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Reflections: Catholic Basics Section (Jesus Christ)

Jesus Speaking From Boat

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Incarnation & Nativity of Christ / Christmas

Jesus Christ

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Jesus Christ

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"And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Lk. 1:26-33)

"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." (Jn. 1:1-14)

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 14:6-7)

"After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'" (Lk. 3:21-22)

"When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter said in reply, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.' Jesus said to him in reply, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah." (Mt. 16:13-20)

"The feast of the Dedication was then taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, 'How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.' Jesus answered them, 'I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one.'" (Jn. 10:22-30)

"So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, 'Are you the King of the Jews?' Jesus answered, 'Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?' Pilate answered, 'I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?' Jesus answered, 'My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants (would) be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.' So Pilate said to him, 'Then you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.'" (Jn. 18:33-37)

"Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, 'We have seen the Lord.' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.' Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.' Thomas answered and said to him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.'" (Jn. 20:24-29) 

"And [Jesus] said to them, 'Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And (behold) I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.'" (Lk. 24:46-49)

"There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved." (St. Peter, Acts 4:12)

"But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that one person's transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many." (Rom. 5:15)

"Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life." (1 Jn. 5:12 )

"Then Jesus approached and said to them, 'All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.'" (Mt. 28:18-20)

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Heb. 13:8)

"My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, 'I know him,' but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live (just) as he lived." (1 Jn. 2:1-6)

"Without Jesus, all would have been lost."

"Jesus is alike to us in all things but sin."

"[Jesus] is both God and man united in one person." (Responsory)

"In Him are our life and our happiness; it is vain to seek them elsewhere." (Dom Gueranger)

"The very acts of Christ are precepts." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"To the name Jesus is added that of Christ, which signifies the anointed." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"If any one saith, that Christ Jesus was given of God to men, as a redeemer in whom to trust, and not also as a legislator whom to obey; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"If anyone denies that the Son of God is true God, just as the Father is true God, having all power, knowing all things, and equal to the Father: he is a heretic." (Council of Rome, 382 A.D.)

"No one, therefore, can enter into communion with God except through Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratified & Approved by Pope John Paul II, 2000 A.D.)

"If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh), let him be anathema." (Council of Ephesus, 431 A.D.)

"If anyone does not confess that the Word from God the Father has been united by hypostasis with the flesh and is one Christ with his own flesh, and is therefore God and man together, let him be anathema." (Council of Ephesus, 431 A.D.)

"Jesus is the proper name of the God-man and signifies Savior: a name given Him not accidentally, or by the judgment or will of man, but by the counsel and command of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius X in "Lamentabili": "Christ did not always have the consciousness of His Messianic dignity." (Pope St. Pius X, This proposition was condemned in "Lamentabili", 1907 A.D.) 

"If anyone does not confess that the Word of God suffered in the flesh and was crucified in the flesh and tasted death in the flesh and became the first born of the dead, although as God he is life and life-giving, let him be anathema." (Council of Ephesus, 431 A.D.)

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius X in "Lamentabili": "Christ did not teach a defined body of doctrine applicable to all times and to all men, but rather began a religious movement adapted, or to be adapted to different times and places." (Pope St. Pius X, This proposition was condemned in "Lamentabili", 1907 A.D.) 

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius X in "Lamentabili": "The resurrection of the Savior is not properly a fact of the historical order, but a fact of the purely supernatural order, neither demonstrated nor demonstrable, and which the Christian conscience gradually derived from other sources'" (Pope St. Pius X, This proposition was condemned in "Lamentabili", 1907 A.D.) 

"For through Him we are reborn spiritually, through Him we are crucified to the world. By His death that bond of death introduced into all of us by Adam and transmitted to every soul, that bond contracted by propagation is broken, in which no one of our children is held not guilty until he is freed through baptism." (Council of Carthage, 418 A.D.)

"But we say that passible man was so taken by God the Son, that His Deity remained impassible. Indeed the Son of God suffered, not by imputation but actually, all that Scripture testifies, in respect of that part of Him which could suffer, viz. in respect of the substance that He had taken on Him." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"If anyone does not confess that there are two generations of the Word of God, the one from the Father before the ages, without time and incorporeally, the other in the last days, when the same came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the holy and glorious Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary, and was born of her, let such a one be anathema." (Council of Constantinople II, 553 A.D.)

"To recognize the two natures in Christ, that is to say, the Divine, by which He is equal to the Father; the human, by which the Father is greater. But both together are not two beings, for Christ is one; else, God would be a 'quaternity,' not a Trinity. For as a single human being results from the union of a rational soul and human flesh, so Christ is one, God and man." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"It is He who imparts the light of faith to believers; it is He who enriches pastors and teachers and above all His Vicar on earth with the supernatural gifts of knowledge, understanding and wisdom, so that they may loyally preserve the treasury of faith, defend it vigorously, and explain it and confirm it with reverence and devotion." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

"Being God and likewise perfect man, He gave positive indications of His two natures; of His Deity, by the miracles during the three years following after His Baptism; of His humanity, in the thirty years which came before His Baptism, during which, by reason of His condition according to the flesh, He concealed the signs of His Deity, although He was the true God existing before the ages." (St. Melito of Sardes, 2nd century A.D.)

"Of our Savior many things are recorded in Sacred Scripture. Some of these, it is evident, apply to Him as God and some as man, because from His two natures He received the different properties which belong to both. Hence we say with truth that Christ is Almighty, Eternal, Infinite, and these attributes He has from His Divine Nature; again, we say of Him that He suffered, died, and rose again, which are properties manifestly that belong to His Human nature." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"But when we are told that Jesus is the Son of God, we are not to understand anything earthly or mortal in His birth; but are firmly to believe and piously to adore that birth by which, from all eternity, the Father begot the Son, a mystery which reason cannot fully conceive or comprehend, and at the contemplation of which, overwhelmed, as it were, with admiration, we should exclaim with the Prophet: Who shall declare his generation?" (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"[Our Lord's] every act, even from His first coming, is marked by an accompanying patience. From the first moment when He descended from the sublimity of heaven to earthy things, the Son of God did not disdain to put on the flesh of man; nor, although not Himself a sinner, to bear the sins of others. He put aside His immortality for a time, and allowed Himself to become mortal, so that, although innocent, He might be slain for the salvation of the guilty." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 256 A.D.)

"If anyone says that one is the Word of God who performed miracles, and another the Christ who suffered, or says that God the Word was with Christ when he was born of a woman, or was with him as one in another, but not that the same is our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, incarnate and made man, and that both the miracles and the sufferings which He voluntarily endured in the flesh were of the same person, let such a one be anathema." (Council of Constantinople II, 553 A.D.)

"The design of our God and Savior in regard to mankind is a calling back from the fall and a return to familiar friendship with God from the alienation brought about by disobedience. This is the reason for Christ's sojourning in the flesh, for the models of His Gospel actions, the suffering, the cross, the tomb, the resurrection: that man, who is being saved through his imitation of Christ, might receive that old adoption as son." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 375 A.D.)

"It would be unacceptable and inadmissible that, besides that human nature taken by the Word, could be placed any dignity which should have a right to any kind of superiority over Christ as man. It would be inadmissible that a prince or a legislative assembly could pronounce itself legally or in effect superior to Him whom God has clothed with the transcendent prerogative of the hypostatic union. This is the first and essential foundation of the kingly power attributed to Jesus Christ." (Fahey)

"And let them be convinced that nowhere, even on earth, can they find full happiness save with Him who, being rich, became poor for our sakes that through His poverty we might become rich, Who was poor and in labors from His youth, Who invited to Himself all that labor and are heavily burdened that He might refresh them fully in the love of His heart, and Who, lastly, without any respect for persons will require more of them to whom more has been given and 'will render to everyone according to his conduct.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931 A.D.)

"And hence, although a man ought to account Christ's gifts as given to himself, yet he ought not to consider them not to be given to others. And thus we do not exclude that He came to wipe away the sin of the whole nature rather than the sin of one person. But the sin of the nature is as perfectly healed in each one as if it were healed in him alone. Hence, on account of the union of charity, what is vouchsafed to all ought to be accounted his own by each one." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Christ Jesus is true God as well as true man... He has the reality of each nature equally; and this in such wise that He lacks nothing in either, lest perhaps He might cease being God by reason of His birth as man, or lest, on the other hand, He might not be a man while remaining God. This, therefore, is the true faith which brings blessedness to men: to acknowledge Him as God and man, to confess Him as the Word and as flesh, neither forgetting His divinity in view of His humanity, nor ignoring His flesh because He is the Word." (St. Hilary of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church, c. 356 A.D.)

"If anyone says that Christ is to be worshipped in his two natures, and by that wishes to introduce two adorations, a separate one for God the Word and another for the man; or if anyone, so as to remove the human flesh or to mix up the divinity and the humanity, monstrously invents one nature or substance brought together from the two, and so worships Christ, but not by a single adoration God the Word in human flesh along with his human flesh, as has been the tradition of the Church from the beginning: let him be anathema." (Second Council of Constantinople)

"The disciples having recounted the opinion of the common people, He then by a second question invites them to higher thoughts concerning Him; and therefore it follows, Jesus said to them, Whom say you that I am? You who are with Me always, and have seen greater miracles than the multitudes, ought not to agree in the opinion of the multitudes. For this reason He did not put this question to them at the commencement of His preaching, but after He had done many signs; then also He spoke many things to them concerning His Deity. (Mt. 16)" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Our Lord Himself had said that as Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the desert, so He would be lifted up. The meaning was this: when the Israelites were bitten by serpents, God ordered that they make a brazen serpent and hang it on a cross. All who looked at it were cured of the serpent's poison. The brazen serpent had the appearance of the serpent that stung and yet was without venom. Christ is the brazen serpent inasmuch as He is in the likeness and the form of man and yet without the venom of sin. All who look upon Him will be healed of that sin that came from the serpent, who is the Devil." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"Whence it came to pass, that the heavenly Father, the father of mercies and the God of all comfort, when that blessed fullness of the time was come, sent unto men, Jesus Christ, His own Son - who had been, both before the Law, and during the time of the Law, to many of the holy fathers announced and promised - that He might both redeem the Jews who were under the Law, and that the Gentiles, who followed not after justice, might attain to justice, and that all men might receive the adoption of sons. Him God hath proposed as a propitiator, through faith in his blood, for our sins, and not for our sins only, but also for those of the whole world." (Council of Trent)

"At length the Holy Family enter Jerusalem. The name of this holy City signifies 'Vision of Peace'; and Jesus comes to bring her Peace. Let us consider the names of the three places in which our Redeemer began, continued, and ended his life on earth. He is conceived at Nazareth, which signifies a Flower; and Jesus is, as he tells us in the Canticle, the Flower of the field and the Lily of the valley (Cant. ii I), by whose fragrance we are refreshed. He is born at Bethlehem, the 'House of Bread', for he is the nourishment of our souls. He dies on the Cross in Jerusalem ('Vision of Peace'), and, by his Blood, he restores peace between heaven and earth, peace between men, peace within our own souls" (Dom Gueranger)

"But some one will ask, How is Christ related to David, since Mary sprang from the blood of Aaron, the angel having declared Elisabeth to be her kinswoman? But this was brought about by the Divine counsel, to the end that the royal race might be united to the priestly stock; that Christ, Who is both King and Priest, might be descended from both according to the flesh. For it is written, that Aaron, the first High Priest according to the law, took from the tribe of Judah for his wife Elisabeth, the daughter of Aminadab. And observe the most holy administration of the Spirit, in ordering that the wife of Zacharias should be called Elisabeth, so bringing us back to that Elisabeth whom Aaron married." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church)

"We have the narratives of the Evangelists, by which we know that Christ was both born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was seized by the Jews, scourged, crucified, put to death, and buried in a tomb, all which cannot be supposed to have taken place without a body, and not even the maddest will say that these things are to be understood figuratively, when they are told by men who wrote what they remembered to have happened. These then are witnesses that He had a body, as those affections which cannot be without mind prove Him to have had a mind, and which we read in the accounts of the same Evangelists, that Jesus wondered, was angry, was sorrowful." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Certainly, no one was better fitted to make satisfaction to Almighty God for all the sins of men than was Christ. Therefore, He desired to be immolated upon the cross 'as a propitiation for our sins, not for ours only but also for those of the whole world' and likewise He daily offers Himself upon our altars for our redemption, that we may be rescued from eternal damnation and admitted into the company of the elect. This He does, not for us only who are in this mortal life, but also 'for all who rest in Christ, who have gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace;' for whether we live, or whether we die 'still we are not separated from the one and only Christ.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

"But although Christ died for all [2 Cor. 5:15], yet not all receive the benefit of His death, but those only to whom the merit of His passion is communicated. For, as indeed men would not be born unjust, if they were not born through propagation of the seed of Adam, since by that propagation they contract through him, in conception, injustice as their own, so unless they were born again in Christ, they never would be justified, since in that new birth through the merit of His passion, the grace, whereby they are made just, is bestowed upon them. For this benefit the Apostle exhorts us always to 'give thanks to the Father who has made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light' [Col. 1:12], 'and has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption and remission of sins [Col. 1:13 ff.]." (Council of Trent, 1547 A.D.) 

"He Himself declared that the reason of His advent among men was this, that He might bring them the assured fullness of a more than merely human life. 'I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly' (St. John x., 10). Everyone is aware that no sooner had 'the goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared' (Tit. iii., 4), than there at once burst forth a certain creative force, which issued in a new order of things and pulsed through all the veins of society, civil and domestic. Hence arose new relations between man and man; new rights and new duties, public and private; henceforth a new direction was given to government, to education, to the arts; and most important of all, man's thoughts and energies were turned towards religious truth and the pursuit of holiness. Thus was life communicated to man, a life truly heavenly and divine." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902 A.D.)

"And finally the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, incarnate by the whole Trinity in common, conceived of Mary ever Virgin, with the Holy Spirit cooperating, made true man, formed of a rational soul and human flesh, one Person in two natures, clearly pointed out the way of life. And although He according to divinity is immortal and impassible, the very same according to humanity was made passible and mortal, who, for the salvation of the human race, having suffered on the wood of the Cross and died, descended into hell, arose from the dead and ascended into heaven. But He descended in soul, and He arose in the flesh, and He ascended equally in both, to come at the end of time, to judge the living and the dead, and to render to each according to his works, to the wicked as well as to the elect, all of whom will rise with their bodies which they now bear, that they may receive according to their works, whether these works have been good or evil, the latter everlasting punishment with the devil, and the former everlasting glory with Christ." (Lateran Council IV, 1215 A.D.)

"The Word perceived that the corruption of men could be undone in no other way whatever, but only by death. Neither could such a one as the Word suffer death, being immortal and Son of the Father. For this reason, then, He takes to Himself flesh capable of dying, so that this flesh, by partaking of the Word who is superior to all might be worthy to suffer death in place of all, and might, because of the Word dwelling in it, remain incorruptible, so that from then on corruption might be stayed from everyone, by the grace of the resurrection. Then, by offering to death the body which He Himself had taken, as a sacrifice and offering free of every stain, He forthwith removed death from all His fellowmen, by that sentencing of a substitute. Since He, the Word of God, is over all, by offering His own temple and bodily component for the life of all, He surely satisfied the debt by His death. And thus, too, the incorruptible Son of God, being joined with all by the similarity of flesh, He surely clothed all in incorruptibility through the promise of resurrection." (St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church, c. 318 A.D.)

"We believe that the same Son of God, the Word of God, is eternally born from the Father, consubstantial, co-omnipotent, and equal through all things to the Father in divinity, temporally born from the Holy Spirit and Mary ever Virgin with a rational soul; having two births, one eternal birth from the Father, the other temporal from the mother; true God and true man, proper and perfect in each nature, not adopted nor phantastic, but the one and only Son of God, in two and from two natures, that is divine and human, in the singleness of one person impassible and immortal in divinity, but in humanity for us and for our salvation having suffered in the true passion of the flesh, died, and was buried, descended to hell, and on the third day arose again from the dead in the true resurrection of the flesh, on the fortieth day after the resurrection with the flesh in which He arose and with His soul ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father, whence He will come to judge the living and the dead, and will return to each one according to his works whether they were good or evil." (Council of Lyons II, Profession of Faith of Michael Palaeologus, 1274 A.D.)

"Adhering firmly to the foundation of the Catholic Faith, other than which, as the Apostle testifies, no one can lay, we openly profess with Holy Mother Church that the only begotten Son of God, subsisting eternally together with the Father in everything in which God the Father exists, assumed in time in the womb of a virgin the parts of our nature united together, from which he himself true God became true man: namely the human, passible body and the intellectual or rational soul truly of itself and essentially informing the body. And that in this assumed nature the Word of God willed for the salvation of all not only to be nailed to the cross and to die on it, but also, having already breathed forth his spirit, permitted his side to be pierced by a lance, so that from the outflowing water and blood there might be formed the one, immaculate and holy virginal mother church, the bride of Christ, as from the side of the first man in his sleep Eve was fashioned as his wife, in this way, to the determinate figure of the first and old Adam, who according to the Apostle is a type of the one who was to come, the truth might correspond in our last Adam, that is to say in Christ." (Council of Vienne)

"In Him resided the absolute fullness of grace, in the greatest and most efficacious manner possible; in Him were all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, graces gratis datae, virtues, and all other gifts foretold in the prophecies of Isaias (Is. iv., I; xi., 23), and also signified in that miraculous dove which appeared at the Jordan, when Christ, by His baptism, consecrated its waters for a new sacrament. On this the words of St. Augustine may appropriately be quoted: 'It would be absurd to say that Christ received the Holy Ghost when He was already thirty years of age, for He came to His baptism without sin, and therefore not without the Holy Ghost. At this time, then (that is, at His baptism), He was pleased to prefigure His Church, in which those especially who are baptized receive the Holy Ghost' (De. Trin. 1., xv., c. 26). Therefore, by the conspicuous apparition of the Holy Ghost over Christ and by His invisible power in His soul, the twofold mission of the Spirit is foreshadowed, namely, His outward and visible mission in the Church, and His secret indwelling in the souls of the just." (Pope Leo XIII, "Divinum Illud Munus", 1897 A.D.)

"[The Church] believes, professes, and proclaims that one person of the Trinity, true God, Son of God born from the Father, consubstantial and coeternal with the Father, in the plenitude of time which the inscrutable depth of divine counsel has disposed for the salvation of the human race, assumed true and complete human nature from the immaculate womb of the Virgin Mary, and joined with itself in the unity of person, with such unity that whatever is of God there, is not separated from man, and whatever is of man, is not divided from the Godhead; He is one and the same undivided, both natures, God and man, remaining in their own peculiar properties, God and man, Son of God and Son of man, equal to the Father according to divinity, less than the Father according to humanity, immortal and eternal from the nature of divinity, passible and temporal from the condition of assumed humanity. It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that the Son of God in the assumed humanity was truly born of the Virgin, truly suffered, truly died and was buried, truly rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, and will come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead." (Pope Eugenius IV, "Cantata Domino", 1441/2 A.D.)

"Now Christ fulfilled the precepts of the Old Law both in His works and in His doctrine. In His works, because He was willing to be circumcised and to fulfill the other legal observances, which were binding for the time being; according to Galatians 4:4: 'Made under the Law.' In His doctrine He fulfilled the precepts of the Law in three ways. First, by explaining the true sense of the Law. This is clear in the case of murder and adultery, the prohibition of which the Scribes and Pharisees thought to refer only to the exterior act: wherefore Our Lord fulfilled the Law by showing that the prohibition extended also to the interior acts of sins. Secondly, Our Lord fulfilled the precepts of the Law by prescribing the safest way of complying with the statutes of the Old Law. Thus the Old Law forbade perjury: and this is more safely avoided, by abstaining altogether from swearing, save in cases of urgency. Thirdly, Our Lord fulfilled the precepts of the Law, by adding some counsels of perfection: this is clearly seen in [the gospels] where Our Lord said to the man who affirmed that he had kept all the precepts of the Old Law: 'One thing is wanting to thee: If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell whatsoever thou hast,' etc." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all teach that with one accord we confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in human nature, truly God and the same with a rational soul and a body truly man, consubstantial with the Father according to divinity, and consubstantial with us according to human nature, like unto us in all things except sin, [cf. Heb. 4:15]; indeed born of the Father before the ages according to divine nature, but in the last days the same born of the virgin Mary, Mother of God according to human nature; for us and for our deliverance, one and the same Christ only begotten Son, our Lord, acknowledged in two natures, without mingling, without change, indivisibly, undividedly, the distinction of the natures nowhere removed on account of the union but rather the peculiarity of each nature being kept, and uniting in one person and substance, not divided or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son only begotten God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as from the beginning the prophets taught about Him and the Lord Jesus Himself taught us, and the creed of our fathers has handed down to us. Therefore, since these have been arranged by us with all possible care and diligence, the holy and ecumenical synod has declared that no one is allowed to profess or in any case to write up or to compose or to devise or to teach others a different faith." (Council of Chalcedon, 451 A.D.)

"But how we know and speak regarding the Virgin Mother of God, and about the manner of the incarnation of the only-begotten Son of God, necessary not because of increase but for satisfaction, we have taken and possess from above, from the divine Scriptures as well as from the tradition of the holy fathers, and we speak briefly, adding nothing at all to the faith of the holy Fathers, which was set forth at Nicea. For, as we have already said, this suffices for all understanding of piety and for all renunciation of heretical perfidy. But we speak not presuming the unlawful, but by confession of special weakness excluding those who wish to rise up against what we regard as beyond man. We confess our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and of a body, born of the Father before the ages according to the Godhead, but in the last days the same on account of us and on account of our salvation according to the incarnation from the Virgin Mary, consubstantial with the Father, the same according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the incarnation. For the unity of the two natures was made; wherefore, we confess one Christ, one son, one Lord. According to this unmingled unity we confess the holy Virgin Mother of God, because the Word of God was made flesh and was made man, and by the conception united to Himself a temple assumed from her." (Formula of Union, Approved by Pope St. Sixtus III, 433 A.D.)

"It is certain that Christ came into this world not only to take away that sin which is handed on originally to posterity, but also in order to take away all sins subsequently added to it; not that all are taken away (and this is from men's fault, inasmuch as they do not adhere to Christ, according to John 3:19: 'The light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light'), but because He offered what was sufficient for blotting out all sins. Hence it is written (Romans 5:15-16): 'But not as the offense, so also the gift ... For judgment indeed was by one unto condemnation, but grace is of many offenses unto justification.' Moreover, the more grievous the sin, the more particularly did Christ come to blot it out. But greater is said in two ways: in one way intensively, as a more intense whiteness is said to be greater, and in this way actual sin is greater than original sin; for it has more of the nature of voluntary... In another way a thing is said to be greater extensively, as whiteness on a greater superficies is said to be greater; and in this way original sin, whereby the whole human race is infected, is greater than any actual sin, which is proper to one person. And in this respect Christ came principally to take away original sin, inasmuch as 'the good of the race is a more Divine thing than the good of an individual,' as is said Ethica Nicomachea i,2." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The body of Christ was similar to ours, with the exception of sin. It is not only but also sanctifying, capable of suffering, exposed to death, and able to stand in the stead of all of us. Christ offered his body, and us at the same time, to satisfy divine justice. He handed himself - and us at the same time to all the torments which our crimes merited. He was condemned to the sorrows of death and suffered the curse given to sinners by the law: death under the harshest tortures. He satisfied the law... The Lord Jesus rose from the grave with the same flesh but it was stripped of its mortality and adorned with glory of eternity. In order that they may be justified, it is necessary for sinners to die with Christ, who died in their place and in their name. Then they must enter the grave with Christ, in order to leave behind the flesh defiled by sin. They must hand over the old man to the wrath of God and to the death of the sinner, so that by baptism a new man might return to life in us and live again with Christ in immortality and eternal glory. Therefore all Christians should think about that eternal life and not this brief one. They should remove from their hearts the desire for pleasures and riches which are the instruments of pleasure. Cast off pride, in which all harmful desires are contained. The world is passing away, as well as what it craves for; however, he who keeps the will of God will endure forever." (Pope Clement XIII, "A Quo Die", 1758 A.D.)

"Consequently, the Son of God entered into these lowly conditions of the world, after descending from His celestial throne, and though He did not withdraw from the glory of the Father, He was generated in a new order and in a new nativity. In a new order, because invisible in His own, He was made visible in ours; incomprehensible [in His own], He wished to be comprehended; permanent before times, He began to be in time; the Lord of the universe assumed the form of a slave, concealing the immensity of His majesty; the impassible God did not disdain to be a passible man and the immortal [did not disdain] to be subject to the laws of death. Moreover, He was generated in a new nativity, because inviolate virginity [that] did not know concupiscence furnished the material of His body... [B]ecause His birth was miraculous, nature was not for that reason different from ours. For He who is true God, is likewise true man, and there is no falsehood in this unity, as long as there are alternately the lowliness of man and the exaltedness of the Divinity. For, just as God is not changed by His compassion, so man is not destroyed by His dignity. For each nature does what is proper to it with the mutual participation of the other; the Word clearly effecting what belongs to the Word, and the flesh performing what belongs to the flesh. One of these gleams with miracles; the other sinks under injuries. And just as the Word does not withdraw from the equality of the paternal glory, so His body does not abandon the nature of our race." (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church, 449 A.D.)

"The human race, exiled and disinherited, had for ages been daily hurrying into ruin, involved in the terrible and numberless ills brought about by the sin of our first parents, nor was there any human hope of salvation, when Christ Our Lord came down as the Savior from Heaven. At the very beginning of the world, God had promised Him as the conqueror of 'the Serpent,' hence, succeeding ages had eagerly looked forward to His coming. The Prophets had long and clearly declared that all hope was in Him. The varying fortunes, the achievements, customs, laws, ceremonies and sacrifices of the Chosen People had distinctly and lucidly foreshadowed the truth, that the salvation of mankind was to be accomplished in Him who should be the Priest, Victim, Liberator, Prince of Peace, Teacher of all Nations, Founder of an Eternal Kingdom. By all these titles, images and prophecies, differing in kind though like in meaning, He alone was designated who 'for His exceeding charity wherewith He loved us,' gave Himself up for our salvation. And so, when the fullness of time came in God's Divine Providence, the only-begotten Son of God became man, and in behalf of mankind made most abundant satisfaction in His Blood to the outraged majesty of His Father and by this infinite price He redeemed man for His own... Thus all men, though already subject to His Kingly power, inasmuch as He is the Creator and Preserver of all, were over and above made His property by a true and real purchase. 'You are not your own: for you are bought with a great price' (2 Corinthians vi, 19-20). Hence in Christ all things are made new." (Pope Leo XIII, "Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus", 1900 A.D.)

"In this form of assumed human nature we believe according to the truth of the Gospels that He was conceived without sin, born without sin, and died without sin, who alone for us became sin [2 Cor. 5:21], that is, a sacrifice for our sin. And yet He endured His passion without detriment to His divinity, for our sins, and condemned to death and to the cross, He accepted the true death of the body; also on the third day, restored by His own power, He arose from the grave. In this example, therefore, of our Head we confess is accomplished...the true resurrection of the body of all the dead. Neither do we believe that we shall rise in an ethereal or any other body (as some madly say) but in that in which we live and exist and move. When this example of His holy resurrection was finished, our same Lord and Savior returned by ascending to His paternal home, which in His divinity He had never left. There sitting at the right hand of the Father, He awaits the end of time to be the judge of all the living and the dead. Thence with the holy angels and men He will come to judge, and to render to everyone the due of his own reward, according as each one living in the body has done good or evil [2 Cor. 5:10]. We believe that the holy Catholic Church, purchased by the price of His blood, will reign with Him for eternity. Established in her bosom we believe in and confess one baptism for the remission of all sins. In this faith we both truly believe in the resurrection of the dead and we await the joys of the future life. We must pray and beg for this only, that when, the judgment finished and over, the Son will hand over the kingdom to God the Father [1 Cor. 15:24], that He may render us participators of His kingdom, so that through this faith in which we cling to Him, we may reign with Him without end." (Council of Toledo XI, 675 A.D.)

"It was fitting for Christ to lead a life of poverty in this world. First, because this was in keeping with the duty of preaching, for which purpose He says that He came (Mk 1:38): 'Let us go into the neighboring towns and cities, that I may preach there also: for to this purpose am I come.' Now in order that the preachers of God's word may be able to give all their time to preaching, they must be wholly free from care of worldly matters: which is impossible for those who are possessed of wealth. Wherefore the Lord Himself, when sending the apostles to preach, said to them (Matthew 10:9): 'Do not possess gold nor silver.' And the apostles (Acts 6:2) say: 'It is not reasonable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.' Secondly, because just as He took upon Himself the death of the body in order to bestow spiritual life on us, so did He bear bodily poverty, in order to enrich us spiritually, according to 2 Corinthians 8:9: 'You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: that ... He became poor for our sakes that through His poverty we might be rich.' Thirdly, lest if He were rich His preaching might be ascribed to cupidity. Wherefore Jerome says on Matthew 10:9, that if the disciples had been possessed of wealth, 'they had seemed to preach for gain, not for the salvation of mankind.' And the same reason applies to Christ. Fourthly, that the more lowly He seemed by reason of His poverty, the greater might the power of His Godhead be shown to be. Hence in a sermon of the Council of Ephesus (Part 3, chapter 9) we read: 'He chose all that was poor and despicable, all that was of small account and hidden from the majority, that we might recognize His Godhead to have transformed the terrestrial sphere. For this reason did He choose a poor maid for His Mother, a poorer birthplace; for this reason did He live in want. Learn this from the manger.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Incarnation & Nativity of Christ / Christmas | Name of Jesus | The Passion / The Cross | Sin | Resurrection | God | The Holy Trinity | Second Coming | Mystical Body | Salvation | The Holy Eucharist (Sacraments Section) | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Sacraments Reflections) | Devotions | Prayers, Novenas & Hymns: Our Lord Jesus Christ | Love of God / Jesus Christ (Our Father's Love Reflections) | Sacred Heart of Jesus (Prayers & Devotions Reflections) | Jesus & Mary (Mary, Our Mother Reflections) | Teachings of Jesus | Jesus / Holy Scripture (Scripture Reflections) | Who Jesus is and Why You Should Believe | Jesus' Miracles & Signs | Parables of Jesus | Emphasized Statements of Jesus | Trials & Sorrows of Jesus | Jesus' Last Words From the Cross

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Name of Jesus

"You will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mk. 13:13)

"[W]hatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do." (Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Jn. 14:13-14)

"I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, (rise and) walk." (St. Peter, Acts 3:6)

" the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:10-11)

"And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Col. 3:17)

"With the Name of Jesus we shall overthrow the demons; we shall put them to flight." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"No voice can sing, nor heart can frame, nor can the memory find a sweeter sound than Thy blest name, O Savior of mankind." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"By taking God's name in vain is meant that the name of God or the holy name of Jesus Christ is used without reverence; for example, to express surprise or anger." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The Eternal Father Himself, through the Archangel Gabriel, gave the name of Jesus to the Son of God made man, at the moment when the Archangel announced to the Blessed Virgin the mystery of the Incarnation." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Jesus is the proper name of the God-man and signifies Savior: a name given Him not accidentally, or by the judgment or will of man, but by the counsel and command of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Jesus! A sweet name, a delightful name! A name that comforts sinners and offers blessed hope. A name that is a joyful cry from the heart, that is music to the ear and honey in the mouth." (St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church)

"If for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account on the day of judgment, what shall we say of those heinous crimes which involve great contempt of the divine name?" (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"We should ask of God the graces we stand in need of in the Name of Jesus Christ, as He Himself has taught us and as is done by the Church, which always ends her prayers with these words: Through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"God gave men only ten commandments and one of the ten has for its sole object the reverence due to His Name." (St. John Vianney) [Note: Although this quotation is not directed specifically at Jesus, it obviously applies to all three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.]

"Not to utter the Name of God irreverently means not to mention this Holy Name, or any other name that in a special way refers to God Himself, such as the name of Jesus, of Mary and the Saints, in anger or in joke or in any irreverent way whatsoever." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Think upon the Name of Jesus, and it will break up thine enemies plans, conquer them, and put them to flight. This is the Name deserving of all honor, at which the wicked spirits ever tremble. This is the Name of salvation, and the wonderful consolation which comforts the sorrowful." (Bernardine de Bustis, as quoted by Dom Gueranger)

"Jesus! How sweet the remembrance of that name, which gives true joy to the heart! But, the sweet presence of him who bears that Name is sweeter than honey and every pleasure. No song is so sweet, no word is so sweet, no thought is so sweet as - Jesus, the Son of God! Dear Jesus! Thou hope of penitent hearts! How merciful thou art to them that ask for thee! How Good to them that seek thee! But, oh! What art thou to them that find thee! No tongue can tell, no pen can describe, what it is to love Jesus. He that has felt it, can alone believe the bliss. Jesus! Be Thou our joy, as thou wilt, one day, be our reward. May our glory for eternal ages be in thee. Amen." (Monastic Breviary)

"There is nothing which so restrains the impulse of anger, calms the swelling of pride, heals the wound of envy, represses the insatiability of luxury, smothers the flame of lust, quenches the thirst of avarice, and dispels the fever of uncleanness - as the name of Jesus. For when I pronounce this Name, I bring before my mind the Man, who, by excellence is meek and humble of heart, benign, sober, chaste, merciful, and filled with everything that is good and holy, nay who is the very God Almighty - whose example heals me, and whose assistance strengthens me. I say all this, when I say Jesus. Here have I my model for he is Man; and my help for he is God...believe me, it is wholesome, and good for every ailment thou canst possibly have. Ever have it with thee, in thy bosom and in thy hand; so that all thy affections and actions may be directed to Jesus." (St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church)

"Is anyone among you sad? Let but Jesus come into his heart, and the mouth echo him, saying Jesus! And Lo! The light of that Name disperses every cloud, and brings sunshine back again. Have any of you committed sin? And is despair driving you into the snare of death? Invoke the Name of life, and life will come back to the soul. Was there ever a man, that, hearing this saving Name, who could keep up that common fault of hardness of heart, or drowsiness of sluggishness, or rancor of soul, or languor of sloth? If anyone, perchance felt the fountain of his tears was dry, did it not gush forth more plentifully than ever and flow more sweetly than ever, as soon as he invoked the Name of Jesus? If any of us were ever in danger, and our heart beat with fear, did not this name of power bring us confidence and courage the moment we pronounced it? When we were tossed to and fro by perplexing doubts, did not the evidence of what was right burst on us as we called upon the Name of light? when we ere discouraged, and well nigh crushed, by adversity, did not our heart take courage, when our tongue uttered the Name of help? All this is most true; for all these miseries are the sicknesses and faintings of our soul, and the Name of Jesus is our Medicine." (St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Healing Remedy of Jesus' Name (Inspiration Reflections) | Jesus Christ

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The Passion / The Cross 

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