Von Balthasar is criticized for lacking a political dimension in his theological aesthetics. While overtly that may be the case, I have a strong suspicion to the contrary at a deeper reading or implied in VB’s work — strong enough work out an aesthetic interruption. In an endeavor to avoid ideological pragmatism’s successful failure, the transcendentals — the true, the good, and the beautiful — seem another way to inform what constitutes the interruption. In short, I’m constructing a foundational essay for me: I’m combining Metz (interruption and anamnesis) and Balthasar (seizing form, grasping, measurement, and contemplation). If you’re in doubt of such an endeavor, simply look at the quotes below from merely my reading today (the rest of volume one is filled with such statements with political implications).
By becoming man, God does not speak to himself; he speaks to the world. Christ is this speech of God which addresses itself to us all. We are addressed not only from outside, but are affected in our very selves, in our intimate nature; and, in so far as Christ is our brother and has responded to God from within our own nature, all of us have already responded with him. By the Incarnation we have been transferred into the sphere of the dialogical, out of the sphere of sin which is the monological, out into the ‘marvellous light’ of the Word. We already participate in the sphere where things are fundamentally right and attuned and where, therefore, if we so will it, things can be similarly right for us as well. With the appearance of Christ, the Church is already posited: that is to say, his appearance is the measure which God applies to the world, the measure which God has already communicated to the world, bestowed on the world, as a measure of grace and not of judgment, as a freely conferred measure which no one can arrogate to himself but which is given in such a way that anyone so desiring can take it to himself.
… Christian contemplation is the opposite of distanced consideration of an image: as Paul says, it is the metamorphosis of the beholder into the image he beholds (2 Cor 3.18), the ‘realisation’ of what the image expresses (Newman). This is possible only by giving up one’s standards and being assimilated to the dimensions of the image. Christian life is not a second movement subsequent to contemplation, a practical corollary to theoria. For theoria can occur only as we spread out our existence under the image offered by God, which has shone within our darkness as God’s light (2 Cor 4.6). The image unfolds into the one contemplating it, and it opens out its consequences in his life. … The image unfolds into the one contemplating it, and it opens out its consequences in his life.
The Glory of the Lord Vol. 1, 478, 485.