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Christian Meditation Paperback – 1 Jun 1993

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4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews from the U.S.

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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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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful 15 Mar. 2004
By benjamin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best things about this book is what it is not: it is not any type of "how-to" guide (as if God were somehow made accessible through magical-mathematical formulas). Rather, Hans Urs Von Balthasar offers extended reflections upon the possibility of Christian meditation, the experience of meditation and the meaning of union with God.
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.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is "meditation"? 16 Jun. 2013
By Terri Lynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Non-Christian religions get off the path that is Jesus Christ and exhorts paths through other people or means. The paths of non-Christian religions have lead them away from "authentic" mediation. Catholic theologians are always looking for succinct definitions and Hans Urs von Balthasar gives us one for "meditation". After explaining that Jesus is the "two-fold channel--of God to us and of us to God" he writes:

"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.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read. A topic that welcomes many writers 8 July 2014
By Gregory Stone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An analysis based mostly on the Exercises of St. Ignatius. A good read. A topic that welcomes many writers.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 Sept. 2014
By John E. Glorioso Sr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very thought provoking.
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure 8 Jan. 2016
By Deacon Alex Caudillo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As I continue to discover the writings of Von Balthasar, there is a joy to see theologians doing theology in prayer. Balthazar does not only describes what meditation is, but does meditation as he describes it. He leads the reader into seeing with clarity how Christian meditation does not take us out of this world but rather the word becomes incarnated in us, in the world as the Word Jesus Christ did. I recommend this book to all of those who love scripture and desire to move into a more contemplative prayer in their lives.
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