How Blessed Are We

But I say to you: Blessed is he who exposes himself to an existence never brought under mastery, who does not transcend but, rather, abandons himself to my ever-transcending grace. Blessed are not the enlightened whose every question has been answered and who are delighted with their own sublime light, the mature and ripe ones whose one remaining action is to fall from the tree: blessed, rather, are the chased, the harassed who must daily stand before my enigmas and cannot solve them.

Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Heart of the World, pg. 183


9 thoughts on “How Blessed Are We

  1. I feel challenged everyday to be courageous, have the answer. I always seem to fall short. I’m always saying “I don’t know.” It’s okay to “not know.” Oh, my goodness!

  2. This – and the comments – reminds me of a section from the Office of Readings from yesterday. I printed it out in big letters – it has become my favorite for now. How the Lord works!:

    “One may toil and struggle and drive, and fall short all the more. Another goes his way a weakling and a failure, with little strength and great misery– Yet the eyes of the LORD look favorably upon him; he raises him free of the vile dust, Lifts up his head and exalts him to the amazement of the many.” (Sirach 11:11-13)


  3. One can revisit a line of Scripture 80 times, and 80 times one will not only see something new, because it, too, is alive, but one will sense a Smile behind it, “You don’t even know the half of it. Keep looking.” One comes to think that one will be walking down the street one day wrapped in a big frown, when the 81st understanding, fresh and regal this time, will leap from the bushes, tackling one around the neck down to the ground in a laughing embrace. One will suddenly think of how his own great thoughts were straw, and another will know her every sound is a honking and a braying.

  4. 🙂 Me, too! Maybe that’s what is happening when our frown is distracted by, say, even bird chatter above the dull sidewalk, that seems hilarious..He has given these creatures not only means of flight, but abundance, and in lean times He has caused *angels* of birdfeeders to appear where they can find them. That’s not enough, tho’ –He gave them their own language which is more than song–these little brown things that weigh less than an ounce! Did He create birds great and tiny in anticipation of our sudden wondering about how Good He is, how Unique, how Loving–is there anything He wouldn’t do for us, too? and about how to fly closer to Him–and so that we, too, might think about being angels of “birdfeeders” to much greater creatures in the cold, hungering thin times?

    Well, I hope we’re also lovingly Tackled the moment we leave the earth. I hope I’ll be holding a box of Russell Stover assorted creams at the moment, so I can finally give Him the two raspberry hearts–one for Him, and one for Him to give His mom.

  5. Love all of your comments! Thank you. It’s very true; Jesus often says He reveals great things to the little ones, and I agree entirely about reading Scripture and always discovering different meanings. My impression, when Von Balthasar was talking about the “enlightened” ones, was that he was referring to people like the Pharisees, who refused any openness to Truth being revealed in ways different from their own. I mean, we all want to grow in enlightenment, don’t we? And we all benefit from “ripe fruit”, no? I guess the important thing, when one is a ripe fruit, is to allow oneself to be consumed so you will be nourishment for others, otherwise you will just rot on the branch or be squished underfoot. Ugh. A messy business.

  6. Gabrielle, I like that – when we are ripe, we must be consumed and become nourishment for others, as Jesus is for us. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15:12-13)

    Then, when all our fruit is consumed – “all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. ” (Jn 15:15) – (OK, prepare for the unpleasantness), we must pass through the digestive tract and end up on the ground, away from the original tree. Nothing left but a seed in the midst of waste. “So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.” (Jn 19:17-18) We are called to follow Him and be crucified.

    But, a new tree grows forth from us, in a different location. It grows its own new fruits year after year and lives forever. “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.” (Jn 15:8)

    If we rot on the branch or get squished underfoot, the new tree cannot come into existence. The forest doesn’t grow, and we can never have the experience of being an everlasting tree, with our own fruits.

    So, for the courage to be consumed and carry the cross, the ripe fruit must pray with the Lord in the Garden: “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Lk 22:42)

    ” …blessed, rather, are the chased, the harassed who must daily stand before my enigmas and cannot solve them…”

  7. Jerome, how beautiful – all of it. Yes, we must all pray for the courage to be consumed, offering what we have/what we are, and carry the cross, as you say.

    And since I am ever-hopeful, I must also say that I’ve been thinking about the fruit that ripens and falls to the ground, and truly there is always hope (and mercy). That fruit becomes accessible to any who are not able to reach upwards at the moment, or it becomes mulch to feed the earth and the roots so that the tree will live and bear fruit again. Absolutely everything and everyone is salvageable with our dear Lord. Way more than salvageable; necessary to His Plan and dearly loved.

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