Lenten Reading: Hans Urs von Balthasar

Now it is quite clear what it means to break into the strong man’s house and plunder his goods. Somehow man has been deprived of his guilt. Someone stronger has robbed him of it. To the annoyance of Kant and all autonomists, man sees that the wall he built around himself against God has fallen down. The “dividing wall of hostility” (Eph 2:14) has been demolished. Tel a bound man to raise his hand and he cannot. Cut his bonds and tell him again to raise his hand, and he can if he wishes — but he may not wish to. Compared with guilt, grace has become super-abundant (Rom 5:15-21), but freedom can only be embraced freely. The indicative — that we have died and been raised with Christ — is a fact, but the imperative it implies must be heard and acted on by man.

~ Hans Urs von Balthasar (Does Jesus Know Us? Do We Know Him?, pp. 40).


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