The Arian heresy is alive and working today. We need to know how to counteract this lie. The Jehovah Witnesses believe in it. Dan Brown in the “De Vinci Code” teaches it. It is a heresy that has not died out.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Athanasius who tirelessly fought against this heresy. At this time of history (325 A.D.) most of the catholic church was infected with arianism including most of the bishops and the political leaders. So St. Athanasius literally had almost all the church against him and the world leaders as well. We think we have it bad now, just read about what poor St. Athanasius suffered to stand up for tradition. St. Jerome commented that Arianism had spread so fast with lightning speed that everywhere and everything was conquered and one day the world woke up and realized it had become Arian.
So be patient and try to understand what arianism is. This is from the Catholic Encyclopedia; “It denies that the Son (Jesus) is of one essence, nature or substance with God; He is not consubstantial with the Father, and therefore not like Him, or equal in dignity, or co-eternal, or within the real sphere of Deity”. “The Son is unlike the Father and was created out of nothing.”
This heresy denies the divine nature of Jesus. He is only the Son of God, not God. There can be no Trinity because Jesus is not equal to the Father. All christian denominations today believe that Jesus is divine. The Jehovah’s are Jehovahans and not christians.
We know that only because of Jesus’ divine nature could He die on the cross and save the whole world. It was only because of his divinity that He was able to cast out demons, control nature (which he created) and do the miracles of healing. He clearly showed His divine nature when He revealed His Divine Glory on Mount Tabor in the Transfiguration.
Reading the Bible on our own is important. But we do need the catholic interpretation. It is very confusing on this point because in many places we see the human nature of Jesus and sayings which literally taken can imply that Jesus was only Son of Man and not Son of God. This is why we need to do our studying of the history of the Catholic Faith.
In studying St. Athanasius we see how he was important at the Council of Nicaea in 325 to define what was already believed (and assumed) that Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity. Pope St. Silvester sent legates and 318 fathers attended along with the Emperor Constantine. This is where the Nicean Creed was written down.
“And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. Begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father. By Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And He became flesh by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary and was made man.”
All sorts of false accusation were made against him. Two I will tell. First St. Athanasius was force to go against his will before heretical bishops (he said they were no longer bishops or catholics because they taught false teachings). Instead of a doctrinal discussion which St. Athanasious would have won, the heretic bishops accused him of his conduct. First he was accused of having relations with a prostitute. The saint asked a priest there to go to the prostitute and ask for sure that it was him (the priest) who had had relationships. She did not know who was St. Athanasius. When she swore that he priest was the one, then she was discovered as a lier. The next one was when they accused him of murdering a bishop and brought his cut off hand to prove it. St. Athanasius noticed a bishop with his face covered with his hood. He went over and uncovered his face. Then he asked him to put up his hands. Then he asked; “Now, since he has his two hands, you must decide where on his body you would like to place his third hand”.
We have progressives and modernist in the church today. Like St. Athanasius we need to stand up and resist even when we will be lied about and persecuted and exiled. But all through out the history of the church truth has survived by only a few willing to suffer with Jesus and His Holy Church. We are so fortunate to be traditional catholics. St. Athanasius is smiling down from heaven cheering us on.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.