Wednesday, September 01, 2010

God’s Repeated Calling and the Soul’s Continued Wariness in Response

Das Herz der Welt (Heart of the World) – Hans Urs von Balthasar 

Soft it approaches, almost inaudible and yet quite unavoidable: a ray of light, an offer of power, a command that is more and less than a command – a wish, a request, an invitation, an enticement: brief as an instant, simple to grasp as the glance of two eyes. It contains a promise: love, delight and a vision extending over an immense and vertiginous distance. Liberation from the unbearable dungeon of my ego. The adventure I had always longed for. The perfect feat of daring in which I am sure to win all only by losing all. The source of life opening up inexhaustibly to me, who am dying of thirst! The gaze is perfectly tranquil, having nothing of magical power or of hypnotic compulsion: a questioning gaze which allows me my freedom. At the bottom of it, the shadows of affliction and of hope alternate. I lower my eyes; I look to one side. I don’t want to say "no" in the face of those eyes. I give them time to turn away.… These “ghostly hours” recur more and more seldom, and the enveloping layers of everyday life grow stronger and thicker around me…. I seal myself off from God and this becomes my usual state – my second nature. Maybe this is the habit of sin, the habit of evil.

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