about me

preorder my new book

We are two weeks before my book ships. I believe so strongly in this book and its impact for the scholarly and spiritual study of Adrienne von Speyr and Hans Urs von Balthasar. If you haven't preordered, please do so. You will be supporting me certainly (a good thing, I hope), but also supporting your further growth in deepening your faith in what our Lord has revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

His love endures.

Please preorder Heaven Opens: The Trinitarian Mysticism of Adrienne von Speyr.

more good words about my book

"Hans Urs von Balthasar is increasingly acknowledged as one of the greatest theologians of the Christian tradition. Unquestionably, he was master of Western civilization as few have ever been and brought all into the key of Christ. His spiritual mentor in this vast undertaking was Adrienne von Speyr, whose work von Balthasar held to be more important than his own. Karl Rahner famously observed that the Christian of the twenty-first century would be a mystic-or not be at all. Adrienne von Speyr models this for us: she was gifted with a 'cataract of mystical graces.' Matthew Lewis Sutton's deep penetration into her mystical gifts offers an excellent introduction to her unique vision and also helps hit the 'reveal codes' button for von Balthasar's theology." - Raymond Gawronski (Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology, Berkeley, CA)

"This book has the potential to do for Adrienne von Speyr's theology what Father Edward Oakes's Pattern of Redemption did for Hans Urs von Balthasar's in the mid-1990s, in this case by accessibly introducing Adrienne to a generation of students and scholars. Focusing on the center of her thought-the opening of heaven through Christ's obedience so that we can share even now in the relationships that characterize the life of the divine Trinity, in light of her own experience of mystical penetration into the Father's sending of the Son and Spirit-Matthew Lewis Sutton ably presents Adrienne's teaching on the full panoply of theological topics. The convergence of her theology with von Balthasar's is striking." - Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary)

"Matthew Lewis Sutton's thorough, unpretentious, and lucid introduction to the person and work of Adrienne von Speyr is now the standard guide in English. Indeed, I suspect it will remain the standard for many years to come. If you're looking for an excellent introduction to Adrienne von Speyr, look no further." - Rodney Howsare (DeSales University)

"Matthew Lewis Sutton's explication of Adrienne von Speyr's insight into Christian spirituality untangles the style of the mystical writer, giving the reader access into the deep vision of this contemporary woman, which is too often dismissed as simplistic due to her uncomplicated language by some and as impenetrable due to her circular manner of her writing by others. Sutton's work uncovers wealth within subtlety and gives access to a truly inspired writer for sincere seekers of God's presence in the world. It is a must-read for those who have approached von Speyr but found her difficult to follow." - Justin M. Matro (Saint Vincent Seminary)

Please preorder Heaven Opens: The Trinitarian Mysticism of Adrienne von Speyr.

preorder heaven opens

Now available for preorder: my new book Heaven Opens: The Trinitarian Mysticism of Adrienne von Speyr.

Adrienne von Speyr was one of the most important mystical theologians of the last century, heralded by figures like John Paul II and T.S. Eliot. However, her work has been eclipsed in many ways by her personal connection to Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. Heaven Opens provides one of the first comprehensive accounts of von Speyr's theology.

My book argues that the eternal, immanent relations of the Triune God ground the mystical theological vision of von Speyr. Rooted in this vision of divine love, von Speyr's work is an account of the opening of heaven, a revelation of the Trinity's interior life turned outward to the world, that links intimately to the sacraments, prayer, the church, and the ethical life of obedience. In von Speyr's mystical theology, God as Triune journeys to us in order to brings us into the inner life of the Trinity. Here, von Speyr's work is for the first time given an independent hearing, expositing its content, features, and connections, and assessing its contribution to contemporary Catholic theology.

Please preorder Heaven Opens.

freedom to love

We have been given the freedom to love.

On September 29, 2012, I gave a moving presentation on freedom in relation to suffering, love, and the writings of Adrienne von Speyr on Mary.

The word that begins the presentation is from a volunteer at Heart’s Home, Marian W., “I wanted the freedom to love.”

Freedom as a gift from God is the critcal word of the presentation, but then I use it in relation to Adrienne von Speyr’s understanding of Mary as the perfectly free woman to help us understand that freedom enables love.

Here’s the presentation. I hope it helps you to love freely.

my book Heaven Opens to be published next year

Adrienne von Speyr 1936 focused.jpg

Deo gratias. My book Heaven Opens: The Trinitarian Mysticism of Adrienne von Speyr will be published by Fortress Press and will be available early 2014. Yes, this is a little bit of a long wait, but it will be well worth it. This book will be the first significant book in English on Adrienne von Speyr.

Please stay tuned here for all of the details for how you can get the book to learn more about Adrienne von Speyr's theology of the Trinity.

In the book, you will find a comprehensive presentation of Adrienne von Speyr's mystical visions of the Trinity placed in constructive dialogue with the tradition of Catholic trinitarian theology. The goal of the book seeks to help develop this tradition, to aid your understanding of Adrienne, and more importantly, to guide you in your encounter with the Trinity--the beginning and the end of all love.

My thanks to Fortress Press for accepting the book manuscript and working with me to promote this important book that will help in their mission to make Adrienne von Speyr known.

Thank you for all your support through reading the vonspeyr.net journal, commenting on my posts, and corresponding with me. You've made this book into something better than it ever could have been. Thank you.

In the meantime, let's read some more Adrienne.

"Our Father. Your Fatherhood did not stop when You created us; it remains our lifelong companion; it is not subject to randomness but is steady like nothing else. You were, are, and will remain: the Father, and we have the privilege of calling You that in simplicity and love. But at the same time, we include all the requests that a child, in whatever situation he finds himself, can bring before his father. We stammer, full of care, afraid that You might not understand; and we speak out, calmly, confidently, knowing that You are always ready to receive us, that You have time for all our concerns; and we cry with our last ounce of strength, and what we want is so enormous that even that cry falls short of it. You remain the same, O Father.

"We want to have Your name always on our lips, but it is often smothered by everything that is not You, that is probably just us, us children of ingratitude and unreason. But You know how we are, You are in us, even when we refuse to recognize it. Your greatness, Your unity, fill what we like so much to explain with many words, although we do not have a clear view of it: our inmost being. And this inmost being, our ultimate I-hood, is what is united eternally with You through our voice, for it needs neither to seek nor to find. Despite all sin, it remains intact; despite all external doubts, it does not waver. In all certainty it is tentative and questioning, perhaps still foreign to us, because it consists almost too much of only what is most intimate, ultimately of what comes from You and goes to You, knowing just one word: Our Father.

"Being Father, you give everything, and we receive everything. You do ask for an account, but there is never a final calculation: goes on into your Love."

(Adrienne von Speyr, Lumina and New Lumina, p. 108-109)

new article on balthasar and speyr

A journal article of mine is now available online through the theology journal New Blackfriars. My article called “Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr’s Ecclesial Relationship” explores the double mission charism of their relationship.

Since I analyze this complex relationship theologically through Paul’s theology of charism, I think I’m able to find a more appropriate way to see the mutual influence of these two. In the article, I analyze a couple alternative assessments of this relationship in order to highlight my understanding of it. I appreciate all of the attempts to see von Balthasar on his own apart from von Speyr’s influence. I have learned a lot from these attempts. And yet, in my reading of these two, I find so much more interpretive power by considering them both mutually influencing each other. For me, it is hard to see von Balthasar’s method as articulated in his important article “Theology and Sanctity” without seeing it lived out in his ecclesial cooperation with von Speyr. What is missing in this article is a more exhaustive comparative textual analysis of these two figures. My article only attempts to give a theo-logical interpretive for their ecclesial relationship. I hope you will see this article brings us one step closer to seeing the great gift God has given to the Church through von Balthasar and von Speyr.

Here’s the abstract:

Many systematic theologians acknowledge the relationship between Hans Urs von Balthasar, the significant twentieth-century Catholic theologian, and Adrienne von Speyr, the Swiss physician and Catholic mystic. There is, however, difficulty understanding the actual character and purpose of this relationship. I argue in this paper that Paul’s theology of charism, particularly dealing with double mission charisms, will help us understand correctly the ecclesial relationship between von Balthasar and von Speyr. After an overview of von Balthasar’s statements regarding the relationship and the three main interpretations of it, I offer my own interpretation of this relationship by using Paul’s theology of charism. The ramifications will be a reinterpretation of central aspects of von Balthasar’s theology including but not limited to his theology of Holy Saturday, Trinitarian theology, and theology of the communion of saints.

The print edition of the article may take some time to become available. The editors informed me that it may be in a print issue next year. But with the availability of online early editions, I chose to spread the love now. As with most academic journals, you will need to access the online edition through your academic library in order to read the full article. My thanks to the editors of the New Blackfriars for such a quick turn around on this article.

Please let me know what you think of the article. Enjoy.

iconographer of adrienne von speyr

The Catholic Iconographer, Fr. William McNichols, S.J., sent me the most beautiful hand-painted icon of Adrienne von Speyr. I hope you will visit his website www.fatherbill.org and consider purchasing one his glorious icons.

Here’s what I have learned about Adrienne von Speyr by praying with this icon.

* wisdom and light obtain a special maturity of radiance in Adrienne’s later years
* true joy comes from surrendering all out of compassion
* prayer includes others even when praying in solitude
* do not let go of the mission - there you will find your identity

More will come. This window into heaven has much to teach me. I hope you’ll visit the beautiful icons written by Fr. McNichols at www.fatherbill.org.

Thank you, Iconographer of Adrienne, for this generous gift. May God bless you and your work.

i submitted my book manuscript today

I submitted my book manuscript today. It is a comprehensive interpretation of Adrienne von Speyr’s vision of the Trinity. I focused instensely on the one critical thing in Adrienne’s thought. This one critical thing, her trinitarian mysticism, must be at the center of receiving what is true, good, and beautiful about her writings.

I will let you know the progress of the book manuscript as it advances through the publishing stages. You will know first when the book is available. Like you, I hope it will be published soon, but so many factors and the hard work of good people go into the process. It can take some time. Still, I will be waiting in hope.

And as I wait, please look for more frequent postings here at the best place on the web to learn about Adrienne von Speyr.

a compelling trinitarian theology

Happily my article “A Compelling Trinitarian Theology: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theology of the Trinitarian Inversion and Reversion” has just been published by the International Journal of Systematic Theology. If your institution gives you access to the journal’s articles, you can find it here.

The abstract of the article:

In trinitarian theology, the problematic place of the Holy Spirit in the taxonomy of the immanent Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) does not seem to correspond to what is revealed in the economy (Father, Holy Spirit and Son). Because of this pneumatological problem, some theologians have abandoned the traditional trinitarian taxonomy. This approach, however, does not provide a finally convincing answer that is consistent with both the biblical witness and the theological tradition. In this article, I argue that Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theology of the trinitarian inversion and reversion does provide a convincing answer to the trinitarian taxonomy problem. After supporting my thesis by first referencing the traditional trinitarian taxonomy offered in Augustine’s de Trinitate and then examining the possibility of abandoning the taxonomy given by Jürgen Moltmann and Leonardo Boff, I will offer von Balthasar’s solution as the most compelling trinitarian taxonomy, especially in light of the ecumenical dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

This was first posted at my other website doctorsutton.net.

adrienne von speyr on the meaning of suffering

Recently, I spoke with the new international volunteers working with Heart’s Home to prepare them for their compassionate service to those who are suffering.

My thesis for the presentation is this:

“Things have meaning only to the extent that they lead to God, come from him and can be placed at his service” (Adrienne von Speyr, Mystery of Death, p. 47).

Two parts make up this presentation on Adrienne von Speyr and the meaning of suffering. The first part below is an overview of Adrienne’s life and thought especially as it relates the meaning of personhood and how suffering fits within her understanding of being a person in relation to God and others. Here is part one:

I hope you enjoyed that one. We go deeper yet.

The second part of the presentation below is a discussion of the chapter “Death as God’s Action” from Adrienne’s book The Mystery of Death. Here is part two:

I hope you enjoyed that one too.

For those interested in a tangent about how I’ve come to these insights about Adrienne on the meaning of suffering, please continue to read on.

I’ve been working on several major research projects on the meaning of suffering through the academic conference Making Sense of Suffering with the scholar community Inter-Disciplinary.Net. I presented at their Prague conference last year on Balthasar and the Meaning of Suffering. A version of the presentation is in the conference proceedings eBook Making Sense of Suffering: Theory, Practice, and Representation. I will be presenting at their next conference on Adrienne and the Meaning of Suffering, which I will post here when it becomes available. Additionally, if you are really interested in the postmodern debate on the meaning of suffering, I have recently co-edited a book on it, which is will be available in a few months.

Thank you for being such loyal readers of this website. I’m grateful for your comments and emails. Blessings to you all.

"service as compassionate confession" - audio presentation on adrienne von speyr

I, Confess.jpg

Alfred Hitchcock’s “I, Confess”On October 23, 2010 and February 19, 2011, I presented (my best yet) orientation to Adrienne von Speyr and her theology of Confession. I was speaking to Heart’s Home international volunteers (more about them here). You may remember, I gave a presentation to them last summer on Adrienne’s understanding of finitude and infinitude

Here’s the audio from my presentation: The Mission of Service as Compassionate Confession.

Von Speyr’s theology of Confession from her book Confession places the sacrament within the divine relations of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I have never met a more profound, accessible, important theology of confession anywhere else.

I begin my discussion with this central quotation:

“There is no mission that is not determined decisively by one’s confessional attitude” (Confession, p. 208)

As you follow my discussion of the confessional attitude and how it relates to mission, you will also need these quotations below from Adrienne’s book Confession (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985).

1. “In all events which are not inevitable and in whose course freedom and inclination can intervene, a person usually searches for a solution or a way out and often for a reason or cause as well. … Only when this success fails to materialize according to his wish does he look for the causes behind the failure, and it is in this search that he first encounters the question concerning the state of his own life. … Yet it is precisely when he justifies himself and concludes that he is innocent that his deeper discomfort—the feeling of a hidden guilt—begins” (11).

2. “Ultimately, only the Creator of the human soul will be able to treat it so that it becomes the soul he needs. Only he can heal it, and he does this in ways that only he knows and discloses and prescribes for healing. … the decisive way of God—confession—is based on obedience: more specifically, on the obedience to God” (15).

3. “If a person … comprehends himself as standing before God, and if he knows that he, like Adam, was created by God and redeemed by Christ and that Christ opens for him the way to the Father and the doors of heaven, then … he will expect confession with a kind of necessity” (16).

4. “As long as a person is not confessing, he feels free to speak or keep silent about whatever he wishes. What he then hates in confession is not the humbling experience of revealing himself, and not the fact that he is a sinner—he already knows that somehow—but the necessity of capitulating before and within total confession, the fact that the freedom of selection has been withdrawn and that the only choice remaining is to reveal everything or nothing. He is sick as a whole person and must be healed as such, and not eclectically. That is the first humbling experience. The second is that he is only one of many and has to accept the same conditions as do the others … [he experiences] the elimination of all external differentiation … merely one penitent in the line of other sinners. The peculiarities of my particular ‘case’, which made it seem so interesting to me and which I would so gladly have explained to the listener, do not matter at all any more” (18).

5. “Whoever would learn how to confess must first look at the life of the Son of God” (20).

6. “God stands before God in the attitude that is fitting for God. Analogously, we can designate this as the attitude of confession, since it is the attitude in which God shows himself as he is. … When the Son institutes confession at Easter, he does so to bring this divine attitude closer to human beings, to mediate to them part of the trinitarian life” (21).

7. “One can say that the Lord lives on earth before the Father in the same condition in which the perfect penitent should live before his own confessor, before the Church and before God: in complete openness, concealing nothing, always ready in every moment to expect the intervention of the Holy Spirit, drawing security from the Father and his Spirit instead of from within himself. The Son lives in perpetual contact with the Father, and the expression of this contact is his word, ‘Not my will, but thy will be done’” (23).

8. “Anyone who has recognized, in confession and in the prayer belonging to it, the possibility not only of ridding himself of his own sins through the grace of the Lord but also of helping others at the same time will suddenly realize that there is a place where confession and mission encounter and permeate one another to the point of coincidence” (206).

9. “There is no mission that is not determined decisively by one’s confessional attitude” (208). 

I hope that you enjoy this discussion. Please leave your comments below.

NB: If you want to read more, chapter eleven of Confession, which is on the confession of the saints, can be found here.

why the jesuits love adrienne

Here’s how I see it. When you read Adrienne von Speyr, you will be lead sooner or later to Ignatius of Loyola. When you read Ignatius and you are looking for living this contemplative action today, you might be lead sooner or later to Adrienne.

The blessings of this website is that you contact me. And many of you are Jesuit, either spiritually or actually.

Rev. Raymond Gawronski, S.J.

I love this because a Jesuit, Rev. Raymond Gawronski, S.J., introduced me to Adrienne. He was my dissertation director while I was at Marquette University and is now the director of spiritual formation at the St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, CO. You might recongize him from this DVD series on the Spiritual Exercises.

What I am seeing (anecdotally) is that Jesuit scholastics are introducing each other to Adrienne. And here’s the important point, she is helping them to be more Ignatian!

In her writings, we learn contemplative action grounded in scripture and raised high by the theology of prayer and the saints. May she continue to guide the Jesuits into ever deeper contemplation and action.

_____________________________________________________

Ignatius taught Adrienne this prayer:

CORPUS CHRISTI, adoro te tribus sub tuis formis,
Sub forma divina, simili deo patri,
Sub forma hominis, sacrificii et crucis,
Sub forma hostiae rotundæ, sine principio et fine.

Ubi es, est amor sempiternus,
Omni tanges quæ creavit pater,
Omnia quæ passus est filius,
Omni quæ vivificat spiritus.

Amorem tui cum gratia mihi dones, 
ac dives sum satis 
nec quidquam ultra posco.
Amen.

(from With God and With Men: Prayers, trans. Adrian Walker [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1995], p. 50)

My translation:

BODY OF CHRIST, I adore you under your three forms,
under the form of God, equal to God the Father,
under the form of man, of sacrifice and of the Cross,
under the form of the round Host, without beginning or end.

Wherever you are, is love eternal,
all things that the Father created, 
all that the Son suffered,
all that the Spirit vivifies.

Give me your love with grace,
then I am rich enough
and wish for nothing further. 
Amen.

"our finitude encounters the trinity's infinitude" - audio presentation on adrienne von speyr

Me at Heart's Home.png

On June 17, 2010, I presented an hour and a half long orientation on Adrienne von Speyr to the new volunteers for Heart’s Home, a religious movement I wrote about earlier. I thought I would share the digital audio version of the presentation. 

The presentation is divided into three parts. The first third of the talk (00’-22’) gives an interpretive key to Adrienne’s thought. In the second third (22’-41’), I present an biographical overview to her life. In the last third (41’-1:08’), we read and discuss a few quotations from Adrienne’s book, The Boundless God, which I give to you below. In closing (1:08’-1:25’), we have question and answer.  

I am presenting to the six new volunteers for Heart’s Home for their orientation program before they are sent to their destination for 14-18 months. Oh, and you’ll also hear me laughing at my own jokes. If I don’t, who will? There is much imperfection here, but you may find this worth listening to if you would like to learn more about who Adrienne was and how to begin to understand her.

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Quotations from The Boundless God referenced during the presentation:

1. “When God creates the world he makes a beginning right in the middle of his eternity, a beginning that inaugurates the realm of number and numeration; day and night are already separated, and so times are placed in rhythmic succession.  … The realm of number and of finitude does not close in on itself; it remains the arena of infinite, that is, eternal life.  And when we are told that the Father is in communion with the Son and with the Spirit from eternity, we also experience that he is a God of love who begets the Son as his image and likeness, who pours out the Spirit, and who lets them both participate in the same eternity and infinity while receiving from them this very same eternity and infinity. Love thus knows no bounds; it proceeds from and to the eternal God.” (21)

2. “Because man sins and becomes unworthy of God’s love, God creates a punishment while at the same time also creating—as a new testimony of love—time which alone can be identified as the experience of finitude in the actual sense: he creates death. Through death, God puts an end to the creature who has chosen sin so that the condition of being in sin does not continue without bounds.” (22)

3. “the Son has taken upon himself the end that is death and has died for all men … Because the Son dies for and with him, he will be entrusted in death completely to the grace of God. Therefore, he already knows in life that the finitude of his existence corresponds to a grace from God that has been granted to all men and not just to him. The experience of his finitude, however, affords him knowledge of God’s infinity: his knowledge of the end of earthly life is a recognition of eternal life.  He can thus regard death, not only as punishment, but equally as the Father’s grace. The Son has taken death’s purely punitive character upon himself and thereby released the character of grace for his brothers, whereby he unveils and fulfills the purpose of finitude.” (22-23)

4. “His descent into the underworld is part of this sign: he does not just pass fleetingly through these areas unknown to us; he stays there for three days. He therefore takes the entire accumulation of his strength into the sacrifice that led to his death, beyond death and into the underworld.  … the world that he brought with him is his heavenly world, the world of the Father and of the Spirit, a world that infinitely surpasses our own. As humans, we are inclined to regard each act that the Son performs as finite, yet with each act he opens up infinity. Each time he does something as man, he does something divine. In everything he is and does, he grants us glimpses into the boundlessness of heaven. “ (24)

5. “Confession grants us just such a view of infinity. When we go to confession, we pass through a kind of death and, by acknowledging our sin, reach the end of it—the end that God has instituted through death. We repentantly confess and reach a boundary, an endpoint given us by the Son. The absolution we receive comes from beyond the here and now and is comparable to going to heaven. Sin is  shown its end in accordance with God’s punitive judgment, but a new life is also shown its beginning. Man experiences through this that God is exercising his love anew. He has been granted death and confession so that he can grant new space to the infinite love of the triune God.” (24-25)

6. “for the individual is always invited by the Son to satisfy the demands of the Father with the strength of the Holy Spirit, in the unity of the Son who lives on in the communion of saints, and with the definitive wherewithal of the Mother’s Yes.” (150)

My thanks to Sr. Regine for the invitation to present on Adrienne von Speyr.  Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

what is your favorite adrienne von speyr book?

As a growing number of works by Adrienne von Speyr are being translated, a richer picture of her thought is being painted in the English-speaking world.  No matter how many books of Adrienne von Speyr you have read, what book of hers is your favorite?

Please post it in the comments section below.

For those of you wondering about me, my favorite is Handmaid of the Lord.  You can see my other favorite von Speyr books here.

What is your favorite Adrienne von Speyr book?

presentation on balthasar and speyr

On May 29, 2009, I will be presenting a paper called "Paul's Theology of Charism and the Ecclesial Relationship between Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr" at the annual meeting of the College Theology Society.

I gave an undergraduate-friendly version of this presentation a few months ago.  Here is the abstract of my upcoming presentation:

Many systematic theologians acknowledge the relationship between Hans Urs von Balthasar, the significant twentieth-century Catholic theologian, and Adrienne von Speyr, the Swiss physician and Catholic mystic.  There is, however, difficulty understanding the actual character and purpose of this relationship.  What precisely does von Balthasar mean when he calls the greater part of his writings "a translation of what is present in more immediate, less technical fashion in the powerful work of Adrienne von Speyr" (Hans Urs von Balthasar, My Work in Retrospect, 105)?

I argue in this paper that Paul's theology of charism, particularly dealing with double mission charisms, will help us understand correctly the ecclesial relationship between von Balthasar and von Speyr.  While Paul's theology of charism (1 Cor 12-14) speaks mostly of singular missions (preaching, teaching, etc.) for the building up of the church, he also sees a necessary place for double missions.  For example, the charism given to the interpreter of tongues accompanies the one who speaks in tongues "so that the Church may be edified" (1 Cor 14:5).  This Pauline theology of the mutual dependence of charisms will provide a way for understanding the inextricably interwoven relationship between Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr.

The presentation is my small effort to advance the essential insight that the joint work of von Balthasar and von Speyr is inextricably connected.  To be comprehensive and valuable, interpretations of their work must acknowledge this connection.

the ecclesial relationship between von balthasar and von speyr

I am happy to present to you a very imperfect presentation I gave to the St. John’s University chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa Society (a theology major and minors honors society).  There is nothing more humbling than listening to yourself speak.  There are some minor misstatements that I would like to revise, but you may enjoy hearing this informal presentation on Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr.

Here is an unedited mp3 of my presentation called “The Ecclesial Relationship between the theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar and mystic Adrienne von Speyr.”

To introduce my presentation, I used this PDF handout.

Please tell me what you think in the comments section below.  Enjoy!

moved

Please forgive the delays on vonspeyr.net.  I have recently moved to a new position as an assistant professor of Roman Catholic Systematic Theology at St. John's University in Queens, NY.  Development of this site will resume in earnest.

In celebration of the feast of the Birth of Mary (Sept. 8), please accept this quotation from Adrienne von Speyr's Handmaid of the Lord:

Geburt der Jungfrau by Francisco de Zurbaran"All forms of Christian fruitfulness--physical as well as spiritual, virginal as well as marital--are patterned on Mary.  They are all included in her as the perfected woman, in such a way that her perfections go out from her like rays and strike all the faithful regardless of age, gender or state of life, to develop in them in the most diverse ways.  For every individual and for every united group of people, a particular path from the Mother to them and from them to the Mother is visibly indicated.  A readiness for surrender on the part of the person is always assumed in this, but in such a way that it is included in the overflowing grace of the Mother, who has already surrendered herself.  It is she who possesses the fullness of fruitfulness, and we take part in it through a bashful wish, an attempt, a beginning at devotion and surrender.  Her fruitfulness and ours are related similarly to grace and merit: grace does not work without our cooperation, but this is itself an operation of grace and is included in its greater, sustaining sphere.  Therefore, we must see in her the mediatrix of self-surrender..." (von Speyr, Handmaid, p. 170).

 

are there dissertations on von speyr?

Yes, as far as I have been able to find, there are a few dissertations (one of which is my own). They are:

Berg, Blaise R. "Christian Marrige according to Adrienne von Speyr," S.T.D. diss., Lateran Pontifical University, John Paul II Institute of Studies on Marriage and Family, Rome, 2003.

Matro, Justin. “Christian Suffering in the Spiritual Writings of Adrienne von Speyr.” S.T.D. diss., Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome, 1999.

Miles, L. M. "Obedience of a Corpse: The Key to the Holy Saturday Writings of Adrienne von Speyr." Ph.D. diss., University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK, 2013.

Schiettecatte, J. “Disponibilité aimante: L’attitude d’amour johannique chez Adrienne von Speyr à la lumière de l’exégèse contemporaine.” S.T.D. diss., Teresianum Pontifical University, Rome, 1998.

Schmidt, William. “The Sacrament of Confession as Sequela Christi in the Writings of Adrienne von Speyr.” S.T.D. diss., Lateran Pontifical University, John Paul II Institute of Studies on Marriage and Family, Rome, 1999.

Sutton, Matthew. "The Gate of Heaven Opens to the Trinity: The Trinitarian Mysticism of Adrienne von Speyr." Ph.D. diss., Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, 2007.

Others in process. I look forward to promoting more dissertations on von Speyr's vast theological and mystical work.

moving

There has been some delay in getting this website up and running with more tools for scholarly research of Adrienne von Speyr.  I have recently moved for my new position in the Department of Theology at the College of Saint Benedict / Saint John's University (csbsju.edu/theology).  My apologies for the delay.

On the docket for website development:

1) Provide more extensive biography of Adrienne von Speyr with hyper links.

2) Compile and upload full list of exciting (scholarly speaking, of course) von Speyr and von Balthasar links.

3) Upload complete Adrienne von Speyr bibliography with reviews and hyper links.