Friday, November 10, 2006

Hans Urs Von Balthasar's Three Laws For Christian Anxiety

Law #1:
Christianity is intent upon and capable of delivering man from sin-anxiety, provided that he opens himself up to that redemption and its conditions. In the place of sin-anxiety, it provides him with anxiety-free access to God in faith, love, and hope -which, however, because they stem from the Cross, can in and of themselves put forth a new, grace-filled form of anxiety that stems from catholic solidarity and shares in Christ's work of atonement.

Law #2:
Insofar as we are sinners and even as believers can always become sinners anew, the anxiety of sin is not simply taken away from us by the objective act of redemption on the Cross but rather is set before us even in the New Testament. We are permitted to leave sin-anxiety behind us to the degree that we appropriate in truth the living faith offered to us from the Cross, that is, a faith active in our lives. However, even when the grace of sharing in the anxiety of the Cross is granted, the distance between the one who suffered is maintained in its entirety, and the anguished soul is aware of it.

Law #3:
God grants a (mystical or even usual) participation in the anxiety of his Son on the Cross to no believer unless he has first granted to him the entire strength of the Christian mission and joy and the entire light of faith, love, and hope -that is to say, unless he has first taken from him the anxiety of sin. To consider a "synthesis" of both to be possible, or even worth striving for, does not conform to sound Christian doctrine.

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