Communication of Characters

Should rather be called "interchange of attributes." It consists in this: Christ, being God and man, two sets of properties can be predicated of this one person, viz., the Word, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Though He be designated by a name which connotes His Divinity, human attributes can be predicated of Him; e.g.,
God just born one hour
as Father Faber says in his hymn for Christmas, or as the Breviary Hymn of Lauds on Christmas night sings,
Behold Him fed on infant fare
Who feeds the feathered fowls of air.
In this language there is beauty on account of the antithesis resulting from the great difference and contrast of the two natures. It may be said that the Eternal died, because this person Christ, the Eternal, had a truly human nature and could and did die. It may not be said, however, that Eternity died, because this abstract noun "eternity" does not designate a person. There are certain expressions to be avoided, though strictly correct, on account of the associations that they might have with heresy, e.g., one of the Trinity suffered. Also the expression "Christ is divine," which non-Catholics use, even when they deny the Divinity of Christ, ought to be avoided, because the word "divine" might seem to imply that Christ partakes of the Godhead. He is the Godhead. "Christ is God" is the correct expression.

New Catholic Dictionary

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