Problems do not exist in order to be solved; we can never get “behind” Being. We always look with mild contempt on everything we have solved. Problems should always become more luminous in the light of the great mystery in which we live, move, and have our being. A sense of mystery is a Catholic sense.1

St. Paul exhorts us to be anxious for nothing, with the implication that anxiety with respect to events and persons is a false way of receiving reality. His commanded advice for achieving this comes in the form of his famous “Hymn to Christ” found in the Letter to the Philippians: “Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:5-7). Given that St. Paul exhorts us to, as it were, put on the mind of Christ, Christians bear the responsibility of guarding our minds from false perceptions. Whatever is not a symbolic way of receiving Being has, as its ontological and philological doppelganger, the diabolic. What I mean to argue towards in this essay is that Paul’s exhortation to “have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus,” means that, contrary to today’s techno-logical ontology,2 we must recover a sym-bolical way of thinking in the face of the prevalent dia-bolical turn of thought.

“All of the perversions that human freedom can inflict upon being and its qualities always aim at one thing: the annihilation of the depth dimension of being, thanks to which being remains a mystery even, indeed, precisely in its unveiling.”3 These words of Hans Urs von Balthasar capture in a nutshell the aforementioned task: to understand the modern elimination of the depth dimension of being as a phenomenon aptly termed diabolical. Balthasar is not alone in identifying this distinctly modern turn of thought. One particularly significant visionary is the German sociologist and historian, Max Weber, who described modern thought as modern precisely in terms of its removal of the depth dimension of being: “disenchantment of the world” (Entzauberung der Welt).4 Weber’s disenchantment – or more literally, de-magicification – will here be described specifically as it relates to the perception of beings as such. For Weber, disenchantment implied “a world judged to be under the power of sin, a world, consequently, whose natural integrity had been lost. God is no longer symbolically (“pre-sacramentally”) present in his creation: creatures are no longer inherently true, good, and beautiful in their givenness as gifts of the Creator.”5 This argument unfolds in two parts, the first exploring Balthasar’s thesis regarding the transcendentality of goodness and truth with respect to all created, finite entities. It will thus seek to unfold something like a Balthasarian epistemology, his approach to the “truth of the world.”  The second part aims to draw out the notion of the diabolical as an adjectival, formal description of modern thought qua modern. What characterizes modern thinking, for both Balthasar and Weber, is precisely an elimination of the perception – and eventually, the possibility – of Being and beings to be seen as inherently mysterious, full of an infinite depth and therefore infinitely knowable, transcendentally true and good, appearing always and everywhere as a beautiful revelation of finite participation in the Absolute Good.

Inexhaustible Depth

Von Balthasar’s characterization of truth is threefold. In the first place, truth is to be understood as “unconcealment,” a linguistic and conceptual cognate with words like unveiling and, to speak more biblically, revelation. The innermost essence of truth is a certain “familiarity of being.” Being, according to Balthasar, gives itself to be known in and as beings.6 This initial description of truth as the “unveiledness, uncoveredness, disclosedness, and unconcealment (a-letheia) of being…implies two things: First, that being appears; second, that being appears.”7 It is simultaneously the case that it is really Being itself that appears in and as finite beings (“being is simple and complete”), just so far as it is the case that Being really appears – reveals itself – in and as finite beings (“yet non-subsistent). For Balthasar, this means that each finite entity possesses its own creaturely integrity, as it were, precisely insofar as it is an appearance, a finite unfolding, of Being’s infinite plenitude. In other words, in this Balthasarian epistemology, there is no distance and certainly no conflict between something like self-possession and self-reception. Being – Esse – exists and appears only in and through finite beings – essentia – just as finite beings only exist as participation in and instantiation of  – Being more generally. This means that any encounter with a creature, with anything finite, is both a real encounter with a finite thing and a real encounter God’s own Being: Esse “signifies the highest perfection of all,” and is “the actuality of all acts, and therefore the perfection of all perfections.”8 In itself it is “not subsistent but inherent.”9 Balthasar calls this the “incomprehensible coincidence of fullness and emptiness,”10 and we can only add that it is incomprehensible because utterly comprehensive. As Balthasar describes it elsewhere,

Thus esse, as Thomas understands it, is at once both total fullness and total nothingness: fullness, because it is the most noble, the first and most proper effect of God, because ‘through being God causes all things’ and ‘being is prior to and more interior than all other effects.’ But being is also nothingness since it does not exist as such, ‘for just as one cannot say that running runs,’ but rather that ‘the runner runs,’ so ‘one cannot say that existence exists.’11

What emerges here, for Balthasar, is a confirmation of being’s relation to at least some self-consciousness. The certainty of the knower that, in thinking, he encounters being gives rise to a second fundamental attribute of truth, which Balthasar says is emeth: “fidelity, constancy, reliability.”12

Truth as emeth does two things. On the one hand, it is conclusive, in the sense that it puts an end to uncertainty and endless seeking, to conjecture and suspicion, so that this condition of ever-shifting vacillation can give way to the clearly formed, solid evidence of things that are unveiled as they actually are. On the other hand, this closure of certainty and its bad infinity is the un-closing and unsealing of a true infinity of fruitful possibilities and situations. Once truth has become present, a thousand consequences, a thousand insights, spring from it as a seed. . . . Truth never imprisons or constricts the knower. No, truth is always an opening, not just to itself and in itself, but to further truth. It dis-covers being and thus the rich coherence of being. It opens up the prospect of hitherto unknown territory. It contains within itself a movement toward further truth.13

Thus, as he has sketched it, Balthasar demonstrates the sense in which truth paradoxically implies “total transparency and apprehensibility, on the one hand, yet eludes any attempt to nail it down in a definition, on the other.”14 In simpler terms, Balthasar is affirming on the one hand that, in knowing any particular thing, we really know it, have come into some sort of a union with its form or essence. On the other hand, Balthasar is affirming that precisely by really encountering any one thing, by really knowing it, we are encounter something that itself contains and points toward that which is greater than itself. In other words, when we really know things, we know them first as mysterious, and never primarily know them by first doing something to them other than receiving them as a generous revelation of truth. Truth, then, is presented as inexhaustible, and, in its convertibility with being, shows forth the endless richness of being: inexhaustible, generous depth. Further, this “awakens in the knower a yearning for more.16 Such an understanding of truth and of being then elicits a new definition of rationality, defined by its object so understood: “Rationality, taken in its comprehensive sense, thus entails two things at once: certainty of truly possessing some being as it in fact is––within a totality of being that, while disclosed in principle, in concreto always remains more transcendent.”17 Balthasar offers a summary judgment of this concept, in three stages:

First of all, truth appeared as the unconcealment and, therein, the credibility of the being in its appearance. This property immediately entailed the second point: The particular being’s appearance conveys an implicit awareness of being as a whole. We do not, of course, actually know this totality in the same way that we know the particular object, but rather potentially, as background capable of being unveiled more and more. It followed––and this was the third stage––that there is an indissoluble polarity between subject and object. Subject and object comprehend each other reciprocally, in the sense that the subject is introduced into the ever vaster world of the object, while the object’s appearance opens it to be surveyed and judged from the subject’s more comprehensive vantage point. This polarity reaches a maximum in the tension between the subject’s contemplative, observant posture vis-à-vis the object (truth as theoria), and its spontaneous, creative, normatively measuring posture vis-à-vis the same object (truth as poiesis).17

What is presented here by Balthasar is a vision of action and contemplation that is non-competitive. Any knower’s first “action” with respect to any object it seeks to know is to receive it, contemplate, to precisely not do anything other than to welcome the impression of its form with an open mind. All objects are known  as subjects, to put it paradoxically.

Balthasar then turns to a consideration of one side of the polarity mentioned above: the subject. Truth is, according to Balthasar, being as it has been unveiled, “and, in its unveiling, grasped. Or, to put it more briefly, truth is the measure of being.”18 This definition of truth emphasizes the element of disclosure, the disclosure of the subject to itself and of the object to the subject: “The coincidence of the two disclosures––that of the self and that of the world––guarantees the true objectivity both of the knowledge of the self and of the knowledge of the world.”19 What is revealed to the subject is itself, and in this occurrence the subject receives a new determination and becomes, generally, receptive. A key conclusion follows from this, namely, “that the more perfectly an entity possesses itself, the freer it is, the less closed in on itself it is, and, therefore, the more receptive it is to everything around it.”20 As Balthasar sees it, there is a kind of poverty necessary in order for one to be able to truly experience the depth of being and of truth, a poverty that is receptivity to what is other than oneself. Receptivity is fundamental and foundational for self-consciousness as such: “There is no moment when subjectivity monadically and self-sufficiently rests in itself. Rather, subjectivity is a matter of finding oneself always already engaged with the world. The unity of the ego as a subject is always also the “unity of apperception,” which comes about in the act of synthetic judgment in the cognition of the object.”21 “It follows,” Balthasar continues, “that the attempt to construct a purely spiritual cognition without receptivity is founded on a fallacious assumption, inasmuch as it deprives the pure spirit [Geist] of an essential part of its innate perfection.”22 The more self-determined a being is––the more a being truly possesses itself––the more, correlatively, will increase its capacity to let itself be determined, known, by another. This freedom of receptivity Balthasar also calls a freedom of love, so essential to the relationship between subject and object is the capacity to give and receive. Knowing simply is loving, for Balthasar. Likewise, the linguistic cognate between “think” and “thank,” Denkenand “Danke,” would not have been lost on him in either language.

Balthasar introduces the key categories of act and potency, and in so doing shows how his freedom of love goes to the heart of reality. His manner of speaking about love’s utterly poor gratuity merits lengthy quotation:

The reality of love, precisely when love is perfect, runs counter to any high-handed anticipation of the truth of one’s Thou. Rather, it is part of love’s very constitution to wish, genuinely and unfeignedly, to receive every gift of this Thou as a new, truly enriching wonder. Love would gladly give up a great deal of what it knows if it could thereby receive it anew from the beloved; indeed, it would happily perform the miracle of unknowing things that it knows in order to be able to receive them anew as a gift of the beloved. … Every anticipation of truth’s self-presentation in the form of innate ideas, schemata, or categories would hinder this pure readiness. It would amount to a precipitous classification of something that, in reality, is manifesting itself in a new and original way to the subject, which would therefore be guilty of a know-it-all attitude that runs directly counter to any attentive listening. At bottom, one would be finished with what the other was going to say before he even had a chance to open his mouth. One would cut him off after his first world, because his self-manifestation would already be classified in one’s ready-made framework, schemata, and categories. Innate ideas would prevent any true dialogue, wound courtesy, and make love impossible.23

The “indifference” Balthasar introduces here is drawn from Ignatian spirituality, and is for active potency not a disinterested, uncaring posture, but instead “a readiness to spring into action wherever the object’s self-display might send or employ it.”24 The next distinction he draws will be key for our observations in the second part regarding the reversal of the priority of act and potency: The active potency of the subject is itself an indication that the subject can be described as a sort “spiritual matter.” “It is not until an object emerges into the light that the presence of an active energy becomes evident in it. And yet the active potency of the subject is not the expression and emanation of a pure actuality without potentiality (actus purus),” nor is it possible for it to be potentia purus, “because active readiness for everything (quodammodo omnia) implies, with equal immediacy, a real capacity to be determined by everything, so that the subject can be described as a kind of spiritual matter (húle noeté).”25 What characterizes the subject most profoundly is an expectant readiness. This readiness entails, for the subject (in the “point-like identity of being and consciousness”), a realization that the means by which it “measures” the object it receives––the “truth in whose light it measures the object”­­––is not a measure existing simply within the subject. Expectant readiness recognizes and embraces the transcendence of truth and being: “And so the subject realizes that in the act of measuring it is being measured by the encompassing truth of being tout court, which comprehends the subject itself. The subject’s light is a limited participation in an infinite light. Its thinking is embedded in an infinite thinking of being[.]”26 The ultimate measure of the subject, according to Balthasar, is the coincidence of being and thinking in God. In our forthcoming explication of the diabolical, this ultimate measure is denied as a matter of principle, and in several interesting ways.

Disenchantment and the Diabolical

In a recent text,27 the philosopher D.C. Schindler persuasively argues that modern thought – its forms and institutions – can be aptly and most adequately described as diabolical, as a sort of un-thinking that can be characterized in distinctly identifiable ways. Schindler demarcates six distinguishing features of the diabolical, which we will attend to in order, reflecting within the framework laid by Balthasar’s theological study of the truth of the world.

A first feature of the diabolical is dissemblance, the presentation of a deceptive image. In order for an image to be deceptive, it has to perform the opposite function of the true meaning of image, namely, to express and point beyond itself toward the reality of which it is an image. To be a deceptive image is, de facto, to be a bad image. “An image is bad only if it comes to replace what it signifies. In this case, instead of pointing beyond itself to what is real, and thereby becoming in itself good, it takes on a reality of its own, becoming opaque, so to speak, and so losing its image-character.”28 An image that, while precisely presenting itself as authentic but simultaneously not imaging the given reality, is termed diabolical. Dissemblance implies also an immediacy and lack of transcendence, and in such a way diabolical images present themselves as better than the real thing. There is therefore a distinctly substitutionary character to the diabolical image, “one that promises to fulfill the same function as what it replaces. The interest in the fraudulent image, therefore, presupposes and so actually draws on a more basic desire for the reality it imitates.”29 With the diabolical image there is a reversal of priority regarding the end and the image; the formerly absolute priority of the end is made relative, and the new image is then made, in some sense, absolute. This is the way in which the diabolical divides and tears asunder, pointing simultaneously in two divergent ways: “to what it derives parasitically from and to itself as the reality.”30 In terms of the subject and object relationship, a diabolical model of it would involve a reversal of what is properly the disposition of the subject: receptivity to the object, to the extent of being determined by it. Having accrued to itself properties characteristic of the object, the dissembled subject at one and the same time names itself a name it no longer possesses while yet claiming to be more fully identify with that name. The object and its nature become obscured, even inaccessible, all the while being siphoned off from in a parasitical fashion.

Along these lines, a second distinguishing feature of the diabolical is its negativity, its quality as “primordially negative.”31 The previously mentioned reversal can be described in further detail:

The diabolical…cannot cease to be an image even as it refuses to be secondary. It thus includes the reality, but no longer as an actuality, which would necessarily imply some form of a priori claim. Instead, it includes the reality only as a possibility, which depends on the image, so to speak, to be actualized. In this case, the actuality of the reality is accorded to that reality rather than received from it. Instead of being inwardly present as a genuine, real other, that to which the image points is included outside of its boundaries as a possibility, the realization of which arrives on the image’s terms. Since it remains present as a possibility, the diabolical creates the appearance of neutrality, since the content at least seems to remain intact even if it loses its form as an actuality with an a priori claim.32

Schindler draws out an insidious connection between the potentializing of a given reality and its functionalization: as a feature of its being negative, the diabolical subject refashions the object, through the subtraction, into something measurable in terms of power. Whereas Balthasar saw the subject’s perfection resting firmly in its readiness before the object (“The more of the truth the subject manages to master, the more the truth overmasters it”),33 the diabolical fosters mutual exclusivity, thereby transforming “expectant readiness” into eviction, and accomplishes transformation through subtraction.

Mimicry follows as a third distinguishing feature. The diabolical succeeds in communicating everything except for the truth, “everything but the internal essence, that is, everything but the reality in itself qua real.”34 The emphasis shifts entirely––while calling itself an improvement––from the genuine communication of form to the appearance of superiority. This denial of the authentic communication of form takes its shape as efficiency and convenience: “When everything is communicated except for the internal essence…there is no presence of a distinct center to which the recipient ecstatically conforms itself; there is no abiding substance that makes an ongoing demand on the one who binds himself to it.”35 What is communicated can only be accidental while in the mode of parasitism. Again, the subject’s according to itself all the qualities present in a given reality except for the essence of being renders the object as no longer measure, but measured and measurable.36 Such a transformation loads the subject with performative contradictions: “Reality in the diabolical order is both easy and impossible, the subject is simultaneously full of presumptuous self-confidence and radically insecure. The diabolical points in both directions at the same time. And all of this is the result of its communicating everything but the essential sense of things, their intrinsically abiding actual meaning.”37

Further fall out of the diabolical, in terms of the subject, is its re-ordering of the individual’s relationship to a given reality. The diminution of receptivity and integral relationship into subjective perception and power detaches the subject from reality. This detachment is not the same transcendence present in “expectant readiness,” but is instead a pseudotranscendence, transforming Ignatian indifference into impersonal supra-individuality. Schindler claims that this transformation typically incarnates in a mechanistic way, as a system. One could characterize this feature of the diabolical as the ontological undermining of personal relations. This sort of system “is a configuration of pieces [the only thing that objects can possibly be] that acquires a certain intrinsic logic that makes it operate, as it were, with a mind of its own––much like a disease, for example, which is a kind of paradigm of a disorder.”38 Systematization of this sort infects the whole of reality with the diabolic; those who fall victim to its increasingly omnipresent forces are even robbed of the hopeful possibilities of the future, “a translation of eternity into its possibilistic, horizontally contained, image: it is not a self-transcendence, but a constant repetition of self into the future without meaningful limit, or in other words without the limit of meaning.”39 The diabolical therefore gives rise to a sort of absolute disenchantment in its reversal of the priority of act to potency. Future is rendered as progress, removing its status as “salvation history.” Subjects are made instruments in the name of being “self-made,” “masters of their own domain.” “Because the diabolical is about separation rather than unity, and about appearances rather than intrinsic reality, it is not essentially, but only accidentally, constrained by time and space.”40 The fallout with regard to the human subject is his transformation, by way of a sort of de-incarnation, into a dualistic Cartesian subject: “There is, thus, a simultaneous omnipotence and impotence; in one’s unbounded activity, one remains a cog in a comprehensive machine, but without any of the intimacy of participation. In this respect, the individuals are, each of them, ghosts in the machine, disembodied members of a corporation without a corpus.”41

Schindler marks a fifth feature specifically in his consideration of the status of the human subject with regard to the anti-incarnational aspect of the diabolical. Symptomatic of the diabolical is the subject’s purported involvement––maximized agency––while what also occurs is an abrogation “of what is essential in the recipient subject.”

A real center makes contact with a real center; this is the communication of being that occurs in the symbolical. But if the reality is only imitated, in such a way that what is communicated is precisely separate from the essential, original, and originating center, then it, so to speak, calls on nothing more than the surfaces of the subject for its appropriation. The subject is involved in every way but essentially; his center is removed from this relationship. In other words, he loses his soul.42

The diabolical in effect tells the human subject that he can possess himself most fully by involving him maximally in his world as a power-ful agent. This marks denial of what, for Balthasar, was the real truth of the creature, namely, “not so much the possession of the absolute truth as the readiness to receive it again and again. Again and again, it receives its self-consciousness by proceeding from its indifferent attentiveness to possible truth to the active service of the truth of the world.”43 Instead, we might say, active service of the world is flipped on its head, becoming the absolute servitude of the world which, in its very reversal of its true ordination, robs man of his dignity, of what is the hidden source of life within him: his obedient disponibility (potentia oboedientialis).

Schindler summarizes all of the above in a sixth feature he terms “self-subversion.” The diabolical, he says, is constituted by contradiction.

The diabolical presents as essential what it simultaneously denies or renders impossible, so that we could say that it is the very essence of the diabolical, ontologically considered, to make “empty promises.”… The essential per-versity of the diabolical comes perhaps most intensely to light in the fact that it is, so to speak, precisely the nature of the diabolical to present just itself as the solution to the problem that it itself generates. The absence of the reality that is imitated, which is precisely what draws one to the imitation, is fulfilled by the absence of the reality that is imitated. The need is therefore satisfied, if at all, only in appearance, which means in reality that it is deepened and intensified, but what the need relentlessly demands is more of the same problem.43

The conclusive force of this observation draws a particularly striking contrast between the symbolical truth of the world presented by Balthasar, and the diabolical turn of things as recounted by Schindler. It is a matter of inexhaustible depth rendered in terms of a negative infinity, an infinity no longer actually inexhaustible but merely possibly never-ending. The subject, in the name of freedom (the sort of metaphysical hobby-horse of the diabolical), is given the “power” to maximize his own being in a reversal of order that renders the object into his subject. This, concurrently, robs the subject of the vital force defining his dignity––active receptivity to the other, reality, God––and instead mechanizes the entire cosmos by the same fell swoop with which it convinces the subject that success within the system is the key to the problem which gnaws at him from within: an inexplicable hunger for the communication of a form he can no longer see. Having nullified the possibility of a restless rest in the bosom of God, the subject is left in a sort of hopeless paralysis, a resting restlessness.

But hope is not lost, especially not for Balthasar. The grace of God is yet present in reality, and the gaze of God’s mercy remains the most vital force in the cosmos:

Only the creative image of love is able to measure the object with the measure, and hold before it the mirror, that contains its definitive and, therefore, objective truth. This is because even the gaze with which God looks upon his creatures is not only the judging gaze of justice but also the loving gaze of mercy.45
  1. Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Grain of Wheat: Aphorisms (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1995), 21.
  2. Balthasar calls man “anima technica vacua,” an empty, technological soul in his Epilogue (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 11.
  3. Hans Urs von Balthasar, Theo-Logic: Theological Logical Theory, volume I: Truth of the World (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), 16. Hereafter, TL I. 
  4. We will be expanding upon Weber’s original meaning of the term, as used in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism [trans. Stephen Kalberg, (Oxford University Pres, 2011)], 120: “The absolute disappearance of all aids to salvation through the church and the sacraments constituted an absolutely decisive contrast to Catholicism. And in Lutheranism this development had not been carried out in a fully consistent manner. That overarching process in the history of religion––the elimination of magic from the world’s occurrences (Entzauberung der Welt)––found here, with the doctrine of predestination, its final stage. This development, which began with the prophecy of ancient Judaism in the Old Testament, rejected, in conjunction with Greek scientific thought, all magical means for the salvation quest as superstition and sacrilege. Event at funerals the genuine Puritan scorned every trace of magical ceremony…in order to prevent the appearance of “superstition” in any form…There were not only no magical means that would turn God’s grace toward believers he had decided to condemn, but no means of any kind.”
  5. David L. Schindler, “On ‘Disenchantment,’ Work, and Leisure” in Humanum: Issues in Family, Culture & Science (2017, issue 3), p. 2.
  6. Balthasar’s epistemology here explicates – in a manner we can only feebly gesture toward in the present context – Aquinas’s response to the question of whether there is power in God (at De Potentia Dei, I, 1 co.): “Being denotes something complete and simple, yet non-subsistent” [Esse significat aliquid completum et simplex, sed non subsistens].
  7. Ibid.
  8. De Pot. 7.2, ad 9. 
  9. De Pot. 7.2, ad 7: “esse non est subsistens sed inhaerens.”
  10. Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics IV: The Realm of Metaphysics in Antiquity (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989), p. 404.
  11. Ibid.
  12. TL I, 38.
  13. TL I, 39.
  14. Ibid.
  15. TL I, 40.
  16. TL I, 40–41.
  17. TL I, 43.
  18. Ibid.
  19. TL I, 44.
  20. TL I, 45.
  21. TL I, 47. Including “apperception” at this point is, surely, meant to redeem that term from the way it was used by Immanuel Kant: apperception is no longer a denial of the real unity of subject and object in cognition. Kant confuses something basic in his conception of being: for him, the noumena, the unknowable thing-in-itself is unknowable tout court. Balthasar, on the other hand, does not mistakenly identify inexhaustibility and transcendence with sheer unknowability. There does not appear be to a sense of “already-but-not-yet-fully-because-inexhaustibly-generous” in Kant’s understanding of cognition. This whole section of Balthasar’s text is an implicit refutation of Kant’s critique of pure reason.
  22. Ibid.
  23. TL I, 48–49.
  24. TL I, 49.
  25. Ibid.
  26. TL I, 51.
  27. D.C. Schindler, Freedom From Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 2017). Hereafter, DCS. 
  28. DCS, 158.
  29. DCS, 159.
  30. Ibid.
  31. DCS, 160.
  32. Ibid.
  33. TL I, 50.
  34. DCS, 161.
  35. DCS, 163.
  36. Cf. Joseph Ratzinger’s Introduction to Christianity (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), pp. 57–74 on the historical development of this phenomenon with respect to modern philosophy: the transformation of the Scholastic idiom “verum est ens” into “verum quia faciendum.”
  37. DCS, 163–64.
  38. DCS, 164.
  39. DCS, 165. The late Robert Spaemann makes a similar argument in his “The End of Modernity? (1988)” in A Robert Spaemann Reader: Philosophical Essays on Nature, God, and the Human Person, eds. D.C. and Jeanne Schindler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 211–29.
  40. DCS, 166.
  41. DCS, 167.
  42. Ibid.
  43. TL I, 53.
  44. DCS, 170.
  45. TL I, 78.

Daniel Drain is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, DC. He is writing a dissertation on von Balthasar's understanding of freedom within his theology of redemption, with particular attention given to his treatment of Christ's descent into hell on Holy Saturday. He works full-time as a Director of Religious Education in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and teaches courses as an adjunct in the Department of Philosophy and Theology at DeSales University. Daniel lives in Souderton, Pennsylvania with his wife, Mary Colleen, and their dog, Midge.