Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Glories Of The Sacred Heart Part 4.

By Henry Edward, Manning. Cardinal Archbishop Of Westminster.

3. But, once more, there were in Jesus two distinct and perfect natures—neither changed nor confounded. It is impossible that the divine nature should become the human, or that the human should become the divine: for eternity and infinity cannot be communicated to the creature; neither can eternity or infinity be put off or circumscribed to the outline and stature of the creature. The two natures were perfectly distinct, without diminution or confusion. They were so united that in Christ there were two intelligences. There was the divine intelligence of the Son of God, which adequately contemplates Himself and all things possible to His almighty power. There was also a human intelligence, in which was all knowledge of which the finite intelligence of man is capable. And, as there were two intelligences, so I may say there were also two hearts; for the Holy Ghost, writing of the perfections of God, has used the language of man. In the book of Genesis we read: ' That when the Lord beheld the wickedness of man upon earth He was touched with sorrow of heart ;' (Gen. vi. 5, 6.) and when the Holy Ghost would describe the perfections of David, and the love that God had for him, He described him as 'a man after God's own heart.' (Acts xiii. 22.) The love and the sanctity of God are here spoken of under the symbol of a heart. And this, I may say, is the eternal heart of God. But the heart of Jesus is a heart of flesh—a heart taken from the substance of His Blessed Mother —a symbol, indeed, because it best symbolises and manifests the eternal love of God; but it is more than this, it is also a reality. And that human heart of Jesus was, in the hypostatic union, united with the eternal charity and sanctity of God—all the ardour of the eternal love was there, and all the fervour and all the tenderness of our humanity was there. And as He had two hearts, He had also two wills. 1 There was in Him from all eternity the divine will, which is the love and wisdom of God acting in the absolute harmony of their perfections. And there was also a human will like our own—the spring and origin of all our actions. And these two wills were so perfectly conformed to each other—like two notes in harmony—so identical and yet so distinct, that there never was, and never could be, a variation or a shadow of conflict between them. 2

1 Wherefore, as we confess Him to have two natures, that is Godhead and Manhood, neither confounded, nor divided, nor interchanged; so the rule of piety teaches us that He, one and the same, our Lord Jesus Christ, had also two natural wills and two natural operations, as being perfect God and perfect man.' Epistola Agathonis et Romanæ Synodi ad Concil. CEcum. VI.

And that in Him were two natural wills or volitions, and two natural operations without division, or change, or separation, or confusion, .... and two natural wills not contrary, God forbid, as impious heretics have said, but His human will subjected to His Divine and Almighty Will without resistance or reluctance. For the will of the flesh must needs be moved and subjected to His Divine will, according to the doctrine of Athanasius, who was most wise: for as His flesh is called and is the flesh of God, so also the natural will of His flesh is called and is the will of God, according to His own declaration, came down from heaven, not that I should do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me," that is, the Father. He called the will of the flesh His own Will, as also His flesh became His own; for as the most holy and spotless and living flesh being deified was not destroyed, but remained in its own state and kind, so also His human will being deified was not destroyed, but was rather preserved, according to the saying of Gregory Theologus: "For His will, which is understood, in the Saviour is not contrary to God, but is wholly deified. We adore also two natural operations without division, without change, without separation,* without confusion in Him our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, that is, the divine operation and the human operation; as the divine teacher Leo most clearly asserted, for each nature wrought that which was proper to itself in union with the other; the Word, that is, operating that which is of the Word, and the body accomplishing that which is of the body." Definitio Synodi VI. Const. III. a.d. 680.