Sunday, June 20, 2010
"Then, once more, by the Incarnation God placed Himself in like manner within the range of our hearts. There is nothing in the whole history of the world more fearful than the corruption of the heart of man under false conceptions of God. Heathenism is man without God, and for that reason corrupted. There is not a passion or a vice of human nature which was not deified by the pagan world. The very adorations which they paid to the monstrous gods of their own conception were, like their idols, horrible and not to be described. Therefore God, for the purification and sanctification of the human heart, placed Himself within the sphere of our affections: He has made it easy to know Him, and therefore easy to love Him. He revealed Himself of old to Prophets, to Patriarchs, and to His own people.
The personal nature of God was known and understood by the line of the faithful at all times, and especially by the family of Israel, to whom God gave a large and abundant revelation of Himself in His divine personality by His incomprehensible Name, ' I am who am.' The power, the love, the mercy of God—all these great moral attributes were revealed to them. But that He might make them more intimate with the heart of God, He took for Himself a nature like our own; He came as a man into the midst of men; He came to gaze upon men with a human countenance, to speak to men with a human voice, to love men with a human heart, that men might see, united in His Person, the Creator and the creature, the Infinite and the finite, the Divine and the human, that is, in the hypostatic union of manhood with God. In Him was revealed the fountain of all the gifts of grace: the fountain of life which in eternity was in the bosom of God, on the eternal Hills. The River of life came down through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and from Him has spread to all nations. 'The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us; and we saw His glory, the glory of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.' He revealed thereby the divine characteristics of love, pity, compassion, mercy, tenderness, long-suffering, and generosity. The Word made flesh bore upon Him the whole impress and delineation of God. The eternal character of God shone through the transparent perfections of His human character. It was the human interpretation of the divine nature. And what was the character so revealed? In one word, it was ' God is charity.' The essence of God is charity, and the essence of God is Himself. God is charity; and that Charity was incarnate, and that Charity came and was passible among men. He came to weep over the sins of men, to weep at the grave of the dead, to weep over the sins of Jerusalem, to suffer, to hunger, to thirst, to be in agony, and to be crucified. What, then, is our conception of the Divine Nature through the Incarnation? Love, sorrowing, suffering, and dying for us. It is not possible for the eternal perfections of the love of God to be more intelligible than God has made them by the Incarnation of His Son. ' No man hath seen God,' indeed, 'at any time; but the Only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father,' and Who was made man for us, to suffer and to sorrow and to die, 'hath declared Him.'"
-- The Glories of the Sacred Heart by Henry Cardinal Edward