Saturday, February 7, 2015

Co-Redemptive Anxiety

As someone who struggles a lot with over thinking, and anxiety that can cause attacks. Here is a useful thought I found while sifting through von Balthasar's usual verbosity.

From the perspective of the anguished bringing-forth of the new aeon upon the Cross, all subsequent anxiety is now seen to be revalued. Now it is possible for anxiety to participate in the fruitful anguish of the Cross...
All grace is the grace of the Cross. All joy is resulting from the Cross, marked with the sign of the Cross. And Cross means anguish, too. When sin-anxiety in its forms (which comprises everything that throws a person back upon himself, closes him off, constricts him, and makes him unproductive and unfit) has been fundamentally removed from a man and hence has been forbidden him, then from the Cross opens up something completely different: grace, and in the measure granted by grace, permission to suffer anxiety as a share in Christ's anguish. It is evident how thoroughly the grace revalues anxiety, starting at its basis, and even turns it into its opposite. For if the anxiety of man who is closed in upon himself and isolated amounts to a constriction and a loss of communication, then the anxiety granted from the Cross is, on the contrary, the fruit and result of a communication: it is an expansion, a dilatio of the love found on the Cross. As such, it in turn can produce nothing other than a broadening in the person who participates in it.
Hans Urs Von Balthasar The Christian and Anxiety


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