Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘Kenosis’

Kenosis Part II…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 31, 2009

Recap: The work Kenosis comes from the Greek, and it means to empty (oneself).  So when applied to the Person Jesus Christ,  “He was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave…” God BECAME man, and dwelt among us (Phil 2:6-7a NAB; Jn 1:14a).

That wasn’t enough for God!  Not only did He empty Himself of all His Godhead – while remaining God – but He also allowed Himself to SUFFERTo suffer?  To suffer what?  All that we humans suffer on a daily basis.  Anger, pain, sorrow, sadness, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and even death… He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:8 ).   So God did more than just become human, He took on our human nature!

“Now, why did He take upon Himself our human nature? St. Paul says, ‘He became a slave…’ and a slave does hard things.  The Lord became man in order to transfer to Himself our burdens.  Now, what is transference?”

Have you ever seen the movie Mighty ?  On the front cover is a one boy of good strength and stature carrying another boy of smaller stature and weak appearance on his shoulders.  The phrase, he’s not heavy, he’s my brother, is applied to this picture.  That is transference.

“Now our Blessed Lord transferred three evils to Himself.  All the evils of the world can be reduced to three…[1] Physical evil, like pain.  [2] Mental evil, like being mentally handicapped, [doubting, despairing, disbelieving] and, [3] Moral evil, like guilt or sin.  Now let’s follow the life of Our Lord and see how He transferred these evils to Himself.”

Here Sheen speaks of the times when Jesus’ great sympathy for the plight of mankind gave way to great mercy – which is Love – and many were healed of their infirmities because God, Jesus Christ, took these infirmities onto Himself; though He did not bear them on His body until the moment of His Passion and Crucifixion.

“And Our Blessed Lord, when He came to the blind, the deaf, the paralyzed, and the leper, He so loved them, that that pain was transferred onto Himself. That is why we read when Our Lord cured the blind and the deaf, what did He do?  Our Blessed Lord transferred to Himself all the pains that we could ever suffer so that we would never say ‘God does not know what it is to suffer’… Now let’s go into Mental Ills…

The beginning pains of Our Lord’s Passion is probably the best example of this.  As He and His disciples were in the Garden at Gethsemane, what was Jesus doing?  Praying.  Why?  Because He knew what was next.

He knew that His human nature would loose courage where it not for the GRACE of God contained within His divine nature.  He knew that His closet friends would abandon Him, would deny Him three times, and would betray Him to the religious authorities.

He KNEW what was about to happen and He once again experienced the temptation to despair and disbelieve the plan of God the Father.

“All these people [those who suffer from mental illness] have to be redeemed.  But how could they be saved, except by the Lord taking upon Himself those affects of sin.  And He did that at that moment when the sun was ashamed to shed its light upon the crime of deicide [the killing of God], and hid itself at high noon, and in the darkness Our Blessed Lord uttered that cry, ‘My God, My God, why…?’

“All the whys that have ever been asked in the world, He took upon Himself and uttered that cry, which is one of the verses of that Psalm [Ps 22:1].  But the end of Psalm ends in joy.  Again to remind us that mental ills as well as physical ill can be reborn in the light of the Resurrection.  And then He took upon Himself Moral ills, or guilt. This was the principle reason for His coming…”

Go back and read Romans, chapters 5 and 6, or take a moment to look through the Posting on Sin and Redemption Jesus Christ became for us the payment due to God for our transgression, our sin against Him, which warrants the payment of death

Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned. ~Romans 5:12

But who would die once and for all for us?  As St. Paul tells us, “Why, one would hardly die for a righteous man…” (Roman 5:7), let alone for sinful mankind!

It is Jesus who did this for us, “But God showed His Love for us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)!  The penalty of sin – death – was paid for by God.   Satisfaction was made for us BY GOD.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.” ~Romans 5:10

“So Our Lord takes death, as a penalty, onto Himself.  He allowed, therefore, in the garden all the sins of the world into His soul…and the agony of that guilt, being innocent, was so great that it brought from out of His body drops of blood falling upon the crimson olive roots of Gethsemane making the first ‘crimson rosary of redemption’.  And then on the Cross, paying the ultimate debt of death…That is why the Cross is very important in our lives.”

Summing up:

Kenosis, the emptying of oneself, as Our Blessed Lord did for us, and as we are asked to do for others…that is we must pray for others, sacrifice for others, in order to assist in the salvation of their soulsThis is what Sheen spoke about in his talk on the Cross.  Remember the story of the woman in the iron lung?  She knew that her suffering wasn’t for herself, but was instead for countless others; for their salvation.

We must empty ourselves of our own vain pleasures and desires so that we can be filled with Christ, that He may increase while we decrease (cf. Jn 3:30), and so that His GRACE may come alive in us bringing us ever closer to Himself! So important, ESPECIALLY in these darkening times!

“I heard confessions…and I asked every penitent to say one Rosary for the conversion of a sinner…I finished confessions about 9 o’clock [pm], went to the communion rail, praying for her [unrepentant sinner]

“12:30 midnight and I heard the church door open, it was this girl.  And I went back into the confessional, and she went to confession.  Here was a transference of someone else’s guilt to another; hence the importance of praying for one another.  Particularly for those who have morally and spiritually lapsed.

“Just as the clouds will pick up moisture from the sea and carry it over a mountain top and drop it on arid land, so to the prayers that we offer are carried by the Spirit and dropped on the souls that need it.  The whole work of redemption is therefore being carried on…

“Familiarize yourself with His Life.  Read the Gospels!  You will never obtain a deep spiritual life without the Scriptures, and particularly the New Testament.  Read them in SILENCE…in silence we best discover God.

“Read them IN THE FAMILY.  And once in your own personal life you begin to see that our Lord is not [just] a teacher…Our Lord is first and foremost a Savior!  He saves us from our sins!… Therefore, when we receive Him at communion WE ARE RECEIVING A SAVIOR!  This is the meaning of Christ…

God Love you!”

Posted in Thanks Lord! | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sheen on Kenosis… what?!

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 28, 2009

For the next few weeks (or however long God desires it) I will review a series of talks given by Archbishop Fulton SheenI will try as best as I can to quote him accurately – thus all his direct quotes will appear italicized and in “quotation marks”


Yes, that’s right!  Kenosis.  So, what is Kenosis? Kenosis is a Greek word that means “to empty oneself “.   When it is applied to Christ, we come to the understanding that God emptied Himself of His glory so that He could become man (cf. John 1:1-3, 14).  The following lesson is on this understanding of Kenosis, as pertaining to the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

Kenosis Part I

“I’m going to tell you about our Lord…and I’m going to read to you a passage from St. Paul that you many not understand…from the Philippians…that was once a hymn in the early Church.  Greek scholars have found the meter…and just think! St. Paul wrote his epistles before the Gospels were even written…so this was the ‘creed’ in the eastern part of the world, before we had any New Testament.  But here is the passage:

Philippians 2: 5-8

“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was in the form of God,…

“By this is meant, our Lord was always God.  The divine nature was His from the first…”

[Yet He] did not regard equality with God something to be grasped…

“He didn’t try to be like God because He was God! Who snatched at equality with God? Satan…Satan tried to snatch at equality with God.  Adam did too, because the devil said, ‘You will be like gods‘.  But Our Lord was God by nature.”

Rather, He emptied Himself,…

“This is Kenosis…He emptied Himself, emptied Himself, made Himself nothing…”

…taking the form of a slave,…

“A slave…what does a slave do? A slave does two things: he does dirty things and he does hard things.  So Our Blessed Lord, who was always God, became man.  That meant that He emptied Himself of His glory! He humbled Himself…He became nothing, became a ‘zero’…”

…coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (NAB)

“Suppose you had the power to dispossess yourself of your body, and just keep your soul?  And suppose you wanted to have a Kenosis, and empty yourself ? And you would put your soul into the body of a dog.  Now think how humbling that would be? With your mind and understanding still intact … You would not exceed the limitations of that ‘dog nature’.  First of all you could speak…but you wouldn’t speak, you could only bark.  You would have reason…but you could only follow instinct.  And then there would be another humiliation, you would spend the rest of your life with dogs…knowing you are a thousand times better than they.”

The obvious difference here, man was made in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:27).  God came among His own creation.  But He did have to endure containment in ‘a small box’.  For, how can one contain infinity?  You can’t!  How did God endure such ‘tight quarters’? Out of Love.

For God so loved the world, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8

“When He takes this human nature, He resolves hardly ever to exceed the limitations of this human nature.  So God can suffer.  When people suffer today they say, ‘Does God know anything about pain?  Did God ever go without food for three days, or ten days? Did God ever experience thirst? Does God know anything about the wounds in those brought about by accidents, wars, and in hospitals? Was God ever ridiculed and mocked? Was He ever in exile? Does God know what it is to be in prison?’  Yes!”

Shall we take these questions one at a time?  Click here for the scriptural answers to the above questions. I think they establish an affirmative answer, don’t you?

Next Post: Kenosis Part II

Previous Posts

Cross of Christ
Fulton Sheen: Cross… Part I

Fulton Sheen: Cross…  Part II
Fulton Sheen: Cross… Part III

*Part I
*Part II

Posted in Thanks Lord! | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: