The catechism here references a quote from St. Athanasius, and also a clarification by St. Thomas Aquinas. It is true that Athanasius speaks boldly, as Saints often do! But as both St. Athanasius and St. Thomas were careful to do, distinctions are necessary.
The exact quote from the catechism is For the Son of God became man so that we might become God. 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.
Note that the second sentence, a comment by Thomas on Athanasius’ statement, the word “gods” is not capitalized. And this is to make it clear, as Athanasius would agree, that we do not become a god as separate and distinct from the one, true God. But rather, that we “partake” or “participate” in the Divine nature.
To partake, or participate comes from the Latin Word particeps, meaning to take up a part of something, but not the whole. Thus, though we come to share in aspects of the Divine nature, we do not do so in a way that is separate from being members of Christ’s Body, through baptism. We access this “share” in a part or aspect of divine life and nature only in union with Christ, only by entering into communion with Jesus at baptism, and thus receiving divine sonship.
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