Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More Köberle: On man's denial of his true fallenness

This from the conclusion to Chapter 1 of The Quest for Holiness, "Man's Attempts to Sanctify Himself in God's Sight":

Countless are the altars at which humanity has brought its offerings to the "unknown" God in the hope of reconciling Him and earning a claim to fellowship with Him. It believes that access must at least be gained because the separating interval is not of a qualitative but merely of a quantitative nature, and it seems only a part of transitory weakness and imperfection, as something preliminary but never an absolute interruption in the personal voluntary relation of God and man. Such a "dynamic" deficiency must finally be overcome by a progressive increase of the energies of the will, by more extensive purification, by perfecting the spiritual endowments or by penetrating more deeply into the fields of knowledge. In its last analysis, that which always gives men renewed courage and strength to continue climbing these steep paths is the secret proud feeling of satisfaction in being able to develop and grow by a self-achieved or at least a co-operative process of sanctification. No matter how hard and difficult the requirements may be it does not matter if only we can come to God with full hands and not with those that are quite empty, if only we may give something of ourselves out of the abundance of our own willing and knowing and being [original emphases] (Köberle, 17-18).


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