Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 119 IV. H ow I s the S on of G od M an ? 470 Because “human nature was assumed, not absorbed,” 97 in the mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ’s human soul, with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human body. In parallel fashion, she had to recall on each occasion that Christ’s human nature belongs, as his own, to the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it. Everything that Christ is and does in this nature derives from “one of the Trinity.” The Son of God therefore communicates to his humanity his own personal mode of existence in the Trinity. In his soul as in his body, Christ thus expresses humanly the divine ways of the Trinity: 98 The Son of God . . . worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the VirginMary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin. 99 Christ’s soul and his human knowledge 471 Apollinarius of Laodicaea asserted that in Christ the divine Word had replaced the soul or spirit. Against this error the Church confessed that the eternal Son also assumed a rational, human soul. 100 472 This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge. As such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited: it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time. This is why the Son of God could, when he became man, “increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man,” 101 and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience. 102 This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself, taking “the form of a slave.” 103 473 But at the same time, this truly human knowledge of God’s Son expressed the divine life of his person. 104 “The human nature 97 GS 22 § 2. 98 Cf. Jn 14:9-10. 99 GS 22 § 2. 100 Cf. Damasus I: DS 149. 101 Lk 2:52 102 Cf. Mk 6:38; 8:27; Jn 11:34; etc. 103 Phil 2:7. 104 Cf. St. Gregory the Great, “ Sicut aqua ” ad Eulogium, Epist. Lib. 10, 39: PL 77, 1097A ff.; DS 475. 516 626 2599 363