The Word

A Meditation on the Prologue to Saint John's Gospel

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Von Speyr's book does not lend itself to any classification that I can think of. It is not dogmatic theology; still less is it exegesis…. There is nothing to do but to submit oneself to it; if the reader emerges without having been crushed by it, he will find himself strengthened and exhilarated by a new experience of Christian sensibility.
T.S. Eliot

Adrienne von Speyr wrote an acclaimed four-volume series of meditations on Saint John’s Gospel, and this volume presents her reflections on the Prologue (1:1–18). Her insights embrace the whole Christian revelation as well as its acceptance and rejection by men.

This work is a spiritual meditation of the highest quality, the fruit of prayer, discernment, and communion with the sacramental life of the Church. It provides rich nourishment for both theological reflection and contemplation.

Adrienne Von Speyr

Adrienne von Speyr (1902–1967) was a Swiss medical doctor, a convert to Catholicism, a mystic, and an author of more than sixty books on spirituality and theology. She collaborated closely with theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, her confessor for twenty-seven years, and together they founded the Community of Saint John. Among her most important works are Book of All Saints, Confession, The World of Prayer, Handmaid of the Lord, and The Passion from Within.

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"Adrienne von Speyr is like our spiritual Hubble Telescope revealing to us glimpses, never before imagined, of the 'light which came into this world'. Reading the Gospel according to John with the help of her penetrating gaze, we discover that what we thought were mere stars are entire galaxies."
— Kris McGregor, Founder/Executive Director, Discerning Heart

"Adrienne von Speyr is a theological genius. Her insights into the Prologue of John's Gospel are edifying and fascinating. The insightfulness of her commentary emanates from the depths of her mystical union with God, her pious sacramental life, and her tremendous love of God's Word. She may not be a biblical scholar in the academic sense, yet her mystical insights are on par with the greatest scripture scholars.  This book proves it!"
— Fr. Donald Calloway, M.I.C
, Author, Champions of the Rosary

"These meditations on the Prologue of Saint John's Gospel are at once sublime and practical, mystical and concrete. They unlock the depths of the sacred text for those willing to encounter it on its own terms as an inexhaustible spring of living water, an ever-fresh self-disclosure of the incarnate Word who reveals the Father in the Holy Spirit."
Adrian Walker, Ph.D., Visiting Associate Professor of Theology, Catholic University of America

"Adrienne von Speyr offers us rich nourishment for both theological reflection and contemplative prayer.  While never leaving the sacred text behind, she has a unique gift for opening up to us aspects of God's Word that are perhaps not readily apparent and yet turn out to be its very essence.  With ecstatic insights that leave her reader slack-jawed before the Mystery, she combines sober formulations that we can take away with us after the moment of illumination has subsided, as sustaining food for the journey.  Always orthodox but never conventional, always soul-stirring but never sentimental, always relevant but never faddish, this book-length meditation will transport you straight to the Heart of the Word resting on his Father's bosom."
Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Ph.D.,Author, Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on St. Matthew's Gospel

"The Prologue of John is a hymn to Christ, the divine Word, that no systematic theology will ever be able to explain exhaustively. Only the Spirit allows one to grasp it from within. With an attitude of faithful, humble openness to the divine Teacher, Von Speyr guides us into the inexhaustible depths of the Word Made Flesh, into the sacraments, where the Son of God—Creator, Life, and Light—presents us with himself in order to make us children of God. This contemplative commentary is one of a kind. It manages to put us into immediate contact with this Word in whom we are called to live, for this Word is indeed alive within the holy Church."
— Jacques Servais, S.J.
, Director, Casa Balthasar, Rome