≡ Menu

Difference in joy

Quite a while ago I was trying to digest von Balthasar’s mega work as part of our reading group and I came upon this quote and started a draft post on it which I never finished.  Looking for something to post, I remembered how this quote struck me all that time ago. A couple of notes to the reader: 1) the quote embedded is from Diadochus; 2) the first joy is that of the believer at the very beginning of his spiritual life (the beginning convert or revert, for example).

With this, the whole difference between the first and the perfect experience of joy is already expressed: the first joy is an initial experience of the Ground of Being, but still not by far its full realisation, comparable to the winter sun, which warms those exposed to it only on one side. This is why that first joy can easily be imitated by the evil enemy, especially if the soul reflects upon it and glories ‘in the experience […] of its own sense of perception […]’: the transition from spiritual to sensual pleasure here is imperceptible.

At this point I’d originally written a long digression on this quote.  This time, being older if not wiser, I just want to ask if anyone else sees the connection I made upon reading this to overly charismatic worship forms (wherein he states, “the transition from spiritual to sensual pleasure here is imperceptible“).  Mind you, I’m not suggesting there is an ontological problem with charismatic worship, but only opening up my first impression of his above statement.  Do you have an alternative reading of it?  Do you think von Balthasar is as dense of reading as do I?  In a way, I’m not surprised the reading group bogged down – it’s very hard work to trudge through his writing, particularly for the uninitiated.  Thoughts, anyone?

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment