Filtering by Category: Jacques Servais

jacques servais - scholars of adrienne series

Padre Servais 24 2 2017.JPG

As we enter even deeper into this series of scholars of Adrienne series with the first and second, let’s enter into this new and special scholar.

I would like to introduce probably the one scholar who has been the most present spiritually to the movement of Adrienne in the Church. Please meet this wonderful scholar, Fr. Jacques Servais, S.J.. In spiritual, academic, and ecclesial works, Fr. Servais, a Jesuit with the highest academic credentials, has grown the significance of the spirituality of Adrienne, especially for young adult men through his Casa Balthasar and his new endeavors with the Accademia Balthasar. While I have not yet met Fr. Servais in person (we came close when I visited Rome in 2005), I have met several people touched by him, such as Fr. Justin Matro, O.S.B. and Nicolas Faguer. These good men presented the goodness of Fr. Servais. I am so thankful and I know you will be when you begin to enter his scholarship and ecclesial mission. Enjoy!


  • “Should We Engage Ourselves in the World or Make Ourselves Indifferent to All Things?,” Communio: International Catholic Review 32(2005):430–51
  • “The Evangelical Counsels and the Total Gift of Self,” Communio: International Catholic Review 31(2004):362–78
  • “Finding God in All Things,” Communio: International Catholic Review 30(2003):209–81
  • “Mary’s Role in the Incarnation,” Communio: International Catholic Review 30(2003):209–81
  • “La Dottrina teologico-spirituale della Preghiera secondo Adrienne von Speyr,” in I Quattro Universi di Discorso: Atti del Congresso internazionale Orationis Millenium. June 24–30, 2000 at the Cura di Giuseppe de Gennaro, L’Aquila (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2002)
  • “Freedom as Christ’s Gift to Man in the Thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar,” Communio: International Catholic Review 29(2002):556–78
  • “A Response from Jacques Servais,” New Oxford Review (September 2002):36–42
  • “Per una Valutazione dell’influsso di Adrienne von Speyr su Hans Urs von Balthasar,” presented at the XIV Colloquio Internazionale di Teologia, May 25–26, 2000, in Rivista Teologica di Lugano 6(2001):67–88
  • “Per una valutazione dell’influsso di Adrienne von Speyr su Hans Urs von Balthasar,” Rivista teologica di Lugano 6(2001):67-89
  • “Confession as a Sacrament of the Father of Mercy According to Adrienne von Speyr,” Communio 26(1999):343-57
  • “La Confession, Sacrament du Père de Miséricorde selon Adrienne von Speyr,” Communio: Revue Catholique Internationale 23–24(1998/99):103–118
  • “The Lay Vocation in the World according to Hans Urs von Balthasar,” Communio: International Catholic Review 23(1996):656–76
  • “The Ressourcement of Contemporary Spirituality under the Guidance of Adrienne von Speyr and Hans Urs von Balthasar,” trans David Louis Schindler, Jr. Communio 23(1996):300-321
  • “Ressourcement de la vie spirituelle aujourd’hui sous la conduite d’Adrienne von Speyr et de Hans Urs von Balthasar,” in Vermittlung als Auftrag: Vorträge am Symposion zum 90. Geburtstag von Hans Urs von Balthasar 27.–29. September 1995 in Fribourg (Schweiz), ed. Hans Urs von Balthasar Stiftung. (Freiburg im Breisgau: Johannes Verlag Einsiedeln, 1995)
  • “Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Continuing Youthfulness of the Exercises,” Communio: International Catholic Review 21(1994):331–43
  • “The Community of St. John,” trans. Michael Waldstein, Communio 19(1992):208-19
  • “Adrienne von Speyr, l’inspiratrice méconnue,” France catholique (November 8, 1991):17–18

book review: to the heart of the mystery of redemption

A new Hans Urs von Balthsar book is out that includes a few selections from Adrienne von Speyr (emphasis on a few).

To the Heart of the Mystery of Redemption (THMR), which you can find here, is actually a book of four authors in one. The shortest contribution comes from von Speyr.

To see von Speyr in print is always good (let us remember the Speyrian phrase “always more”). This book is actually a sketch of von Balthasar’s soteriology with a long essay from Jacques Servais, S.J., a scholar of von Balthasar and von Speyr as well as the director of the Casa Balthasar.

Henri de LubacHenri de Lubac, teacher and friend to von Balthasar compiled the original collection, which were two conferences von Balthasar gave to priests in Paris. After these conferences there are seven one-page selections from von Speyr, mostly from Objectiv Mystik and Passion nach Matthaeus. It is fascinating that de Lubac would have included von Speyr in this collection. In the introduction, he says that “there is no better initiation into this mystery than the experience received from the mystics, who are no more lacking to the present generation than to earlier ones” and this why von Speyr’s selections were added because “They will introduce the reader into that participation in the mystery of the redemption” (p. 12). I have always wondered about de Lubac’s understanding of von Speyr. Now we know more.

Fr. Servais was responsible for releasing the book again in French and included with it his essay on Balthasar’s soteriology from 2005. The book has now come to us in English by the translating work of Anne Englund Nash. This book has actually been touched by many hands.

Immer mehr (always more) Adrienne is good. Yet, this book gives us very, very little. True, these are words not yet read by English-only readers of von Speyr. But, after the bold release of Book of All Saints (Nachlassbaende vol. 1), this is disappointing to von Speyr readers.

Let me be clear. The book is not a disappointment. Von Balthasar is at his most highly associative in these conferences. You see his mind at work as he leads you through multiple sources in order to provide you with an elevated ground to consider the whole landscape of soteriology in the modern age. Even though you will need some background in von Balthasar to work through his thoughts here, he is always worth reading.

Still … (how to say this gently) … the English-speaking world needs more substantive von Speyr than this book. What about offering these: Subjective Mystik, Objective Mystik, Markus, and the very important Apokalypse (her commentary on the Book of Revelation)? When the English theological world reads these, Speyrian theology will really blossom.

Yes, read THMR if you are interested in de Lubac, von Balthasar, or Servais. You should know, it is not required reading for those interested in von Speyr. Instead, pick up John, Confession, Handmaid of the Lord, or Book of All Saints. Better yet, read her auf Deutsch. Sie werden nicht enttäuscht sein.

Here is a brief exerpt from von Speyr’s commentary on Matthew 5:39 in Bergpredigt:

“On the Cross the Lord does not show merely that he allows his grace to flow visibly over all … but he also shows that he can make use of all they have accomplished for him. And thus that he does not suffer his Passion simply for sins, but that he is in a mysterious compassion with all believers. … He assumes all the trials of their faith, of their suffering, and of their availability and opens wide to them the grace that flows from the Cross” (THMR, p. 78).

Immer mehr, please.