Hans Urs von Balthasar - Erster Blick auf Adrienne von Speyr
Book

Erster Blick auf Adrienne von Speyr First Glance at Adrienne von Speyr

First Glance contains Balthasar’s account of the person, mission, and work of Adrienne von Speyr, with whom he collaborated closely for twenty seven years. In the first part of the book, he offers a sketch of Adrienne’s life and an overview of her theological mission. Part two consists of a collection of Adrienne’s own statements about herself; these constitute a precious introduction to her charism and personality. The third and final part consists of a treasury of Adrienne’s prayers and meditations – a precious window onto her way of living “heaven on the earth.”

This book is an eyewitness account. It describes what I experienced in twenty-seven years of close collaboration with Adrienne von Speyr. More than fifteen of those years we lived under the same roof. It is a very summary portrayal—truly just a “first glance”—based on a large collection of unpublished records. It is not intended as publicity or propaganda, but rather as a source of objective information. I cannot prevent anyone from questioning the veracity of my statements. There will be people with a personal interest in finding them to be false, for whom “nothing can be which ought not to be.” There will be many others who will at once attempt to “illuminate” the entire matter through the methods of depth psychology and so make it supposedly understandable, or who will dismiss it all as completely “out-of-date” and therefore neither interesting nor credible. Finally, there will be those who will be very annoyed about a charism—should it prove to be a charism—which does not conform to the conventional trends in Christianity today. To all these persons I must say in advance that (in the sense of 1 Cor 4:1 f.) their opposition does not trouble me, for, when I state the facts known to me and continue to state them in the future, I am simply doing what I must do, principally in order to present them for the appraisal of the Church, to whose judgment, of course, I submit myself in every respect.

From the author’s Foreword