The Marian or Catholic fundamental act is beyond understanding and not understanding. When you say Yes to God unconditionally, you have no idea how far this Yes is going to take you. Certainly farther than you can guess and calculate beforehand, certainly as far as participation in failure and derision, cross and God – forsakenness – but just how far and in what form? At the same time, this Yes is the sole, non-negotiable prerequisite of all Christian understanding, of all theology and ecclesial wisdom. You cannot understand a Lord in whom “all the promises of God find their Yes” (2 Cor 1:20) alongside of this Yes. Christian truth is esoteric in the sense that it can be discerned only from within, in being carried out in faith and action, not from the outside, from a box seat in the theater. Nor by a partial identification (with the reservations that implies), but only out of a total, universal, and, therefore, catholic identification with God’s way’s in the flesh.

Father Hans Urs von Balthasar (+ 1988) was an eminent Swiss Catholic theologian who wrote prodigiously.