About this blogger:
A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College (B.A. in Liberal Arts) and The Catholic University of America (M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy), Dr. Peter Kwasniewski is currently Professor at Wyoming Catholic College. He is also a published and performed composer, especially of sacred music.
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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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Incarnation and Divinization
published 31 October 2013 by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski
ALTHOUGH I HAVE some disagreements with Fr. Michael Casey’s book, Fully Human, Fully Divine: An Interactive Christology (Liguori, 2004), there are also passages in it that are extremely profound and rhapsodic in their chanting of the divinely beautiful Gospel. I would like to share one of my favorite passages with the readers of Views from the Choir Loft. — Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

272 annunciation HE INCARNATION makes no sense without the corresponding doctrine of our divinization. God’s Son descended so that we might ascend, that we might share the divinity of him who humbled himself to share our humanity. In the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel (Jn 1:1–18), we see enunciated the three prime moments of Salvation History, as understood by the evangelist. “The Word was with God … the Word became flesh … and of his fullness we have all received.” Our participation in the life of God is an essential part of the whole project. Our vocation is to be receivers of the fullness of the Word made flesh. The extent of the resultant assimilation is indicated when the evangelist adds “grace for grace.” Here he employs the same preposition used in the Greek Bible to denote equivalence: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Everything the Word was by nature, we become by grace.

Each of the believing and reasoning members of Christ can truly say of themselves that they are what he is—even God’s Son, even God. But he is so by nature, they by association (consortio). He is so fully; they by participation. Finally, what the Son is by virtue of being begotten, his members are not only by a legal decree or by the giving of a name but by adoption…

There is a paradox involve in this doctrine: it is only by becoming divine that we begin to be fully human. Conversely, if we are not divinized we become subhuman—beings whose innate potential has been left unrealized…

That the divinization of human beings is a neglected doctrine powerfully reveals the impoverishment of Christian faith that we have allowed to occur. It is easy enough to reduce the mystery of God’s plan to a few “metaphysical and ethical crumbs” (Schleiermacher). Such oversimplification does not succeed in making Christianity more accessible to the ordinary person, but simply renders it banal and boring. . . . Religion is about the transformation of sinful humanity. This miraculous process can be protected and even sustained by ethical constraints and rational discourse, but its essential origin is elsewhere…

There is always the danger that theological and moral rectitude (orthodoxy and orthopraxy) loom so large on our religious horizon that relationship with God recedes into the background. In this age, more than in any other, we need the divine boldness to affirm that Christianity is not a matter of being good but of becoming God. It is only by the wholehearted acceptance of the truth that God’s Son fully shared our humanity that we can be emboldened to find in him our way towards an intense and transforming relationship with the God who exists beyond human experience.