Only he who has left the anxiety of sin behind attains the fullness of faith and thus true indifference, and the entry into the realm of complete truth is unconditional joy, consolation, overwhelming light. When God bestows Christian suffering, including Christian anxiety, it is, viewed from his perspective, fundamentally an intensification of light and of joy, a “darkness bright as day,” because it is suffering out of joy, anxiety out of exultation: it is a sign of God’s ever-greater confidence in the one who believes. And what experientially seems constricting and frightening to the believer is in truth enlarging, a fruitful dilatatio of the birth canal, an interior trembling that expands faith, hope, and love. Even if subjectively it were mortal terror, objectively it is greater blessedness, a participation in the everlasting trinitarian ecstasy.
Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Christian and Anxiety, pp. 147-148.