Grandeur of the Mystery of Incarnation
[Latin Incarnatio (in: Caro, Flesh)]

mystical.jpg (186497 bytes)
Mystical Nativity - by BOTTICELLI, Sandro - from National Gallery, London

(Click Below for more Detail)
[Detail-1]
[Detail-2]
[Detail-3]

Inspired by the Sermons-of the Dominican Friar Savonarola, this Painting is certainly Unconventional, and does not simply Represent the Traditional Events-of the Birth-of Jesus, and the Adoration-of the Shepherds and the Magi or Wise Men. Rather it is a Vision-of these Events, Inspired-by the Prophecies-in the Revelation-of Saint-John. Botticelli has underlined the non-Realism of the Picture, by including Latin and Greek Texts, and by-Adopting the Conventions-of Medieval Art, such as Discrepancies-in Scale, for Symbolic Ends. The Virgin Mary, Adoring a Gigantic Infant Jesus, is so-Large, that were she to-Stand, she could not Fit-under the Thatch Roof of the Stable. They are, of course, the Holiest and the most-important Persons in the Painting.

The Angels carry Olive Branches, which Two of them have Presented-to the Men they Embrace-in the Foreground. These Men, as-well-as the Presumed Shepherds, in their Short-Hooded Garments, on the Right, and the Long-Gowned Magi, on the Left, are all Crowned-with Olive, an Emblem-of Peace. The Scrolls wound-about the Branches in the Foreground, combined-with some of those held-by the Angels Dancing-in the Sky, read: 'Glory to God in the Highest, and on-Earth, Peace, Goodwill toward Men' (Luke 2:14). As Angels and Men move ever-closer, from Right to Left, to Embrace, Little Devils Scatter-into Holes-in the Ground. The Scrolls, held-by the Angels, Pointing-to the Crib, once read: `Behold the Lamb-of-God, which Taketh-away the Sin-of the World' the Words-of John-the-Baptist, Presenting Christ (John 1:29). Above the Stable Roof, the Sky has Opened-to Reveal the Golden Light-of Paradise. Golden Crowns hang-down from the Dancing Angels' Olive Branches. Most of their Scrolls 'Celebrate' Mary: 'Mother-of-God', 'Bride-of-God', 'Sole-Queen-of-the-World'.

 

The Latin Incarnatio (in: Caro, Flesh) corresponds to John 1:14 "And the Word became Flesh".

The Incarnation 'Implies' Three (3) facts:

(1) The Divine Person-of Jesus Christ;
(2) The Human Nature-of Jesus Christ;
(3) The Hypostatic Union of the Human Nature, with the Divine Nature, in the Divine Person-of Jesus Christ.

 

Grandeur of the Mystery of Incarnation
[Latin Incarnatio (in: Caro, Flesh)]

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

angelbar.gif (3645 bytes)

Et Verbum Caro factum est
"And the Word became Flesh" ----- John 1:14

Our Lord sent Saint Augustine, to Write-upon the Heart-of Saint-Mary-Magdalene-de-Pazzi, the 'Words', And the Word became Flesh. Oh, let us also Pray the Lord, to-Enlighten our Minds, and to-Make us Understand what an 'Excess', and what a Miracle-of-Love this is, that the Eternal Word, the Son-of-God, should have 'Become' Man, for the Love of us.

The Holy Church is Struck-with-Awe, at the Contemplation-of this Great Mystery: I considered Thy Works, and was Afraid. If God had 'Created' a Thousand (103) other Worlds, a Thousand (103) Times Greater, and more-Beautiful than the Present, it is certain that this Work would be Infinitely (∞) Less Grand than the Incarnation of the Word: He hath Showed Might in His Arm. To 'Execute' the Great Work-of the Incarnation, it Required all the Omnipotence and Infinite (∞) Wisdom-of God, in-order-to Unite Human Nature, to a Divine Person, and that a Divine Person should so-Humble Himself, as to Take-upon Him, Human Nature. Thus God became Man . . . the Divinity of the Word, being United-to the Soul and Body-of Jesus Christ, all the Actions-of this Man-God became Divine: His Prayers were Divine; His Sufferings - Divine; His Infant Cries - Divine; His Tears - Divine; His Steps - Divine; His Members - Divine; His very Blood - Divine; which became, as-it-were, a Fountain-of-Health, to Wash-out all our Sins, and a Sacrifice-of Infinite (∞) Value, to Appease the Justice-of the Father, Who was Justly Offended with Men.

And who, then, are these Men? Miserable, Ungrateful, and Rebellious Creatures. And yet for these, God 'Becomes' Man; 'Subjects' Himself to Human Miseries; Suffers and Dies to Save these Unworthy Sinners: He Humbled Himself, becoming Obedient-unto Death, even to the Death-of the Cross. O Holy Faith! If Faith did not Assure us of it, who would Believe-that a God of Infinite (∞) Majesty, should Abase Himself so-far-as to Become a Worm like us, in-order-to Save us at the Cost-of so much Suffering and Disgrace, and of so-Cruel and Shameful a Death?

"O Grace! O Power of Love!" cries Saint Bernard. O Grace, which Men could not even have Imagined, if God Himself had not Thought-of Granting it to us! O Divine Love, which can never be Fathomed! O Mercy! O Infinite (∞) Charity, Worthy only of an Infinite (∞) Bounty!

 

Affections and Prayers

O Soul, O Body, O Blood of my Jesus! I Adore Thee and Thank Thee; Thou art my Hope; Thou art the Price Paid-to Save me from Hell, which I have so often Merited.

O my God! what a Miserable and Hopeless Life would Await me in Eternity, if Thou, my Redeemer, hadst not Thought-of Saving me by Thy Sufferings and Death! But how is it that Souls, Redeemed-by Thee with so much Love, Knowing all this, can Live without Loving Thee, and can Despise the Grace which Thou hast Acquired-for them, with so-much Suffering?

And did not I also Know all this? How, then, could I Offend Thee, and Offend Thee so often? But, I Repeat it, Thy Blood is my Hope. I Acknowledge, my Savior, the Great Injuries that I have done to Thee. Oh that I had rather Died a Thousand Times! Oh that I had always Loved Thee! But I Thank Thee, that Thou yet Givest me Time to do so.

I Hope in the Time that Remains-to me in this Life, and for all Eternity, to Sing-forever Thy Praises for the Mercies Thou hast Shown me. I have Deserved, on-account-of my Sins, to be more-and-more in Darkness; but Thou hast Given me more-and-more Light.

I Deserved that Thou shouldst Abandon me; but Thou, with Calls still more Loving, didst Come-to me and Seek me. I Deserved that my Soul should Remain more Hardened; but Thou hast Softened and Touched it with Compunction, so that by Thy Grace, I now feel Great Sorrow for the Offenses that I have Committed against Thee; I feel within me an Ardent Desire of Loving Thee; I feel Fully Resolved to Lose everything-----rather than Thy Friendship; I feel a Love towards Thee, that makes me Abhor everything, that Displeases Thee.

And this Sorrow, this Desire, this Resolution, and this Love; Who is it that Gives them to me? It is Thou, O Lord, in Thy Great Mercy.

Therefore, my Jesus, this is a Proof that Thou hast Pardoned me; it is a Proof that Thou now Lovest me, and that Thou Willest me at all Costs, to be Saved; Thou Willest that I should be Saved, and I will Save myself, Principally-to give Thee Pleasure. Thou Lovest me, and I also Love Thee; but my Love is but Little.

Oh, give me more Love; Thou Deservest more Love from me, for I have Received from Thee, more Special Favors than others; I Pray Thee, do Thou increase the Flames of my Love.

Most Holy Mary, obtain for me that the Love of Jesus may Consume and Destroy-in me, every Affection that has not God for its Object. Thou dost Listen-to the Prayers of all that Call-on Thee; Listen-to me also; Obtain-for me Love and Perseverance.

Amen

 

- End of Liguori Treatise and Prayer -

 

The Hypostatic Union of Christ

The Council-of-Chalcedon in 451 A.D., brought-to the Climax the Long Debates about the Make-up of Jesus: He is One (1) Person, a Divine Person, having Two (2) Natures, Divine and Human, in such a way that these Two (2) Natures remain Distinct, after the Union in the One (1) Person. We call this Union "Hypostatic Union" from the Greek "Hypostasis" which means Person - Two (2) Natures, joined-in One (1) Person. It is to be remembered that, when the Word took Flesh in Mary's Womb (Incarnation), there was no Change in the Word (God is Unchangeable); all the Change was in the Flesh. His Human Nature is the same as ours, for He had a Human Body and a Human Soul. He was like us in all things except that He was without Sin, even though He was Tempted as we are (Hebrews 4:15). However, this does not mean that He had within Him Disorderly Passions. The Second-Council-of-Constantinople in 553 A.D., 'Defined' this Truth. His Divine Nature is the same as that of the Father. The Council-of-Nicea in 325 A.D. defined that He is "One in Substance [Homoousios] with the Father".

If Jesus was One (1) Unified Person, and not Two (2) Persons in One (1) Body (One (1) Divine and One (1) Human), then He must always be Spoken-of as the Man-God. We cannot Speak-of His Humanity or His Deity in Isolation, but must always Speak-of them together in Unity (1). Whatever can be said of One(1) of His Natures, can be said of His Whole Person. In Theology this is called the Communicatio Idiomatum, i.e. a 'Communication of Attributes'.

Throughout the History of the Church, the following Feast Days have been observed on 25 March, Nine (9) Months prior to Christmas:
1. Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
2. Feast of the Incarnation of Christ
3. Feast of the Beginning of the Redemption
4. Feast of the Conception of Christ, and
5. Feast of the Announcing of the Christ.