Friday 14 August 2015

Von Balthasar, Heidegger, and the refusal to bow


I am thinking of Heidegger as I read von Balthasar (The Christian State of Life). Von Balthasar would be the foil to Heidegger: Heidegger, the epitome of the man who refuses to bow down before the throne (see Jung as quoted by Doran), or at least of the man who thinks he cannot bow [and Chayefsky’s Gideon]. Von Balthasar, instead, clearly, and with conviction, places obedience at the heart of love and so finds that its other name is freedom. 

Refusing to bow: my friend, is that your problem? Surrender, and all will be yours. You, who have so much, who have everything, and yet who feel you are … out of place, the least of all, less serious, less prayerful, less… committed, and so, often, discouraged: let go, and you will find. No need to be discouraged. If he has called you, it is enough. It is enough for you. Look then at him. Stop looking at yourself. All discouragement is rooted in profound self-centredness.

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