In this third book, Balthasar presents various ways in which something of the Creator Spirit should be experienced through his manifestations: in the way in which he leads human persons to the living God (“Faith”), in the way in which he distinguishes the spirits of this time (“Crisis”), in the way in which he initiates into the mystery of the Incarnate One (“Night”), in the way in which he breathes through the finite structures of human life as that which is incomprehensibly open (“Breath”), and in the way in which he reveals himself as love (“Spirit”).
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Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) was a Swiss theologian, considered to be one of the most important Catholic intellectuals and writers of the twentieth century. He studied in Vienna, Berlin, and Zurich, and completed his doctorate in German literature in 1928. Incredibly prolific and diverse, he wrote over one hundred books and hundreds of articles. Although the Balthasar’s studies are diverse and scattered, his theology and philosophies are stirring, practical, and profound. He was drawn towards the spiritual and mystical theology of the Church Fathers, deferring to Scripture and patristic writers to answer modernist and neo-scholastic questions. During his life, he was both a diocesan priest and a Jesuit instructor. He was nominated to be a cardinal of the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II himself, but Balthasar died two days before his ceremony.