God Born of Man, Men Born of God

St. Peter Chrysologus asks: “Which is the more adorable mystery, that God gave Himself to the earth, or that He gives you to heaven? That He Himself enters into such intimate union with our flesh, or that He introduces us to companionship with the Godhead? That He is born like us to servitude, or that He generates us as His free-born children? That He adopts our poverty, or that He makes us His heirs and the co-heirs of His only begotten Son? Certainly, it is more astounding and worthy of praise that earth should be transferred to heaven, man should be transformed by the Deity, and the rank condition of slavery receive the rights of dominion. . . . So great is the Divine condescension towards us that the creature knows not which to admire more, that God has descended to our servitude, or that He has transported us to the Divine dignity.”

St. Augustine declares: “The Son of God was made the son of man that the children of man might be made children of God.” This doctrine is found in the words of the Apostle: “God sent His Son made of a woman . . . that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal 4:4-5).

St. Fulgentius elaborates: “God was born of man that man might be born of God. The first birth of Christ as the Son of God was of God, the second of man. Our first birth is of man, our second of God. And because God to be born of woman adopted the reality of the flesh, He has given us at our regeneration in Baptism the spirit of sonship. What Christ was not by nature at His first birth, that He was made at His second birth by grace, that we might also be made by the grace of the second birth what we were not by nature of the first. God, however, has brought us grace when He was born of man; we, on the other hand, receive grace gratuitously, that by the gift of the Incarnate God we might partake of the Divine Nature.”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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