Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Devotion to The Sacred Heart, Its Theology, History and Philosophy part 44.

By  Rev. Joseph J. C. Petrovits, J.C.B., S.T.L.


The finite mind of man cannot fathom the inscrutable mystery of the Blessed Trinity. The fact of revelation as to the existence of three distinct divine Persons being admitted we are forced to conclude that though there are three Persons willing there is but one will. This conclusion is necessitated by the oneness of the Divine Essence and the harmony which we know must needs exist among the three divine Persons. To each Person must be attributed a share in the mystery of the Incarnation. It is true that only the second Person of the Blessed Trinity became really incarnate, but this plan could not have been actualized without the co-operation of the other two. The Redemption by the Son of God and His Incarnation were decreed from all eternity. Since so intimate a relationship was to exist between mankind and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, it may be maintained that the same Person played an important role in the creation of man. Though the love of God the Son towards mankind was not actualized in a tangible way for us till the Incarnation, it really existed from all eternity, and the creation may be considered as the first ray of its manifestation.

It would be preferable to call this love pre-incarnate rather than uncreated. The latter more properly implies the plenitude of the love of the Logos, while the former brings His love into correlation with the Incarnation, thus characterizing and defining it more clearly. The term pre-incarnate suggests the idea of the creature towards whom this love has been exhibited, and this is the idea to be conveyed.

It is easy to conceive a love of God the Son which moved him to co-operate in our creation. We can also picture to ourselves a love in the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, which induced Him to take upon Himself human nature, and to subject Himself voluntarily to all the subsequent sorrows. It is precisely this latter love which the decree referred to above permits to be included in the formal object of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart. In a previous chapter we pointed out that this love was not annihilated in Christ in consequence of the assumption of human nature, but continued to exist in the Logos.

This particular love, however, is not to be confined to the second Person of the Blessed Trinity so as to exclude the other two. But, to show a special worship for justifiable reasons to this specified love of God the Son towards us, it may be considered as peculiar to Him by way of appropriation.