Distributed Like Bread: Hans Urs von Balthasar Speaks to Seminarians

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Distributed Like Bread: Hans Urs von Balthasar Speaks to Seminarians

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Description: This book examines the life and writings of the theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar as they relate to priesthood. For Balthasar, a priest should make himself unreservedly available to be put in the service of God. The priest should aspire to be as common and as humble as bread, which is available to be blessed, broken, and distributed. Yet, through that availability, the bread, as well as the priest, becomes the hidden matter in which God Himself becomes present to the world and the world becomes present to God.


Author Bios:

Jonathan Martin Ciraulo is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana. He is the author of The Eucharistic Form of God: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Sacramental Theology.



“Balthasar has much to say about the priesthood, especially its path of crucified-eucharistic love he himself experienced both as a Jesuit and as a diocesan priest. Professor Ciraulo offers an engaging and penetrating reflection on this great theologian’s central insights to inspire and encourage priestly renewal today. This little book is a gem.”

Monsignor John Cihak, STD
Pastor, Christ the King Parish
Milwaukie, Oregon

“This masterful new text is a succinct, yet profound, summary of Balthasar’s theology of the priesthood. And given the recent scandals in the Church surrounding the priesthood, it carries an urgent message. The book is a clarion call to avoid the mediocrity of halfway measures and for all priests to pursue the evangelical counsels. The author also argues for priestly celibacy to be understood not as ‘an’ eschatological sign, but ‘the’ eschatological sign. I cannot recommend this text more highly for anyone discerning the call of Christ.”

Larry Chapp, PhD
Retired Professor of Theology, DeSales University, Center Valley, Pennsylvania
Owner of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm, Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania


“Ciraulo’s book masterfully expresses the often bewildering thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar to communicate the true nature of the priesthood—the enduring presence in the world of Christ’s kenotic love on the Cross. This is a beautiful book for anyone looking to rediscover the gift of the priesthood, a gift given from Christ’s own heart.”

Father Christopher J. Seith
Director of Spiritual Formation, St. John Paul II Seminary
Washington, DC


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