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Balthasar: Being Seized by Beauty

“Both the person who is transported by natural beauty and the one snatched up by the beauty of Christ must appear to the world to be fools, and the world will attempt to explain their state in terms of psychological or even physiological laws (Acts 2.13).  But they know what they have seen, and they care not one farthing what people may say.  They suffer because of their love, and it it is only the fact that they have been inflamed by the most sublime of beauties — a beauty crowned with thorns and crucified — that justifies their sharing in that suffering.”

–Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Volume I: Seeing the Form (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1982), 33.


  1. Chrysanthos wrote:

    Those are truly beautiful thoughts and should characterize Christians.
    On the other hand, I wonder if some weird-acting Christians, can use such statements as an excuse for behavior that others would describe as “funny” or “peculiar”.
    Can balance be achieved?

    Monday, March 10, 2008 at 4:08 am | Permalink
  2. That is the risk, Chrys.

    Balance can be an entirely self-conscious word…a concern or fear for the critic, who in analyzing what is proper or not in others fail to be captured by beauty of these ‘fools.’. Whereas, you or I, seized by true beauty and thereby falling in love, are universally breathless; we know by not speaking what is that has seized our hearts; and, we care not that we are considered fools.

    Balance? Not for me.

    Sunday, March 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

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