The Reunification of Heaven and Earth: In Honour of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Birthday

David Russell Mosley

Ordinary Time
12 August 2015
The Edge of Elfland
Hudson, New Hampshire

Dear Friends and Family,

In honour of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s birthday today, I give you a meaningful passage from the final volume in his Theo-Drama, The Last Act:

What is certain is that our earthly existence, though refined and transfigured in God’s fire, will enter into heaven; the new world will remain our world. In heaven, the life we have led on earth will be not only a memory but something like an abiding presence. How is this possible? We must again return to the reciprocity of heaven and earth: everything that is lived in a fragmentary and incomplete way on earth has always had its ultimate ground in heaven. No earthly moment can be fully exhausted (this is the problem with Goethe’s Faust); whatever eternal content it contains––and our temporal existence cannot bring it forth out of its depths––is “laid up” for us in heaven: in heaven we shall live the full and eternal content of what on earth was present only as a transcendent, unsatisfiable longing. This is at least one aspect of heavenly life. In heaven, therefore, our earthly existence––and we have only one existence––will be present in an unimaginable and unimaginably true manner.

Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Last Act, 413.


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