Hans Urs Von Balthasar
"My kingdom is invisible, but I want to establish you, my Bride, before the eyes of men so visibly that no one will be able to overlook you."
-From The Conquest of the Bride- read the whole essay here.
And a very cool atonement image:
Closed and well-armored was the world against God from all sides, and it had no eyes to look out since all of its glances were turned inwards on itself. But its interior resembled a hall of mirrors in which the finite appeared refracted as far as the eye could see, multiplying itself infinitely and thus playing the self-sufficient god. Only the world’s gullet gaped outwards, ready to swallow down whoever dared approach.
This is a war for God’s beloved creation. Sin has so corrupted the interior of the world that it is trapped in an abyss of self consumed lust. Its only hope is to be redeemed from the inside out: God will enter into the heart of His creation, exposing His love filled heart to all the powers of evil for only love can overcome this damnation.
And now God’s Word saw that his descent could entail nothing but his own death and ruination—that his light must sink down into the gloom—he accepted the battle and the declaration of war. And he devised the unfathomable ruse: he would plunge, like Jonas into the monster’s belly and thus penetrate death’s innermost lair; he would experience the farthest dungeon of sin’s mania and drink the cup down to the dregs; he would offer his brow to man’s incalculable craze for power and violence; in his own futile mission, he would demonstrate the futility of the wolrd; in his impotent obedience to the Father, he would visibly show the impotence of revolt; through his own weakness unto death he would bring to light the deathly weakness of such a despairing resistance to God; he would let the world do its will and thereby accomplish the will of the Father; he would grant the world its will, thereby breaking the world’s will; he would allow his own vessel to be shattered, thereby pouring himself out; by pouring out one single drop of the divine Heart’s blood he would sweeten the immense and bitter ocean. This was intended to be the most incomprehensible of exchanges: from the most extreme opposition would come the highest union, and the might of his supreme victory was to prove itself in his utter disgrace and defeat. For his weakness would already be the victory of his love for the Father, and as a deed of his supreme strength, this weakness would far surpass and sustain in itself the world’s pitiful feebleness. He alone would henceforth be the measure and thus also the meaning of all impotence. He wanted to sink to low that in the future all falling would be a falling into him, and every streamlet of bitterness and despair would henceforth run down into his lowermost abyss.
No fighter is more divine than the one who can achieve victory through defeat. In the instant when he receives the deadly wound, his opponent falls to the ground, himself struck a final blow. For he strikes love and is thus himself struck by love. And by letting itself be struck, love proves what had to be proven: that it is indeed love. (From "Heart of the World," Chapter 2)
Von Balthasar Index