Water and Spirit

Meditations on Saint John's Gospel 1:19 to 5:47

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Following up her book, THE WORD: A Meditation on the Prologue of St. John's Gospel, this beautiful work by the mystic Adrienne von Speyr continues these meditations to the end of chapter five.

Von Speyr reflects deeply on the text, taking it sentence by sentence, but this precise adherence to the words is developed into a much broader picture. The meditations are confluent with the scenes and themes of the Gospel itself, and perhaps the most characteristic note of her meditations is determined by the author's use of the whole imagery of St. John to convey his thought.

The result is that her thought is not presented to us in a language of abstraction but retains the living, moving and dramatic quality of the original language from the Gospel. In these meditations the imagery of St. John is everywhere seen as leading into eternal life, and that life as beginning here and now.

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 Handmaid of the Lord, Man before God, Confession, and her commentaries on the Gospel of Saint John.

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“Just as her own life was shaken by this explosion of truth and love, von Speyr wants God to shock u sout of the daily grind until our hearts are converted by the mystery that his Word reveals. Her insights challenge us to be vulnerable to the Light that shines in the darkness and to believe in Love's definitive triumph in our lives.”—Anthony L. Lilles, Ph.D., Academic Dean, St. Patrick's Seminary

“ 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.”— Fr. Donald Calloway, M.I.C., Author, Champions of the Rosary

“Adrienne von Speyr is like our spiritual Hubble Telescope revealing to us glimpses, never before imagined, of the ‘ light which came into this world”— Kris McGregor, Founder-Executive Director, Discerning Hearts 

“ These meditations on 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 to the Father in the Holy Spirit.”— Adrian Walker, Ph.D., Visiting Associate Professor of Theology, Catholic University of America

“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.”— Jacques Servais, S.J., Director, Casa Balthasar, Rome

“ 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 Saint Matthew's Gospel

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