge is unable to be enjoyed by a creature.
Something can be said to be known on condition that it be, ‘true’ and that it possesses ‘being’. God, on both accounts, accords with this definition as He is Supreme Truth and Being in His very essence. As a consequence, ‘God is infinitely knowable’, yet no creature of their nature powers (or even by the faculties aggregated by grace) can obtain an infinite knowledge of the deity, Whose reality is unfathomable.
Even though a human person may through God’s gracious mercy, experience the vision of Him as He really is, the competence of the soul will remain severely (however pure from sin) deficient in attaining an infinite knowledge of the Lord. In regard of His soul’s creation from nothing, Jesus cannot comprehend in the fullest manner the divinity of His Father, as if this were possible no distinction would exist between His Eternal Word and His assumed humanity.
On a side note, our Blessed Lord on account of the hypostasis or person of the Logos, may not be given the title of creature. Thereupon, it is appropriate that the Divine Apostle, Paul writes that He is the one, ‘through Whom all things came and through Whom we live’ (1 Cor. 8:6) or ‘for by Him all things were created’ (Col. 1:16). However, it is not incorrect, even necessary for us to say, that the soul of Christ and the rest of His sacred humanity (although united hypostatically) is created. Hitherto, our Lord may truly say, ‘No one knows the Son except the Father, nor does anyone know the Father except the Son’ (Mt. 11:27).
Interestingly, the Angelic Doctor proceeds to state that one may rightly designate the soul of our Master, ‘omniscient’, as, he explains, ‘it has full knowledge of all the things that exist, will exist or have existed’. His justification for this appellation is that it is congruous to the cause of our peace, to have full acquaintance in the beatific vision of all creatures, as the Father has set Him over all to rule.
To be continued...