The Humility of Christ Becoming Human (St Leo the Great)

Below is a beautiful passage from Pope Saint Leo the Great. He describes how Christ’s incarnation “enlarged” humanity but did not “diminish” His divinity:

  He took the nature of a servant without stain of sin, enlarging our humanity without diminishing his divinity. He emptied himself; though invisible he made himself visible, though Creator and Lord of all things he chose to be one of us mortal men. Yet this was the condescension of compassion, not the loss of omnipotence. So he who in the nature of God had created man, became in the nature of a servant, man himself.

  Thus the Son of God enters this lowly world. He comes down from the throne of heaven, yet does not separate himself from the Father’s glory. He is born in a new condition, by a new birth.

  He was born in a new condition, for, invisible in his own nature, he became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp. Existing before time began, he began to exist at a moment in time. Lord of the universe, he hid his infinite glory and took the nature of a servant. Incapable of suffering as God, he did not refuse to be a man, capable of suffering. Immortal, he chose to be subject to the laws of death.

  He who is true God is also true man. There is no falsehood in this unity as long as the lowliness of man and the pre-eminence of God coexist in mutual relationship.

  As God does not change by his condescension, so man is not swallowed up by being exalted. Each nature exercises its own activity, in communion with the other. The Word does what is proper to the Word, the flesh fulfils what is proper to the flesh.

  One nature is resplendent with miracles, the other falls victim to injuries. As the Word does not lose equality with the Father’s glory, so the flesh does not leave behind the nature of our race.

  One and the same person – this must be said over and over again – is truly the Son of God and truly the son of man. He is God in virtue of the fact that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is man in virtue of the fact that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

-Ex Epístolis sancti Leónis Magni Papæ (Epist. 28, ad Flavianum, 3-4: PL 54, 763-767).

Happy solemnity of the Annunciation and Incarnation! God is with us. Go to the Tabernacle. He waits for you.
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The Humility of Christ Becoming Human (St Leo the Great)

Below is a beautiful passage from Pope Saint Leo the Great. He describes how Christ’s incarnation “enlarged” humanity but did not “diminish” His divinity:

  He took the nature of a servant without stain of sin, enlarging our humanity without diminishing his divinity. He emptied himself; though invisible he made himself visible, though Creator and Lord of all things he chose to be one of us mortal men. Yet this was the condescension of compassion, not the loss of omnipotence. So he who in the nature of God had created man, became in the nature of a servant, man himself.

  Thus the Son of God enters this lowly world. He comes down from the throne of heaven, yet does not separate himself from the Father’s glory. He is born in a new condition, by a new birth.

  He was born in a new condition, for, invisible in his own nature, he became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp. Existing before time began, he began to exist at a moment in time. Lord of the universe, he hid his infinite glory and took the nature of a servant. Incapable of suffering as God, he did not refuse to be a man, capable of suffering. Immortal, he chose to be subject to the laws of death.

  He who is true God is also true man. There is no falsehood in this unity as long as the lowliness of man and the pre-eminence of God coexist in mutual relationship.

  As God does not change by his condescension, so man is not swallowed up by being exalted. Each nature exercises its own activity, in communion with the other. The Word does what is proper to the Word, the flesh fulfils what is proper to the flesh.

  One nature is resplendent with miracles, the other falls victim to injuries. As the Word does not lose equality with the Father’s glory, so the flesh does not leave behind the nature of our race.

  One and the same person – this must be said over and over again – is truly the Son of God and truly the son of man. He is God in virtue of the fact that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is man in virtue of the fact that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

-Ex Epístolis sancti Leónis Magni Papæ (Epist. 28, ad Flavianum, 3-4: PL 54, 763-767).

Happy solemnity of the Annunciation and Incarnation! God is with us. Go to the Tabernacle. He waits for you.
Download My Book for Free
Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages
Over 15,000 copies downloaded! This is a quick and easy way to learn the basic philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Popes of the last 300 years have endorsed St Thomas Aquinas. Learn more through this accessible resources. Download it for free.