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Quotes from Catholic philosophical and theological leaders from the past and present. Your comments are encouraged!!!

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Location: Charleston, South Carolina, United States

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

"Cut It Off"

When man encounters the love of God in Christ, not only does he experience what genuine love is, but he is also confronted with the undeniable fact that he, a selfish sinner, does not himself possess true love. He experiences two thing at once: the finitude of the creature's love and its sinful frigidity. To be sure, he does possess something of an "anticipation" of what love is; if he did not, he would not be able to make any sense of the sign of Jesus Christ... All the same, man cannot come to a recognition of this sign on the basis of his "anticipation" without a radical conversion-- a conversion not only of the heart, which must in the face of this love confess that it has failed to love until now, but also a conversion of thought, which must relearn what love after all really is...
The event of the Passion exposes the truth of humanity...
At a deeper level, man is aware of his heart's paralysis, fallenness, and frigidity, his incapacity to meet the demand of any law of love, no matter how generally postulated. He simply cannot summon up enough courage for it. And in any event he would not presume to believe in such a fulfillment of existence. He finds such a lack of strength in himself that he thinks he must complain to authorities higher than his own heart.
Father Hans Urs von Balthasar (+1988, an eminent Swiss Catholic theologian).

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