Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Prayer to the Risen Christ

Adrienne von Speyr (1902-1967) was a Swiss medical doctor and mystic. Over the years in times of contemplative, mystical prayer, she dictated to the theologian and priest Hans Urs von Balthasar a total of 69 books. These included commentaries on the Bible, various theological topics, and prayers such as the one below. With Balthasar, she co-founded a secular institute, Johannesgemeinschaft ("Community of St. John").

This prayer is taken from
First glance at Adrienne von Speyr by Hans Urs von Balthasar Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1981, pages 203-204.
(I have set it out in shorter paragraphs.)

Lord, we thank you for the feast of Easter.

We thank you for having returned to us after your death and descent to hell, after you had endured all forsakenness, for having remembered our small forsakenness and for having overcome it by the fullness of your presence.

Although you suffered death, for which we are guilty because of the weight of our sins, you return to us as our brother with the gift of your redemption.

You do not make us suffer for bringing you to the Cross; rather, you let us share in your joy. You celebrate a reunion with us as if we had never been unfaithful, as if we had been waiting for you continually with faith and confidence, as if we were capable of adding something ourselves to your joy. We are those redeemed by you and yet you remain our brother.

Lord. help us to be thankful. Let the gratitude which we owe you and your Mother always accompany us from now on; let it become fruitful and perceptible everywhere in our service. Let us be people redeemed who really fill their whole life with your redemption, who accompany you everywhere, who seek to do your will, as you do the will of the Father.

Let us not only enjoy the fruit of' your suffering and redemption, but rather help us - beginning today - in our attempt to know you as our brother, our true redeemer forevermore in our midst. Help us never to forget that you are there, that you have answered our unfaithfulness with faithfulness, our disbelief with ever greater grace.

Let every day, whether hard or easy, become one which includes the explicit, or at least the hidden, joy of knowing that you have redeemed us and, in returning to the Father, you take us along. We ask you for your Easter blessing in which the blessing of the Father and the Spirit are contained. Amen.


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