Theological Gems from Emile Mersch's

The Theology of the Mystical Body


Note: -- indicates a paraphrase, and the numbers are the page numbers in the book.


Book I: Theological and Philosophical Introduction


Chapter 1: The Understanding and Supernatural Truths

5. A genuine supernatural knowledge of truth surpasses reason. It has to do with mysteries, and even with what is mysterious in the mysteries.

Faith is a union with God: a union of the intellect.

God is light as well as love.

6. By believing in Christ we dwell in the light.

10. Love understanding very much.

14. Genuine faith is not afraid of light.


Chapter 2: Theology as Science and as Search for Unity

36. The mind must gravitate toward unity with all its weight; it must love unity in its own special way as befits a mind, for it must aspire after God with its whole strength.

So far as natural reason goes, God is known as though unknown, since He is known only by way of negation, analogy and transcendence.


Chapter 3: Unity in Theology: The Whole Christ

72. Christ is wholly oriented toward the Father.

73. Of all the works of God, the Incarnation most surpasses reason. Nothing done by God could conceivably be more wonderful than the fact that the true God, the Son of God, has become true man.


Chapter 4: Unity: The Human Consciousness of Christ and the Consciousness of Christians

76. Consciousness is a possession of oneself in oneself, a perfect identity of being with himself.

To be conscious is the same as to be.

Knowledge of being, hence true knowledge, is impossible without self-knowledge.

77. As there is only one Being that exists fully, there is only one Being that is fully conscious.

The universe is outside of him (man), the infinite Being is immeasurably above him… he is in himself only be being with them and in virtue of them.

78. Jesus who is conscious has two natures and two intellects. He has two powers of saying "I", and in this sense He has a twofold consciousness. (but is one person. Editor)

81. If God becomes the very being of our being and the soul of our soul, He must also be, as it were, the consciousness of our consciousness. Consciousness is the very cry of the soul, the act of a being that clasps itself.

86. Knowledge is life. Supernatural knowledge is life at its fullest; it is eternal life.

87. Theology has to end in silence.

90. It is in Christ that God, as He exists in His own inner life, becomes accessible.

91. When a man becomes a Christian he lives, acts, thinks, prays and suffers not in solitude - nor with Christ alone - for Christ is not alone - but with all mankind. His love ought to reach out to every man and to the limits of the universe, and ought also to reach up to Go and infinity, in Christ who is all in all.


Chapter 5: The Teaching of Philosophy on Man and His Unity

96. Man is a certain immensity. In his relations to the universe he is more than a part: he is a center, a totality, a culmination.

99. Without man the universe is truncated and inexplicable; it has no center, no ultimate, no issue. It is nowhere conscious.

Man is the intrinsic end of the world, and is the relatively last end for the world. God is the transcendent and absolutely ultimate end, but the world tends to God only in man.

100. The soul does not know without the body.

101. Love of nature expands the soul to the proportions of the universe for which it arouses love.

107. Inside, in what really makes the man, he is immensely, infinitely man. He is the whole of mankind in germ; but all this is within him, where no eye can penetrate. And thus no one has ever seen man.

108. …experience this interior immensity… and the whole of space

112. The soul is not limited to informing the body; it grasps and knows itself; and in this knowledge it possesses in germ a yearning toward Him who is the first and the last end, God.

115. "I am a man." And that implies all the depths of inner, hidden, conscious life. There is in each man a formal unity of humanity, that is, a unity in the form and through the form. (The unity) is deep-seated, active and alive.

117. Man does not know himself unless he knows the universe of man and humanity. This explains the interest man takes in other men and in material phenomena. They truly concern him; they make up his completeness.

119. Man is not yet a man but is only becoming one.

120. God alone is man’s end.

124. At death the soul is separated from the body. But the separation is not absolutely complete, for the soul retains an essential relation to the body.

For the soul, death is the crisis of a second birth, not of annihilation. The soul can enter into a more expansive life. Death, the breaking away from matter, is humanity’s flight toward infinity.

This union, involving an endless multiplicity of parts and a throng of passions and diverging tendencies disruptive of the whole, was a burden on the soul… But all this falls away (in death) and the soul can at length enter into a more expansive life of the infinite.

124. (At death) he is also in contact with all humanity.

125. In the life to come, man will at length know what it is to be a man, a "whole"… he will have a revelation of his human immensity.

On earth man is in the process of development.

(In death) the veil of matter will drop, and in his full union with himself he will perceive his full union with all. He will reach natural beatitude.

…death will efface from knowledge all that pertains to sense.

127. The soul will have a definite, luminous, total knowledge of God as far as He is the cause of man.

The soul has full consciousness of itself.


Book Two: The Coming of Christ

Chapter 6: Creation

133. Man is at the beginning and center of everything - and God is in the heart of man.

If God gives men their whole being, He means to give them His whole being, in Jesus Christ.

"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth."

134. Belief in creation takes its place, through Christ, in belief in the Trinity. Our faith is based… on a conviction of the fatherly tenderness of God.

When the world came into being, did not the advent of the Savior begin?

137. God is love, and love is more active the more it gives itself and the more unworthy its beneficiaries are.

141. The Incarnation remains essentially the remedy for sin. The Incarnation is an act in which God gives Himself, and when God gives Himself to sinners, He but gives Himself the more generously.

143. Adam was chosen as the first sinner and as a man to be restored.


Chapter 7: Original Sin

160. According to the juridical view, God regards nature as sinful because it is no longer such as He wishes it to be, and because sin is precisely deviation from God’s law.

"How could I have committed sin, if I was not as yet born?"

By what right can we say that absence of grace in a man who has not sinned personally is a privation? Grace, as we well know, is supernatural; nothing in nature as such has a claim to it.

161. How, then, in the present instance, can we say without inconsistency that the absence of grace is a real privation, and a privation that is a sin?

God is the norm of good and evil, but only because He is being itself and the principle of all being and of all good. (God is the source of all reality.)

162. All these considerations, as is apparent, are designed to focus attention on one defect: the absence of any explanation that might enable us to understand a certain physical, ontological presence of all nature in Adam, a real union of all men in their first origin. - This is the heart of the mystery.


II: Theology of Original Sin According to Christ’s Unity and Redemption

163. (At the beginning) marriage in that state would have been a sort of equivalent of our present sacraments.

Humanity, in the full, supernatural measure of its existence, deprived itself of the gifts that were to have made it more happy and more unified by making it divine. But the offer of the gift was not retracted; the sin had been foreseen… and nature remained destined for the gift. Hence nature is in opposition to the gift and to itself, in absolute interior disorder, in sin. There is sin only in relation to the supernatural order, and because of God’s persistent, obstinate goodness.

Humanity is in opposition to the infinite, divine love with which God continues to love it. The privation of grace which is their sin is but the negative expression of an interior orientation toward the grace that God is keeping for them, and this orientation itself is but the effect corresponding in them to the eternal offer that refuses to be withdrawn.

166. Personal sins are a sort of continuation of the original fault.

Nature - once it has received grace - is wounded to death when it loses grace, because the gift has actuated splendors of life which were but possible before and which, vanishing with the grace that departs, leaves nature bereft of what had become its supreme necessity, and so it is desolated by the strictest kind of privation… In losing grace, man loses a life that had been his own, and so this sin is for him the death of his soul. - God intends a restoration and a redemption. Belief in original sin is but an aspect of belief in God’s redeeming love.

167. Nothing is lost except the supernatural gift; but this loss… leaves in nature an inner emptiness, an upsetting of equilibrium, a defect that is less than in the case of mortal sin, yet real.


Chapter 8: Mary, Mother of Jesus

170. The essence of Christianity is union and unity.

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin goes with devotion to Christ.

171. The essential thing about Christ is He is perfectly God, perfectly man, perfectly one. The essential thing about the Blessed Virgin is her part in making her Son perfectly man.

172. It is in Mary alone that the Incarnation is the assumption of the concrete human race, the taking up of all of us into one of us.

Without her the divine unity that incorporates all men in itself would not be interior to the race of man.

173. Mary joins Jesus Christ to the whole Church by joining Him to mankind… Her role… is to give Christ, to be the mother of Christians and the spouse of the Spirit.

174. There is nothing extraordinary in Mary’s life.

176. Her function, her natural inclination and her spontaneous action in the order of grace is to unite, to intercede, to request, to obtain. "Even when she is not invoked, of her own accord she is always at hand to help us."

182. -- Both Mary and Jesus were wholly immaculate. There was nothing in them to prevent grace from being the full divinization of nature.

184. -- Mary loves with utter simplicity.

-- All human lives are hidden lives.


Book III: Christ

Chapter 9: Christology and the Mystical Body

197. -- Jesus, in giving Himself to men, restores them to themselves. The Incarnation is the human event par excellence, the universal and cosmic event.

199. -- The Word seeks mankind to communicate Himself to them and to make them glow with light and vibrate with life in Himself; His desire is to make them children of God.

At last the spark leaps: the Word is made flesh. The whole of the divinity is contained in that one spark. The result is the birth of the only-begotten, incarnate Word; but it is also the communication of life, grace, light, truth, and divine sonship to the whole human race.

207. "quidquid recipitur, recipitur ad modum recipientis" (Whatever is received is received after the mode of the recipient.)

210. The human nature had to be intensely active in receiving it (the Word). The reception had to be accomplished in the deepest center, the very root of the nature.

213. The human nature, in all the perfection it can have, is human. To be God’s nature, it has to become divine.

216. In its substance the body was material, but nevertheless was spiritualized, because united to the spirit, it had a sort of "being of union" with the spirit.

God is Being itself. He is "He who is," purus actus essendi, ipsum esse subsistens… Through the Incarnation He unites Himself to a finite being.

217. God is Being itself; the human nature is something that shares in being, and absolutely nothing else.

Everything that exists, in every particle of its being, exists only by having being from Him.

218. God simply is. His way is to be without restriction or negation, to be entirely and eminently nothing but Being; to become God cannot in any way involve ceasing to be oneself.

219. Union with Being itself affects being as being.

Since the subsistent Being is more interior to every being than any being is in itself, the influence can be more interior, more "natural" to such a being, than its own being… In the Incarnation, therefore, where the influence is total, it affects totally the being of the assumed humanity. The Man who has this humanity will be God. He will have no other ultimate being or personality than a divine personality.

220. God’s action can be penetrating and incisive to the last degree, and has to be. But the nature thus permeated through and through remains intact and virginal, and clings all the more firmly to its being, just as a crystal ball penetrated by the sun remains transparent, but with a transparency that has become brilliant.

221. His human nature does not differ from ours except in the intensity of its existence, and that but makes it the more human.

224. Christ’s nature has this sociability, as it also has humanity, in an eminent way that befits a human nature belonging to God. In assuming and divinizing a human nature, God assumes and divinizes all humanity. He assumes and divinizes human nature socially: the Word has come to dwell in all of us through one of us.

226. Christ’s souls or His human nature possesses by grace all that God possesses by nature.

227. God is the first cause. Therefore, the Man who is Christ is the first cause.

228. The Incarnation established a new human species, or rather effected a renewal of the species: divinized humanity.

231. God, and more precisely the Word, is the universal archetype, in particular for humanity.

232. Christ as man takes all mankind to Himself.

God alone is present to the being of all things, because He is Being itself.

233. The humanity of Christ… truly causes men to be supernaturally more human.

To be a man means that one is disposed to experience and live in oneself what others feel, to live their lives in oneself.

237. The divine persons are infinitely distinct… but are also infinitely united.


Chapter 10: Unification of Mankind by Trinitarian Unity

Christ’s humanity has its mystic fullness through union with God, and it has its union with God through union with the Word. Hence it is attached first and directly to the Trinitarian life as such; by sharing in this life and unity -- it is made the principle of life and unity for all mankind.

238. Christ’s loved ones are to be one in Him who is one of the divine persons, just as the divine persons are one.

240. The saints… are not flabby non-entities afraid to be themselves just because they belong to God.

253. Whoever does evil breaks with the infinite Being and with his own nature; this is sin… At death, when man will discover himself everlastingly, he will see how contrary to nature it is to be a sinner, at odds with himself and with Being. This will be his hell.

254. God is and remains infinite goodness; and that is the basic reason why privation of Him is infinitely evil.

261. Christ is redeemer through His humanity, not through His divinity, and that His humanity mystically contains all humanity.

264. Death, for the soul, is the passage from a formative stage to a definitive stage.

269. For a man who is absolutely without sin, death could be very gentle. In the state of original innocence… the transition was not even death, but a simple passing from the formative state to the definitive state.

270. Man’s death is necessary. To be united to God, when he is a sinner, he must be thoroughly emptied of himself.


Chapter 11: Nature of the Redemption

272 -- The Gospel is full of God’s excessive love for us. God conceived the idea of showing how He can love us.

274. Once mankind has become the object of this inexplicable tenderness, everything is accounted for, everything falls into place naturally, indeed everything has already taken place in principle. Nothing remains but to transfer to time and to apply to mankind what has already been decided and hence is supereminently real in God’s eternal omnipotence.

275. All that man has ravaged in himself, in the depths of his soul, in his psychology and his body and his universe, he must rebuild, and he must consecrate and sacrifice all to the task.

God fashioned man because He wished to have beneficiaries of His goodness.

The redemption is designed to give God back to man.

276. Man needs sufferings and death in order to tear himself away from his sin.

277. Do not the wounded have more insistent claims on gentleness, and does not fallen greatness call for keener sympathy?

God calls man and enables him to reinstate himself.

287. Christ will remain among us in the never-ending continuity of hosts and Masses.

289. Christ’s work is a work of love and union.

290. We have to understand Christ from within, because He has entered into us. We must also understand the redemption from within, for the only redemption we have is that which is now going on within us.

291. Man has in himself all he needs to possess God eternally.

292. Christ contains us all in Himself.

293. All men are sinners and as such they are incapable of doing anything whatever for their spiritual welfare. Christ’s death alone sanctifies all mankind.

295. In ransoming His creatures, the Redeemer makes them His members. Men receive this redemption, not as a gift coming from another, but as the grace incorporating them into that other.

300. You are suffering as much as ought to be your contribution to the complete passion of Christ, who has suffered as our head, and who now suffers in His members, that is, in us. Each of us, in his little way, is paying into this common treasury what he owes. (St. Augustine)

306. Mankind is tormented not only by its malice but by a profound ignorance of itself which is the legacy of its sin and which causes it to suffer even in the good it possesses.

312. -- All suffering comes from original sin.

313. -- Suffering lets man die to himself, and for banishing egoism, pride and the spirit of rebellion. This pain is good for man.

317. Christ took to Himself miseries, sufferings and human death; and behold, they are divinized in Him.

320. He forever, and nothing but Him: in His divinity He is the source from which everything flows; in His humanity He is the center from which all activity is directed; in His mystic fullness He is the goal toward which everything tends.

321. God has saved us by uniting us to Himself and by giving us the power to save ourselves, in Him.


Chapter 12: The Blessed Trinity (Book Four)

325. All the grace that is ever received by the mystical body of Christ comes from the Father through the Son in the Spirit.

327. The dogma of the Trinity reveals to the Christian what Being is in itself.

335. … We have special relations with each of the three divine Persons: sonship with the Father; consecration to the Holy Spirit; mystical identity with Jesus Christ.

339. … The Spirit is He who is to achieve the work of love and union.

341. -- Christian life is an ascent to the Father through the Son and the Spirit.

359. Christ is God by being the Son.

The God of the Incarnation is God as attained by faith alone, rather than God as known analogically by our unaided intellect.

366. The Son is also pure Being and the Creator and archetype of all being.

368. The Son alone possesses the mystical body and makes it alive in Himself, in the same way as He alone possesses His physical body and gives it life, as He Himself has life from the Father.

The sacred humanity mystically includes Christians.

Christians must be truly one with the Son to the same degree as they are truly one with Christ.

369. Through the grace of the Incarnation, the Son, the assumed human nature, and the regenerated human race are all united.

The grace of divinization flows to Christians from Christ and hence from the Son. That is the essence of grace. This divinization must have a "filial" character and must sanctify men by fulfilling its sole purpose, which is to make them worthy members of Him who is the Son.

370. Christ is more interior to us than we ourselves are; He is the source of our life, He is our head and our all. Our incorporation into Him endows our personality with its most intimate and supernatural depths. We are never so much ourselves as when we are in Him.

371. The Son alone among the divine persons as a man, just as, alone among men, Christ is God.

372. We become by grace what Christ is by nature. Christ is the Son by nature, and He is God because he is the Son. Our divinization comes from our adoption.

374. Thus we men, who used to be afar off, have been made to come near; we who were strangers and outsiders have been brought inside and welcomed as members of the family… He has made us His own beloved children by sanctifying us in His well-beloved Son.


Chapter 13: Revelation and the Trinity

376. The Father appears to men in the Son… the whole content of revelation is contained in that.

There is only one gift in the order of Being, the essential and total gift, and gift of God as He is in Himself, and this gift is contained in Christ.

377. The essential and total gift of knowledge… is the gift of eternal light in the flash of its own brightness, the gift of the Trinity in the Word.

378. If a man is to know the Trinity, he must also know himself as knowing it.

To see what is most vital and central in revelation, we must turn our eyes to what is deepest in Christ, that is, His personality; and this personality is exclusively that of the Second Person in the Trinity.

379. He is the Word, the Image.

380. -- Christ is revelation - the abolishment of every screen and every veil between the human mind and the splendor of the Trinity.

381. Revelation burst forth at the moment the sacred humanity began to exist, and flows on without pause from the deep source where it is ever beginning to be… that is, to be the humanity of the Word.

382. Christ has a twofold consciousness, because He has two natures.

-- passive generation and active spiration --

383. In us, the supernatural is in process of formation… In Him it is a plenitude so powerful that it dominates the essential human nature in which it is found.

-- Christ is conscious of being the Word.. the Word is the ultimate support and the sole subsistence of all the human reality in Christ.

386. Nothing is so luminous, evident, and immediate as consciousness.

388. The Word is the interior Word in which the Father expresses all that He is, so exactly that this Word is a person like Himself, a whole that is absolutely similar to Himself, with the sole difference that the one is uttered and the other is uttering.

390. There is a single or a twofold "I" in Christ: there is one subject who is this "I," yet He, because of His two distinct natures, expresses this subject in two different ways.

391. We have to hold that there is only one consciousness in God, because He has but one nature. But since there are three persons in God, we have to say there are three ultimate and distinct subjects who know themselves and are conscious; in this sense the divine consciousness is threefold.

We may say there are three conscious relations, or a triple consciousness of the relations, in this one absolute consciousness.

-- Christ lives in us in the mystery of the life that comes from the Trinity, itself, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

393. -- "entity of union" = when a man is God and subsists in God.

-- "knowledge of union" = when a human knowledge is found to be a knowledge of God, inasmuch as the man possessing it is God and has to act and know accordingly.

-- contact with being --

394. God is known to others as inaccessible… but as regards the sacred humanity, God is attained as the first thing known and as always known.

The Word is God, He is Being itself.

-- Christ’s knowledge: is radically different. It is a knowledge which God evokes in a man by causing that man to be Himself.

-- as compared with human knowledge, it is absolute knowledge.

395. -- revelation - it is human and at the same time truly divine

396. -- Christ is the supernatural unity and life of mankind.

397. The harmony between Christ’s two natures is so perfect… that the sacred humanity was completely enlightened from the first instant of its illumination by the Word.

The sun rose in the heart of one man to enlighten all mankind.

398. So long as (men) are on earth, they are not men to the full extent of their capacity… At the present time he is not far along the road. Likewise the human consciousness he has at present is not yet a fully developed consciousness of man, but only its beginning. Full human consciousness, while remaining interior and personal, is a consciousness that is inwardly linked with every other consciousness.

399. -- Our lack of understanding hides our humanity from us.

-- Christ’s human consciousness must be conceived as the first principle in the order of human consciousness.

400. He is… the unity of mankind and pure divine light, He is in His person the expression of God and the Trinity for all mankind.

-- He awakens in men the consciousness of being members

God’s plan for the diffusion of light as well as for the communication of life is magnificent in its simplicity and unity; it unfolds wholly in Christ, that is, in the whole Christ.

Christ has an intuition of the Trinity.

405. The revelation of the Trinity occurs frequently in the Gospel according to St. John.

409. -- Christ (the Word) communicates to them the inner life of Him who is Being itself, and admits them to the Trinity.

Christ… is more interior to Christians than they are themselves. His voice, which comes from outside, also comes from within, from those inner depths where He gives them to themselves.

410. -- this knowledge is inner light

412. -- God produces knowledge by union, by becoming really and hypostatically one with a man who is really and mystically one with all Christians. This knowledge exists only in union with God and His interior light.

413. He who is uttered by the Father and spirates the Holy Ghost enters along with His words into the heart that opens itself.

Christ’s members are indeed light, in Him and through Him. The life that comes to them from Him is designed to make known to them what He is and what God is in Himself, as well as to acquaint them with what they are.

414. The Word remains here, as encompassing, as interior, as powerful as ever.


Chapter 14: The Holy Spirit

416. The explanation of the Spirit’s work has to be found within the totality of Christ.

417. The Incarnation is attributed particularly to the Holy Spirit.

417-8. The Holy Spirit is continually being sent, and Pentecost never comes to an end… He gives them (Christians) the spirit of Christ, the mind of Christ, the spirit of adoption that cries out to God in our hearts, "Abba, Father," He pours charity into their hearts, He brings them all together in Christ to be a single organism of salvation. He instills the first stirring of faith into the soul and, on our entrance into glory, He will endow our bodies with eternal life.

418. -- In creating the world the first time, He gave existence to things; but the second time, He places His own existence in it. And this loving action that proceeds from the Father through the Son to the Spirit is so eminently a work of love that it is attributed to the Spirit.

-- The Holy Spirit - is holiness, love, a kiss, a gift, union, consummation, and perfection.

421. -- Spiritual love is an act of the will.

424. The Holy Spirit is not the reason why the Father and the Son love each other; this love of the Father and the Son is the origin of the Holy Spirit.

-- the Father and Son are not distinct from their love; they are distinct only as Speaker and Spoken.

This essential love subsists in three divine persons, just as the divine essence subsists in three persons.

424-5. When we say that He is Son, we indicate His entire origin; when we say that He spirates the Holy Spirit, we indicate His entire activity; and the two together designate Him in His entirety. He is nothing but Spirator as He is nothing but Son, for in their absolute simplicity the two are strictly identical.

426. Jesus promises Him (the Holy Spirit), sends Him, and gives Him, for the Spirit is His.

431. Christ’s human love is not isolated. It is united to the love that is God, and it is personal love because it is the Spirator’s love. Its ultimate source is the Spirator.

-- He loves with intensity and a sort of ecstasy and fecundity.

432. Christ’s charity is the source, within the human race, of the divine life that is diffused throughout mankind, just as spirating love is the principle of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity.

-- the love of the Sacred Heart

437. Christ is the Spirator, and the members of Christ are members of the Spirator.

443. -- doctrine of the epiklesis

444. A sort of interior infinity… adapts them intrinsically to… His presence, touches, and gifts.

445. Men are not left to themselves if they have grace; in Christ they are one with Him who gives and sends the Holy Spirit.

450. The Spirit… finds expression in… charity.

Christ lives in us and we live in Him.

451. Let us develop in ourselves… the consciousness that we belong to the Word and the divine Thought… Then we shall come to some understanding, not in words and concepts, but in growth and life-giving light, of the mystery of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.


Book V: In Christ

Chapter 15: The Supernatural

455. "We are His Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus." Eph. 2:10

From the very beginning Christians had at least a confused intuition that the order of things to which God was leading them was above everything in nature, that it was at once new and transcendent, that it was a new life, a new creation, a fellowship with God, a divinization, a heavenly life.

457. -- The Supernatural is a union with God.

458. To be is nothing else than to resemble Him, to receive from Him, to depend on Him, and to share in Him with regard to everything that the creature is.

459. The supernatural involves a change of a different order, a change that is at once far more radical and more delicate, a change that affects a being by causing it to be the very thing it was but in a different way.

-- To determine what the supernatural is theology distinguishes two aspects in God. 1. God as founder of the natural order 2. God as He is in Himself - the inner life of God.

-- God causes a thing to exist, and then He unites His own perfect being with the being of the thing - therefore the thing exists in a more perfect way.

460. A more intimate union with Him… is essentially a fulfillment.

463. The Trinity, which does not express itself in creatures and hence is unknowable except through revelation, represents God as He is in Himself and for Himself alone.

464. The personal God is three persons, for such is His way of possessing personality.

468. The central truth: Christ the incarnate Word, and the incorporation of men into Christ.

471. God, who always and everywhere is pure Being and the source of all being, acts with all His being by giving Himself; God acts by causing this man to be truly God, truly Being, and to have within him all that is needed for being.

God brings this union into being by the mystery of union in Himself, for the mystery of the Trinity is certainly a mystery of union. In the Incarnation, therefore, and in the subsistence He communicates to the assumed humanity, God acts not only in a way that is different from Creation, but by a different aspect of Himself.

473. A being is characterized by its relation with God… If, as in the Incarnation, the relation changes by becoming infinitely more intimate, the being will change by becoming infinitely more intense; it will be itself, but will be so infinitely better and more than it has a right to be; it will be absolutely supernatural.

474. -- the dogma of the hypostatic union: two natures and one person; a perfect man who is truly the perfect God.


Chapter 16: Nature and Notes of the Church

479. The Church is the continuation of Christ, for it is His mystical body.

488. This visible man was God who was giving Himself, and that those to whom the Father gave the grace that "drew" them could in some way discern immediately the glory of God shining in the face of a man, the glory which the Father sheds over His only-begotten Son.


Chapter 17: The Functions of the Church

520. Christ’s humanity… was so great that it could not express itself fully except in the totality of the human race.

523. Our Lord’s teaching existed in the flood o light that issued from the Light.

529. Faith is a union of the mind with Christ and His knowledge.

-- union with light

When Christ lends to our thinking His cooperation, His light and His thought, our concepts are bathed in eternal light. Let us think, then, for when we reflect we let the rays of this brilliant light penetrate our souls… Our reflections are the only love our minds are capable of when they are in the presence of the truth that charms them.

531. think without fear

536. We have to be responsive to the slightest interior movements of grace.

541. -- God does everything possible to be near, small, close by and accessible.


Chapter 18: … the Sacraments

554. The sacraments are signs and causes of grace.

561. By uniting us to Christ, baptism unites us to the Son, to God, to the Trinity.


Chapter 19: Sanctifying Grace

594. Grace is a gift presented to rational creatures with a view to their eternal life.

600. Grace has an essential relationship with the Trinity.

The Blessed Trinity is the ultimate transcendent source of all grace, and the humanity of the Word is its first interior principle.

610. (Grace) is the entrance of God into us, so far as this entrance changes us intrinsically and conforms us, to the degree that this is possible, to God who draws near. It is our very soul as internally ennobled and elevated by the indwelling of God and for this indwelling.

613. Grace is personal in each man.

The supernaturally personal character of grace is what causes the supernaturally personal character of holiness, of the theological virtues, and of the whole eternal life of each Christian, and … of each saint in heaven.


Chapter 20: Actual Grace

622. Actual grace is a divine influence added to natural energy.

-- as something passing and not permanent.