Initial enthusiasm is easy. Afterward, though, it is time to stand firm, even along the monotonous desert paths that we are called upon to traverse in this life - with the patience it takes to tread evenly, a patience in which the romanticism of the initial awakening subsides, so that only the deep, pure Yes of faith remains. This is the way to produce good wine. After the brilliant illuminations of the initial moment of his conversion, Augustine had a profound experience of this toilsome patience, and that is how he learned to love the Lord and to rejoice deeply at having found him.
Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth
It’s Augustine’s feast day today!
You do not write the best you can for the sake of art, but for the sake of returning your talent increased to the invisible God to use or not use as he sees fit.
I believe that everybody, through suffering, takes part in the Redemption, and I believe they suffer most who live closest to all the possibilities of disbelief.
I am preparing to undertake this special ministry, the “Petrine” ministry at the service of the universal Church, with humble abandonment into the hands of God’s Providence. I first of all renew my total and confident loyalty to Christ: “In Te, Domine, speravi; non confundar in aeternum!”.
Body and soul constitute human nature. The body is no less good than the soul. In mortifying the natural we must not injure the body or the soul. We are not to destroy it but to transform it, as iron is transformed in the fire. Most of our life is unimportant, filled with trivial things from morning till night. But when it is transformed by love it is of interest even to the angels.
We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know Him in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone anymore. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship.
I have said over and over again that Catholics have more faith in God than they have in man and that is the trouble with religion. It is a transferring of our hopes from earth to heaven and from man to God to such an extent that we turn to pie in the sky and forget that we are all members of the Mystical Body of Christ right here on this earth.
Certainly we know our vocation if we are happy in our work. “Necessity” and “impulse” and “attraction” are the 3 signs, Caussade says, of the will of God.
Christian eschatology is defined by two affirmations: first, the affirmation that God is ‘other,’ which alone makes his essence as love understandable but which also can only become visible in Jesus’ coming from God; and, secondly, the affirmation that suffering and death belong to finitude and contribute to redeeming the guilt of the world. Both of these determine Christian eschatology, in which everything meaningful for man and the world in the religions of mankind is integrated.
Such a double Yes presupposes a Yes to Christology as well; one that is built upon and is continuous with the Christology that is implicitly developed in the New Testament and is guarded by the councils from Nicaea to Chalcedon: for only in Christology is the otherness of the world’s being and the being of man (over against God) encompassed as such in the otherness with God, so that Jesus’ Cross can be interpreted as the effective encompassing of the human in God’s life of love without letting the created essence of man become absorbed in God.
- Hans Urs von Balthasar, Epilogue