Discourse on Christ’s
Beatific Vision/Knowledge
In His Hypostatic Union


Annunciation and Incarnation of Jesus Christ - by BOTTICELLI, Sandro - from Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence .  .  .  .  .  .  The lone Tree seen through the window is Symbolic of the future Cross of Christ. There is a diagonal line running from the edge of Gabriel's robes to his raised hand, and it continues in the arm which Mary is holding across her chest. The Angel's robes, which are billowing in great folds, show that he has just made a sweeping landing. Gabriel is kneeling reverently in front of Mary and his mouth, which is slightly open, suggests that he is in the process of speaking the words of St Luke's Gospel, which are written underneath him in Latin on the painting's original frame: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee".

 

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ within the Womb of Mary implies Three (3) facts:

The Divine Person of Jesus Christ;

The Human Nature of Jesus Christ;

The Hypostatic Union of the Human with the Divine Nature in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ.

Hypostatic Union - A Theological Term used with reference to the Incarnation, within the Womb of Mary, to express the Divinely Revealed Truth that in Jesus Christ, One (1) Divine Person subsists in Two (2) Natures, the Divine and the Human. The Natures are not joined in a Moral or Accidental Union; nor mixed, fused or co-mingled; but they are Substantially United for Eternity.

In virtue of the Beatific Vision which He enjoyed from the time when He was received into the Womb of the Mother of God, He has forever and continuously had present to Him all the members of His mystical Body and embraced them with His saving Love. [Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi]

 

Discourse on Christ’s
Beatific Vision/Knowledge
In His Hypostatic Union

The Beatific Knowledge/Vision of Christ’s Human Intellect commenced at the Incarnation and was never suspended. This possession of the Vision which was Christ’s by-right was Finite, but could not (according to the Divine Decree/God’s Ordinate Power) be increased. It gave Him, as Man, the greatest penetration of the Divine Essence. It surpassed that of the Angels, for the Beatific Vision is not measured by the Intellect of the Beneficiary, but by the degree of Habitual Grace in the Subject. When it is a question of the Supernatural Order, Angels and Men are on a "level-playing-field", because Grace is not measured per se according to Natural Potency, but by the Higher Agent (God), Who actuates an Obediential Potency in Creatures. This Potency is not a positive thing, but a mere "Non-Repugnance" to being elevated Supernaturally. This Potency is "Equal" in all Spiritual Creatures. In the actuation of Obediential Potency, the act is measured not by the Subject, but by the Agent.

This Vision which Christ could not lack, if He were to impart It to others, and which flowed, as it were, from His Divinity into His Human Soul, meant that Christ had the Greatest, Uninterrupted Happiness.

Although Christ’s Human Mind understands the Trinity Better and More than any other created Mind, this Understanding falls-short of being "Comprehension". This means that Christ’s penetration of the Divine Essence in His Human Intellect is not Infinite, but Limited. Comprehensive Knowledge is all-embracing, Understanding something Completely. The Divine Intellect alone has an exhaustive, Infinitely Perfect Knowledge of the Divine Essence.

Christ always actually saw, Distinctly and Simultaneously, the Divine Essence, the Persons of the Trinity and the Divine Attributes. This is the Knowledge "in the Word", sometimes called the Morning Knowledge of Heaven. Christ also saw in the Vision all the things which pertained to Himself. This included Knowledge of all Actuals, since all creation is subject to Him; that is all things and events that ever were, are or will be; of many pure Possibles (what God could cause or make, but never will); and of many Futuribles (what would be if certain conditions were fulfilled, but never will be). Christ knew all Actuals, the number of which is necessarily Finite, and not beyond a Finite Mind. Our Lord in His Human Intellect could not know all Possibles or Futuribles since they are Infinite in possibility. His Divine Intellect, of course, knew all Futuribles and Possibles.

 

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