Reading the Signs of Love: Hans Urs von Balthasar on Forgiveness

From his short meditation on love, titled Love Alone Is Credible: “The first thing that […]

Will McDavid / 11.7.13

From his short meditation on love, titled Love Alone Is Credible:

murillo (1)“The first thing that must strike a non-Christian about the Christian’s faith is that it obviously presumes far too much. It is too good to be true: the mystery of being, revealed as absolute love, condescending to wash his creatures’ feet, and even their souls, taking upon himself all the confusion of guilt, all the God-directed hatred, all the accusations showered upon him with cudgels, all the disbelief that arrogantly covers up what he has revealed, all the mocking hostility that once and for all nailed down his inconceivable moment of self-abasement – in order to pardon his creature, before himself and the world…

“Once a person learns to read the signs of love and thus to believe it, love leads him into the open field wherein he himself can love. If the prodigal son had not believed that the father’s love was already there waiting for him, he would not have been able to make the journey home – even if his father’s love welcomes him in a way he never would have dreamed of. The decisive thing is that the sinner has heard of a love that could be, and really is, there for him; he is not the one who has to bring himself in line with God; God has always already seen in him, the loveless sinner, the loveless sinner, a beloved child and has looked upon him and conferred dignity upon him in the light of this love.

“No one can resolve this mystery into dry concepts and explain how it is that God no longer sees my guilt in me, but only in his beloved Son, who bears it for me; or how God sees this guilt transformed through the suffering of love and loves me because I am the one for whom his Son has suffered in love. But the way God, the lover, sees us is in fact the way we are in reality – for God, this is the absolute and irrevocable truth.”

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2 responses to “Reading the Signs of Love: Hans Urs von Balthasar on Forgiveness”

  1. Kory says:

    Is the rest of the book this good? If so, I need to read it

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