Only a while ago you still knelt at the empty grave, a sea of tears. And all you knew was that the Lord was dead, that the life of quiet joy you shared was dead. You only stare into the void of the cave. A cold and chilly wind is exhaled from your soul, where the dead man laid himself to rest, where you embalmed and shrouded him with an awe that no longer expects anything.
You want to be in attendance at his grave. You don’t cease praying or going to empty ceremonies in churches to perform a hopeless service for your dead love. And oh, what is now the meaning of resurrection? Who can know it from among those who have not themselves risen from the dead?
What is now the meaning of faith? It has been sealed within the grave. What is now the meaning of hope? A leaden thought with neither power nor yearning. And love? Alas, perhaps it is now no more than sorrow, the empty pain of disconsolate futility, the weariness that can no longer mourn.
And you stare into the void. For in fact: the grave is empty, you yourself empty, and are therefore, already pure, and only this staring spasm keeps you from looking behind you. You stare ahead of you, and behind your back stands Life! It calls to you, you turn around and cannot recognize it. Yours eyes unused to light, can grasp nothing. And then an abrupt word: your name! Your own dear name coming from the mouth of Love: your being, your very essence — yourself! — bounding from the mouth thought dead…
O word, O name, you, my own name! Spoken to me, breathed forth with a smile and a promise. O stream of light, O faith, hope, love! In a thunderclap I am the new creature (this I am, can be, am allowed to be). I am given back to myself, and then, at the very instant when I shout for joy, I cast myself down at the feet of Life.
— Hans Urs von Balthasar