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Michael Place wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have three questions:

  1. St. Augustine says:

    Angels, like men by nature, strive for their own good and their own perfection; and this means loving themselves.

  • By this, am I to understand that even in Heaven, as with the angels, we have not reached purity and perfection, but must continue, ad aeternum, to strive, as we do now in the temporal world?
  1. Referring to the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1163 and 1166:

Once each week, on the day which she has called the Lord's Day, she keeps the memory of the Lord's resurrection.

. . . the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord's Day or Sunday.
  • In view of the above, what is being celebrated Monday through Saturday of each week at Mass?

    No mention is made of the purpose of daily Mass.

  • Is not the Paschal mystery being celebrated on these days?
  • And if so, why doesn't the CCC make mention of this fact?
  1. Referring to Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 460:

The Word became flesh to make us partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."

(St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939)

"For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."

(St. Athanasius, De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.)

"The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."

(St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57, 1-4.)

I thought this was the sin of satan . . . to be greater than the sons of God (angels) and to become equal to God.

  • Why would the Church say that it was Christ's intent for us men (to emulate satan)?

Mike

  { Will we have to strive in Heaven, what's being celebrated at daily Mass, and why emulate satan? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Michael —

You said:
St. Augustine says "Angels, like men by nature, strive for their own good and their own perfection; and this means loving themselves."

  • By this, am I to understand that even in Heaven, as with the angels, we have not reached purity and perfection, but must continue, ad aeternum, to strive, as we do now in the temporal world?

St. Augustine's use of the concept of strive is not the one we have in modern English, where strive means purposeful moral effort. It means the natural inclination toward good, the natural ordination of our nature toward what is good.

In our fallen existence, this natural ordination to good is disordered in that we strive for lesser goods or apparent goods, while the angels are confirmed in their ordination to the true good.

You said:

Once each week, on the day which she has called the Lord's Day, she keeps the memory of the Lord's resurrection.

. . . the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord's Day or Sunday.
  • In view of the above, what is being celebrated Monday through Saturday of each week at Mass?

    No mention is made of the purpose of daily Mass.

  • Is not the Paschal mystery being celebrated on these days?
  • And if so, why doesn't the CCC make mention of this fact

The Church celebrates the Paschal Mystery on Sunday, which is the feast of the Passion-Death-Resurrection of Christ. Part of that celebration is the offering of Mass. The celebration also includes keeping Sunday holy along with good works: both spiritual and corporal. Every Mass on any day is a commemoration and making present of the Paschal Mystery, but the celebration of the day may be that of a saint or some other Feast or Mystery, like Corpus Christi. The confusion comes from two uses of the word celebrate — we use it to indicate the offering of Mass, and we use it also to mean to remember joyfully.

You said:

The Word became flesh to make us partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."

(St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939)

"For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."

(St. Athanasius, De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.)

"The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."

(St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57, 1-4.)

I thought this was the sin of satan . . . to be greater than the sons of God (angels) and to become equal to God.

  • Why would the Church say that it was Christ's intent for us men (to emulate satan)?

The sin of satan was to make himself like God, and the sin of Adam and Eve was the prideful attempt to be like God through their disobedience. Nowhere in the Scriptures or the Catechism does it say we are to be equal to God. It only says that we can become sons of God, or as god; gods in virtue of being partakers of the divine nature through participation in Christ's Human Nature.

The difference is that in God's plan, it is done God's way, through submission to Christ.

In the plan of rebellion, it is attempted, unsuccessfully, out of pride.

Hope this helps,

Mary Ann

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