Adrienne von Speyr - Sie folgten seinem Ruf - Berufung und Askese

Sie folgten seinem Ruf The Followed His Call

In the present volume (subtitled Vocation and Asceticism), Adrienne von Speyr resituates Christian ascesis in the context of Christ’s call to discipleship. As Hans Urs von Balthasar writes in his foreword, “especially in its first part, the book understands ‘ascetical life’ to be a life called to undivided service, a life, therefore, shaped by the three evangelical counsels. At first, the book accompanies the young person very seriously and even maternally through the difficult time that leads from the call’s awakening in the soul to the great Decision and its realization. Each phase has its particular form of ascesis, always understanding the term here in the Christian sense of a reality that makes a claim on the total existence of a believing person and that derives wholly from God’s calling Word, never as the sum of particular ‘works’ or ‘achievements,’ although the call to ascetical life is always also a call to action.”

Foreword by Hans Urs von Balthasar

  1. The Answer to God’s Call
  2. The Sacrifices of the Decision
  3. The Time of Choice
  4. Estrangement from Self through the Rule
  5. Poverty
  6. Obedience
  7. Virginity
  8. Faith, Prayer and Sacrament
  9. The Reading of Sacred Scripture
  10. Our Neighbor
  11. Ecclesial Love

God calls and man has only to listen. The ear which God the Father has given man is capable of receiving the call that goes out from God. But it seems that it is always a long road from the ear to the will and to love. God calls in Scripture, God calls in sermons, God also calls in every prayer. There is no truly prayed prayer in which his call does not resound. Whether it is the Our Father or the Hail Mary or prayer that one composes: God’s voice is always in the background. No prayer can be uttered without man’s realizing that, in it, God is calling. If I can pray and believe, hope and love, it is only because God calls, because his voice cannot grow mute, because God wants to say something special to each individual person. And he never grows tired from always repeating the ancient statement, from turning to men through all the centuries and informing them of his own concerns, of his will that they should follow him. It was already the most extreme form of God’s call that his Son became Man, small and naked and helpless, and that he lived among us as One among the countless millions. He humiliated himself so profoundly in order to show how great God’s concerns are, in order to demonstrate how urgent an answer to God is and how very little he desires to remain alone. He bore everything — even the Cross — in solitude. But his aloneness and forsakenness witness only more loudly to his call. They are an expression of the way his love is directed towards men. This is not only a love that bears, but a love that needs; not only a love that squanders itself, but a love that cannot exist without the other squandering himself.

From “The Answer to God’s Call”