Why we were created – 3 – To become deified by God our Father

“The highest expression of the dignity and vocation of man, according to the Christian vision, is crystallized in the doctrine of the divinization of man . . . The Greek Fathers, surmounting all the encumbrances that the pagan use had accumulated on the concept of deification (theosis), made it the fulcrum of their spirituality . . . ‘The aim of life for Greek Christians — one reads in the Dictionary of Spirituality — is divinization, that of the Western Christians is the attainment of sanctity . . . The Word became flesh, according to the Greeks, to restore to man the likeness with God lost in Adam and to divinize him. According to the Latins, he became man to redeem humanity . . . and to pay the debt owed to God’s justice.’ Simplifying it to the utmost, we could say that Latin theology, after Augustine, insists more on what Christ came to take away — sin, the Greek insists more on what He came to give to men: the image of God, the Holy Spirit and divine life.”

“We can learn from the Eastern tradition not to reserve this sublime ideal of Christian life to a spiritual elite called to follow the way of mysticism, but to propose it to all the baptized, to make it the object of catechesis to the people, of religious formation in seminaries and novitiates . . . To the disciple’s question on the ultimate aim of the Christian life a holy Russian, Saint Seraphim of Sarov, answered without hesitation: ‘the real end of Christian life, is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God'” (Cantalamessa, R. 2010, Dec. The Christian answer to atheist scientism. First Advent Sermon delivered to the Papal Household).