The Creed of the Council of Nicaea was officially promulgated on this day in 325 A.D., under the auspices of the newly-converted – well, mostly converted, for he waited until his deathbed to be baptized – Emperor Constantine. I guess he figured Caesars have to do a lot of questionable things in the line of office, and why not wait to have his sins forgiven, en masse, carte blanche, at the very last moment? Of course, this was presumption, and the purpose of Baptism is not to squeak into heaven by the skin of our teeth or other body parts, but to grow in holiness, in faith, in charity – in short, to become a Saint. Who wants to enter heaven spiritually stunted? And, anyway, he ended up being baptized by the semi-Arian Eusebius of Caesaraea, but we might hope the Sacrament was valid. Ironic, since the purpose of the Council of Nicaea was to condemn the heresy of Arius, that Christ was not really the Son of God – just, well, sort of.
Hence, the creed was sure to emphasize the divinity of Christ – God from God, light from light, true God from true God – and was embellished at the next council, at Constantinople, when the Arian heresy persisted, and others arose denying the divinity of the Holy Spirit – the so-called Macedonians, or pneumomachians (‘spirit fighters). It is that creed – the so-called Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed – that we recite, or should recite, on Sundays and Solemnities, signifying – the Latin for creed is ‘symbolon’ – the fullness of our faith.
This pertains to today’s celebration, for the central truth of both councils is that Christ is homoousios – consubstantial, of the same ‘being’, ‘nature’, ‘substance’, as the Father, and that He joined this divine nature to our human nature, including our body.
Hence, Christ’s human heart and love is also a divine heart and love, and vice versa. Infinite in scope and in mercy, open to all, poured out especially in the sacraments, and most of all in the Holy Eucharist, the ‘fire of divine love’, which should set us a flame with each reception, transforming us ever-more into His own nature and likeness, until we are prepared to share His glory forever.