HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 









Enchiridion On Faith, Hope and Love
by Saint Augustine


CHAPTER X

JESUS CHRIST THE MEDIATOR

33. Thus it was that the human race was bound in a just doom and all men

were children of wrath. Of this wrath it is written: "For all our days are wasted; we

are ruined in thy wrath; our years seem like a spider's web."64 Likewise Job spoke of

this wrath: "Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble."65 And even the

Lord Jesus said of it: "He that believes in the Son has life everlasting, but he that

believes not does not have life. Instead, the wrath of God abides in him."66 He does

not say, "It will come," but, "It now abides." Indeed every man is born into this state.

Wherefore the apostle says, "For we too were by nature children of wrath even as

the others."67 Since men are in this state of wrath through original sin--a condition

made still graver and more pernicious as they compounded more and worse sins

with it--a Mediator was required; that is to say, a Reconciler who by offering a

unique sacrifice, of which all the sacrifices of the Law and the Prophets were

shadows, should allay that wrath. Thus the apostle says, "For if, when we were

enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, even more now being

reconciled by his blood we shall be saved from wrath through him."68 However,

when God is said to be wrathful, this does not signify any such perturbation in him

as there is in the soul of a wrathful man. His verdict, which is always just, takes the

name "wrath" as a term borrowed from the language of human feelings. This, then,

is the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord--that we are reconciled to God

through the Mediator and receive the Holy Spirit so that we may be changed from

enemies into sons, "for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of

God."69

34. It would take too long to say all that would be truly worthy of this

Mediator. Indeed, men cannot speak properly of such matters. For who can unfold

in cogent enough fashion this statement, that "the Word became flesh and dwelt

even his severest anti-Pelagian tracts: On Grace and Free Will, 6-8, 10, 31 and On Admonition and

Grace, 2-8.

60Ps. 58:11 (Vulgate).

61Ps. 23:6.

62Cf. Matt. 5:44.

63The theme that he had explored in Confessions, Bks. I-IX. See especially Bk. V, Chs. X, XIII; Bk.

VII, Ch. VIII; Bk. IX, Ch. I.

64Cf. Ps. 90:9.

65Job 14:1.

66John 3:36.

67Eph. 2:3.

68Rom. 5:9, 10.

69Rom. 8:14.


among us,"70 so that we should then believe in "the only Son of God the Father

Almighty, born of the Holy Spirit and Mary the Virgin." Yet it is indeed true that

the Word was made flesh, the flesh being assumed by the Divinity, not the Divinity

being changed into flesh. Of course, by the term "flesh" we ought here to understand

"man," an expression in which the part signifies the whole, just as it is said, "Since

by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified,"71 which is to say, no man shall

be justified. Yet certainly we must say that in that assumption nothing was lacking

that belongs to human nature.

But it was a nature entirely free from the bonds of all sin. It was not a nature

born of both sexes with fleshly desires, with the burden of sin, the guilt of which is

washed away in regeneration. Instead, it was the kind of nature that would be

fittingly born of a virgin, conceived by His mother's faith and not her fleshly desires.

Now if in his being born, her virginity had been destroyed, he would not then have

been born of a virgin. It would then be false (which is unthinkable) for the whole

Church to confess him "born of the Virgin Mary." This is the Church which,

imitating his mother, daily gives birth to his members yet remains virgin. Read, if

you please, my letter on the virginity of Saint Mary written to that illustrious man,

Volusianus, whom I name with honor and affection.72

35. Christ Jesus, Son of God, is thus both God and man. He was God before

all ages; he is man in this age of ours. He is God because he is the Word of God, for

"the Word was God."73 Yet he is man also, since in the unity of his Person a rational

soul and body is joined to the Word.

Accordingly, in so far as he is God, he and the Father are one. Yet in so far as

he is man, the Father is greater than he. Since he was God's only Son--not by grace

but by nature--to the end that he might indeed be the fullness of all grace, he was

also made Son of Man--and yet he was in the one nature as well as in the other, one

Christ. "For being in the form of God, he judged it not a violation to be what he was

by nature, the equal of God. Yet he emptied himself, taking on the form of a

servant,"74 yet neither losing nor diminishing the form of God.75 Thus he was made

less and remained equal, and both these in a unity as we said before. But he is one

of these because he is the Word; the other, because he was a man. As the Word, he

is the equal of the Father; as a man, he is less. He is the one Son of God, and at the

same time Son of Man; the one Son of Man, and at the same time God's Son. These

are not two sons of God, one God and the other man, but one Son of God--God

without origin, man with a definite origin--our Lord Jesus Christ.









Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com