The Holy Trinity by El Greco

As you begin your journey in the spiritual world, it is salutary to know who you are and the value placed on your life by the Holy Trinity.

You were not only gifted with a spiritual nature by which you can communicate with God in the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Trinity had a desire to commune with you. You were created and destined to participate in the inner life of God by sharing in the love of the Trinity. This plan was upended by Original Sin. But in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, all has been radically transformed in ways more marvelous than could be imagined. Where sin abounded, grace abounds all the more. (Rom 5:20).

So in Christ's becoming man--his living, dying, and rising again--you are an heir of his divinity.

This grace is what is commonly called our divinization, and it has been attested to by countless Fathers of the Early Church.

It is also attested to by Blessed Stella, a 12th century Cistercian abbot. His homily below should inspire in you a sense of your dignity as a child of God and an heir of heaven.

So, be amazed at how you are loved and valued. If you have not yet experienced that love and glory, you will. This course is preparing you for that glory. Be open and Be Not Afraid!

From a sermon by Blessed Isaac of Stella, Abbot

Just as the head and body of a man form one single man, so the Son of the Virgin and those he has chosen to be his members form a single man and the one Son of Man. Christ is whole and entire, head and body, say the Scriptures, since all the members form one body, which with its head is one Son of Man, and he with the Son of God is one Son of God, who himself with God is one God. Therefore the whole body with its head is Son of Man, Son of God, and God. This is the explanation of the Lord’s words: Father, I desire that as you and I are one, so they may be one with us. 

And so, according to this well-known reading of Scripture, neither the body without the head, nor the head without the body, nor the head and body without God make the whole Christ. When all are united with God they become one God. The Son of God is one with God by nature; the Son of Man is one with him in his person; we, his body, are one with him sacramentally.

Consequently those who by faith are spiritual members of Christ can truly say that they are what he is: the Son of God and God himself. But what Christ is by his nature we are as his partners; what he is of himself in all fullness, we are as participants. Finally, what the Son of God is by generation, his members are by adoption, according to the text: As sons you have received the Spirit of adoption, enabling you to cry, Abba, Father. 

Through his Spirit, he gave men the power to become sons of God, so that all those he has chosen might be taught by the firstborn among many brothers to say: Our Father, who are in heaven. Again he says elsewhere: I ascend to my Father and to your Father. 

The Annunciation by El Greco

By the Spirit, from the womb of the Virgin, was born our head, the Son of Man; and by the same Spirit, in the waters of baptism, we are reborn as his body and as sons of God. And just as he was born without any sin, so we are reborn in the forgiveness of all our sins. As on the cross he bore the sum total of the whole body’s sins in his own physical body, so he gave his members the grace of rebirth in order that no sin might be imputed to his mystical body.

It is written: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt for his sin. The ‘blessed man’ of this text is undoubtedly Christ. Insofar as God is his head, Christ forgives sins. Insofar as the head of the body is one man, there is no sin to forgive; and insofar as the body that belongs to this head consists of many members, there is sin indeed, but it is forgiven and no guilt is imputed.

In himself he is just: it is he who justifies himself. He alone is both Saviour and saved. In his own body on the cross he bore what he had washed from his body by the waters of baptism. Bringing salvation through wood and through water, he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world which he took upon himself. Himself a priest, he offers himself as sacrifice to God, and he himself is God. Thus, through his own self, the Son is reconciled to himself as God, as well as to the Father and to the Holy Spirit.

Resurrection of the Christ by El Greco

The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Romans 8: 16-17

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