Saturday, 16 July 2016

The Glories Of The Sacred Heart Part 3.

By Henry Edward, Manning. Cardinal Archbishop Of Westminster.

2. The Word of God, then, so became man or incarnate, that the Person of the Eternal Son was clothed in our humanity. The countenance that gazed upon the faces of men while ' He dwelt amongst them' was the face of God; and the hands that cleansed the leper were the hands of God; the finger that opened the ear of the deaf was the finger of God; the feet that Mary kissed in her repentance were the feet of God; the hands that were bound with cords were the .hands of God; the hands and the feet that were nailed upon the cross were the hands and feet of God; the Blood that was shed for the redemption of the world was the Blood of God; and the heart that was pierced upon the cross was the heart of God ; because the whole humanity which the Eternal Word assumed was the humanity of God. In that sacred humanity dwelt the Person of the Eternal Son of God in all the fulness of His Godhead. The Son of God was not united to our manhood as the Holy Spirit of God was united to the prophets. S. Paul, in the first verse of the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, expressly says, that 'God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days hath spoken to us by His Son ;' (Heb. i. 1.) that is, by His Incarnate Son. Neither was the Godhead of the Son united to His manhood like as God is united to us. God is united to the soul and dwells in the soul by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, but we are not God Incarnate. The Saints of God are perfectly united to Him and He dwells in them, but they are not the Incarnation of God. The first Adam before the fall was a man united with God, but not God manifest in the flesh. His Blessed and Immaculate Mother, though she was more closely united to Him than any other creature, because of her very substance the Son of God took the substance of our humanity and united it to His own Divine Person, yet she is not incarnate God. The hypostatic union, as it is called—the union of Godhead and manhood in one person—is distinct from this and beyond all this. The whole Godhead dwelt in Jesus, as S. Paul says, in all its fulness 'corporally' (Col. ii. 9, σωματικῶς ) that is, in the body. The plenitude of Godhead dwells in the body of His humanity.