"The object of all good literature is to purge the soul of its petty troubles." ~ P.G. Wodehouse

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Von Balthasar on Prayer (2)

Another quote from Hans Urs von Balthasar's Prayer:

"This looking to God is contemplation. It is looking inward into the depths of the soul, and hence beyond the soul toward God. The more contemplation finds God, the more it forgets itself and yet discovers itself in him. This unwavering "beholding", moreover, is also and always a "hearing", because what is beheld is the free and infinite Person who, from the depths of his freedom, can give himself in a way that is ever new, 
unsuspected and unpredictable. Therefore the word of God is never something finished, to be surveyed like a particular landscape, but it is something new every moment, like water from a spring or rays of light. "And so it is not enough to have received 'insight' and to 'know the testimonies of God', if we do not continually receive and become inebriated by the fountain of eternal light" (Augustine, Enarr. in Ps.118, XXVI, 6). The lover already knows this; the beloved's face and voice are every moment as new as if he had never seen them before. But the being of God, which is revealed to us in his word, is not only for the eyes of the lover. In itself, in all objectivity, it is the unique marvel, ever new. No seraph, no saint in all eternity could "get used" to it; in fact, the longer one gazes into this mystery, the more one longs to go on gazing, glimpsing the fulfillment of that to which our entire creaturely nature aspires. The creature, seeing and hearing God, experiences the highest bliss of self-fulfillment, but it is fulfilled by something infinitely greater than itself, and its fulfillment and bliss are commensurately great" (pp. 24-25).

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