The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Unspeakable

If then the end having been repaired to the origin and the issue of things having been made to resemble their beginning, he restores that condition which rational nature once enjoyed... so that all the consciousness of evil has departed..., when there is nowhere any death...,nowhere any evil at all, then truly God will be all in all.

-Origen, De Principiis

In my mind, the most poignant theological points come from the anecdotes from the lives of the saints. There is one in Dal Gal's biography of St. Pius X that I will only paraphrase here. In this episode of St. Pius X's life, he was still merely the bishop of Mantua. He was riding in a carriage with a seminarian then studying in his years of theology. When passing a Jewish cemetery, the seminarian asked the prelate whether it would be at all beneficial to pray for those departed Jews who had not known Christ. At this, the then Bishop Sarto uncovered his head and began to recite a De Profundis.

He then explained to the seminarian that he should be very zealous when it comes to his theological studies, but at the same time he should remember that the mercy of God will always transcend all that he could possibly know.

In this vein, to dare to hope that all are saved for me is a bit obscene, in the original sense that it is "off-stage". We have no right to say anything about this here or to second guess the promises and ways of God. There are certain things that should never be said, and for me this is the most significant one. How will the good triumph forever if there is still evil? How will God be victorious if He still has enemies?

In love, there are things that we expect but we should not talk about them. One should expect the smile, the kiss, and the gift. But one should do this with trust and silently, not trying to reclaim what we think is fair. God is the greatest lover, and He will exceed any of our expectations of what the world to come will be like. But, pace Von Balthasar, to muse about it out loud is a bit of a mood spoiler.


At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

What did you think of the New Oxford Review critique of Hans Urs and Adrienne von?

I brefer Hans to Calvin.

At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

Many Traditionalists, who I sympathize with on the orthopraxy, do not like Hans Urs von Balthasar--but they interpret the words differently than I do.
Anything that is not Thomas Aquinas, Medeival, Counter Reformation or maybe Oxford movement is not good--only European, and quasi Feeneyites.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Taylor Marshall said...

Great post and great blog.

I added you to my blogroll.

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

St Paul teaches universalism because he wrote:

"Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men." (Rom 5:18)

From Taylor Marshall, albeit taken out of context--but to spark discussion.


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