You are gods (Jn 10:34)
Jesus says, “You are gods.” (Jn. 10:34) How is this possible?
At baptism, we become “partakers of the divine nature,” (CCC 1265 or 2Pt.1:4) or as St. Athanasius states that we are, “becoming by grace what God is by nature.” The Catechism quotes St. Athanasius to explain this teaching, “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God,” (460) and furthermore it explains, “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that He, made man, might make men gods.” (CCC 460)
For most of us, the concept that “You are gods.” (Jn. 10:34) or that we are being “divinized” is difficult to grasp so let us first look at Jesus’ baptism when the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus and the Heavenly Father says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) Likewise, the Holy Spirit also descends into our souls at baptism, and we, too, become His sons and daughters as the Psalmist states, “You are ‘gods’; you are all sons of The Most High.” (82:6) The Heavenly Father’s words also apply to us as when St. Faustina hears Him say, “You are My delightful dwelling place; My Spirit rests in you.” (Diary 346)
St. Paul reminds us that we are temples of God, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you?” (1Cor.6:19) and “For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells are divinized.” (CCC 1988) Divinization also means that the Holy Spirit makes us, “a new creature.” (CCC 1265) However, it is not just the Holy Spirit that dwells in our souls, but it is also the Holy Trinity. The Catechism explains that baptism is the “entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity,” (1239) and we become “the indwelling of His Presence in us” (2781).
St. John Paul II enlightens us that “‘Divinization’…occurs through the admission into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life”, (Novo Millennio Ineunte no. 23) as when the Holy Trinity speaks in the soul of St. Faustina, “‘You are Our dwelling place.’ At that moment, I felt in my soul the presence of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I felt that I was the temple of God. I felt I was a child of the Father,” she said. (Diary 451)
St. Faustina says, “Divinize me so that my deeds may have supernatural value,” (1242) but she remains a meek and humble student of the indwelling Presence. She accepts to be molded regardless of her sins and frailties. Jesus explains to St. Faustina what He can do despite our faults and failings, “Your heart is My constant dwelling place, despite the misery that you are. I united Myself with you, to take away your misery and give you My mercy.” (Diary 723) She learns to worship the Holy Trinity within her soul so well that the Blessed Virgin Mary appears to her explaining the divinization going on in her soul, “You are a dwelling place pleasing to the living God; in you, He dwells continuously with love and delight. And the living presence of God, which you experience in a more vivid and distinct way, will confirm you, my daughter, in the things I have told you.” (Diary 785)
St. Faustina continues to plead with God, “Divinize me that my deeds may be pleasing to You,” (Diary 1289) so the Blessed Virgin Mary gives her instruction on how to live continually with the indwelling Presence, “My daughter, strive after silence and humility, so that Jesus, who dwells in your heart continuously, may be able to rest. Adore Him in your heart; do not go out from your inmost being. My daughter, I shall obtain for you the grace of an interior life which will be such that, without ever leaving that interior life, you will be able to carry out all your external duties with even greater care. Dwell with Him continuously in your heart. He will be your strength. Communicate with creatures only in so far as is necessary and is required by your duties.” (Diary 785)
Divinization is difficult to understand due to the way we view ourselves, “we hold this treasure in earthen vessels,” (2Cor.4:7) but Instrumentum Laboris instructs us that the “Eucharist is the summit of the Church’s life, since communion with the Lord leads to the sanctification and “divinization” of the person.” (1) Similarly, to help St. Faustina comprehend, Jesus tells her that as she sees Him outside so He is within, “I am dwelling in your heart as you see Me in this chalice.” (1820) But, why is all this relevant or important to us now? Because “The hour is coming when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth.” (John 4:23)
Yes, the hour is coming very soon when there will be no physical Church to worship in as Pope Benedict XVI explains in the year 2010:
“This passage in chapter 4 of John’s Gospel is the prophecy of a worship in which there will no longer be any temple, but in which the faithful will pray without an external temple in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the truth of the Gospel, in communion with Christ; where what is needed is no longer a visible temple but rather the new fellowship with the risen Lord. That always remains important, because it signifies a major turning point in the history of religion as well.”
(Light of the World, pages 16-17)