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He Emptied Himself

On the kenosis of Jesus and our own call to union with him:

According to Paul

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.

(Philippians 2:5-7)

From an old hymn

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

“And Can It Be That I Should Gain”, Charles Wesley, 1738.

From Pope John Paul II

The approach to this mystery [of the Triune God] begins with reflection upon the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God: his coming as man, his going to his Passion and Death, a mystery issuing into his glorious Resurrection and Ascension to the right hand of the Father, whence he would send the Spirit of truth to bring his Church to birth and give her growth. From this vantage-point, the prime commitment of theology is seen to be the understanding of God’s kenosis, a grand and mysterious truth for the human mind, which finds it inconceivable that suffering and death can express a love which gives itself and seeks nothing in return.

Fides et Ratio, September 14, 1998

From Meister Eckhart, on the empty spirit, or free heart, one that is not filled with self-will

An empty spirit is one that is confused by nothing, attached to nothing, has not attached its best to any fixed way of acting, and has no concern whatever in anything for its own gain, for it is all sunk deep down into God’s dearest will and has forsaken its own.

The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises and Defense, Classics of Western Spirituality, trans. by Edmund Colledge and Bernard McGinn, 248.

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