- Paperback: 97 pages
- Publisher: Ignatius Press (1 Jun. 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0898702356
- ISBN-13: 978-0898702354
- Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 0.8 x 18.4 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 666,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Christian Meditation Paperback – 1 Jun 1993
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About the Author
Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-88), a Swiss theologian and priest, is considered by many the most important Catholic theologian of the twentieth century. Incredibly prolific and diverse, he wrote over one hundred books and many hundreds of articles. A favorite theologian and spiritual writer of Pope Francis, as well as the two previous Popes, he was called the most cultured man of our time by Henri de Lubac, and Karl Rahner described his achievements as really breathtaking.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Although a short read, this is also a demanding read. Balthasar notes that Christian meditation is fundamentally relational as it takes place between two subjects - the one who meditates and God - but also takes place within the context of the larger community of subjects - the Church. Christian meditation, then, does not ever allow for any type of abandonment of the world; rather, it leads to an engagement in the world and for the world - just like Christ.
Two discussions, in particular, make this book stand out: firstly, the discussion on the silence of God is worth the price of the book alone. Balthasar writes that the silence of God is always meaningful and that our speech to and about God ultimately culminates in silence - not because it is meaningless, but because it is surpassed. Silence is not absence but is, instead, a real recognition of presence and participation.
Secondly, Balthasar's reflections on union with God take the path of reflection on Mary's reception of the Word of God, which means receiving God's Word and then allowing the Word to be brought forth. Mary becomes less an object for devotion and more a subject (like other Biblical subjects, but preeminently) to be engaged and whose story is worth reflecting deeply upon.
This book is well worth the short amount of time it takes to read, and well worth the direction and perspective it gives to the one who seeks to bear Christ and birth his Presence into the world.
"Hence, basically, Christian mediation can be nothing but loving, reflective, obedient contemplation of him who is God's self-expression. He is the very explanation of God and His teaching to us." "Anyone who goes beyond this does not posess God, but anyone who remains within this teaching possesses the Father as well as the son", (Jn 2:9).
The great theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar also gives illustrative examples of contemplation through the parables. This is the best book I have found to help one come to a serious understanding of authentic meditation. That being said, it may come fields untilled before by the non-theologian, so also reading "Fire Within" by Thomas Dubay, S.M. will givd a person who desires a deep intimicacy with God, further education in prayer and meditation, so the reader of "Mediation" will comprehend its mission, and have a really good understanding of this way of prayer.