The Sacred Humanity:

God’s Love Affair with All Mankind 

“I am the Mother of the sacred humanity, and it is my special work as co-redemptrix of the human race to help souls reach the sanctity of the Father in eternal union by showing them how to put on Christ, to imbibe His Spirit, and thus become one with Him.”

         (Diary, Our Lady of America, Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil, pg. 24)  


          This liturgical season of Christmas impels us to focus on the Sacred Humanity, that awesome mystery of God’s Incarnation into our world through Jesus, His only Begotten Son, who assumed a human nature from the Virgin Mary so He might walk among us and reveal His Father to us.  Jesus is the Word, the Logos, who was in the beginning with God and through Whom all things have been made.  He is Emmanuel, the God Who loves us so much He wanted to completely identify with us, be with us on our journey home to the Father from whose bosom we were all born.  Jesus comes to share with us the very life of God Himself so that we might be holy as God is holy and live with His life, not merely our own.  Since human knowledge comes by way of the senses, Jesus in our flesh is our means of taking hold of the hand of God and caressing His Face, calling Him Abba.   

Our Christian religion is the only religion that teaches the doctrine of the Divine Indwelling.  It is the only religion that professes a God who so tenderly and so completely identifies Himself with us, uniting His utter Greatness and Otherness with our wretchedness and our littleness. Look at a newborn baby and think of it!-- the All Holy, Eternal God becoming one of us, small, helpless, dependent and poor, crying for His milk as the Babe in Bethlehem.  For the Jewish people who waited so long for the Promised Redeemer to come, this was a stumbling block, -- that the Almighty, the great I Am Who Am whose name is so sacred that only their high priest could utter it once a year at the feast of the Atonement, should be born so poor as one of us!  Yes, they expected a Messiah, a “son of God,” but the term was one they used for those rare men anointed by God for some very special purpose; they expected the return of King David in all his glory, or one like him, to deliver them from their enemies and restore their previous greatness upon the earth.  No other religion can boast such intimacy with God as this Sacred Humanity!  Any religion that does not know Jesus cannot know the abundance of the Father’s love, for all salvation must come through Jesus, the only Mediator with the Father. He is the only way to return to our homeland in the Father’s house, the Father’s heart.

“Belief in the true Incarnation of the Son of God is the distinctive sign of Christian Faith.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 463.) 

All sin is an offense against God and can only be forgiven by God.  Original sin, passed on to all human posterity, needed the God-man, someone divine to satisfy the divine justice adequately, and someone fully human to represent man fully.  It is Jesus Who makes that adequate atonement for our sin, reconciles us to God, manifests so clearly the love of the Eternal Father who willed our salvation, who is Himself the model to show us the way to God, and Who shares God’s very life with us, for He is one with God as He is one with us, fully God and fully man.  This is God’s magnificent plan for our salvation made manifest today in the crib. Jesus saves us in and through His Sacred Humanity.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 456-478)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)

          This awesome historical and spiritual truth of the Sacred Humanity of Jesus is God’s Christmas present to us, His very Divine Indwelling Presence, for not only does He walk beside us, but He deigns to dwell within us, pressing our hearts to His and lifting us up to the Father’s eternal embrace.  He begins this love affair with us when we were first created in Love, but seals it through that gift of self-emptying Love that pours itself out on the cross of our salvation and gives itself to us as sanctifying grace in Baptism whereby He takes up His abode within us. This is mystery, and like all the mysteries of our Faith, is beyond human comprehension and can only be understood with the wisdom of supernatural Faith.  In the 1954 locutions with Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil recorded in the Diary of Our Lady of America, Jesus calls Himself a “Beggar for love” and pleads with us to satisfy His divine hunger.  God so humbled Himself to become man so that man might become god, as St. Augustine said.  He longs for our love in return.

Theologians speak of this mystery of the Sacred Humanity in terms of the Hypostatic Union, that union of both the divine and the human nature in the one divine person of Jesus.  Jesus is always divine for He existed in the beginning with the Father; he does not cease to be a divine person when he assumes our human nature.  He takes His humanity from the flesh and blood of Mary, making Him fully human, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, who supplies what the man would in any other conception, is conceived miraculously in her womb, there to grow and be like us in all things but sin.  He has no human father by way of natural generation, for God is His Father.

           God, the Trinity, is a community of three persons in one godhead.  The Father’s perfect self-knowledge generates that perfect image of Himself, His only Begotten Son. The Holy Spirit is the perfect love between Father and Son, that sigh of love, that breath of life spirated forth from their perfect self-knowledge and self-giving.  Our God created man in this same image, to procreate himself in a similar trinitarian activity of knowing and loving and giving wherein a man will know his wife and their love will impel the self-giving that brings forth new life.

For God to take flesh among us, He would have to be born into a human family with a mother and a father as established in the laws of our nature which God created on this trinitarian model of life. Mary, in giving her flesh, becomes the mother of Jesus.  Joseph, however, contributes  nothing to the humanity of Jesus, but becomes Jesus’ legal father by Jewish law when he names this blessed Babe “Jesus,” which means “God saves,” the name given Him by the angel  Gabriel, for He was destined to save His people from their sins.  Joseph thus becomes, by pre-destination and singular privilege, not merely a foster-father but the Virgin- Father of Jesus, His earthly father, standing in the place of the heavenly Father, to protect the Child and His Mother until the time ordained by God for Jesus’ public mission of man’s redemption and salvation to begin.   (Diary, pg. 27)

Thus, Mary and Joseph are intimately and inextricably bound up with the Sacred Humanity, and together the three of them form the “hypostatic order.”  (Edward Healy Thompson, M.A., The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, pgs. 5-13)   Mary and Joseph are necessary to the plan of salvation because the Father willed that Jesus would save us in and through the family. God could have saved us by any method He chose.  Mary and Joseph, precisely as the Holy Family,share in Jesus’ redemptive mission in singular and unique ways as no other human beings do.

Hence, in 1956, St. Joseph spoke to Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil:

I became, in union with my holy spouse, co-redemptor of the human race.  Through compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and Mary, I co-operated, as no other, in the salvation of the world.  (Diary, pg. 13)

As the Holy Family most closely mirrors the inner life of the heavenly Trinity, they become the earthly trinity and model for every family on earth.  In 1954, Mary says:

The Holy Trinity dwelt with us in a manner far surpassing anything that can ever be imagined.  For ours was the earthly paradise where once again God walked among men.  (Diary, pg. 8)

To all this mystery of grace handed on to us in and through the Sacred Humanity and the Holy Family, all we can say is, “Wow!”  As we gaze at the nativity crèches in our churches and in our homes, let us fall on our knees in awe and pray, with the utmost reverence, those holy names so necessary to our salvation --  Jesus!  Mary!  And Joseph!

©Sisters of the IndwellingTrinity, Fostoria, OH, 2008