The revitalization of a great master
The revitalization of a great master

Man is essentially in dialogue... Spiritual life is essentially done in the language

Author: Alfonso López Quintás | Source:

The revitalization of a great master 
The revitalization of a great master 
For a few years, we have been experiencing an event of greater cultural and religious interest: the revitalization of the figure of this high-style pedagogue who was Romano Guardini.

With the energy and the light that his classes, homilies, and books had several generations opened with astonishment to the analysis of great philosophers and writers, they discovered the singular emotion of the liturgical life; they entered marveled at the deeper in the personality of Jesus. 
For the new generations to be able to live this transformative experience, several of his most significant works have been published in Spanish, including two posthumous ones: The Magna Ethic (BAC) and The Existence of the Christian (BAC). It is already a fortune that thousands of people, hard to gain a level of spiritual excellence, can read the memorable pages in which Guardini reveals to us, with his admirable style, the deep sense of joy, the ascending character of all stages of life, including senescence, the spiritual elevation experienced by believers in praying, i.e., "as we go to God with all the soul." But nowadays, this gift is greatly increased, because we know the author's intimacy – thanks to the posthumous edition of autobiographical writings – and we can read his works with greater intellectual depth and more intensity of feeling. 
Today we know that Guardini lived in a continual search, and through difficulties of all orders – renunciations, illnesses, even open persecutions by National Socialism – proclaimed a persuasive style of thinking and expressing himself. I wanted to translate this exemplary in the works Romano Guardini, Master of Life (ed. Word) and The True Image of Romano Guardini (EUNSA), as well as in the introductions to eight works of Guardini published lately. It highlights the lucidity with which the master of Verona, after a brief departure from the faith in the youth, returned to the religious practice by the presentiment that it beats superhuman greatness in the pages of the gospel. The energy that houses the phrase – seemingly paradoxical –: "He who keeps his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for me will gain it" (Mt 10, 39), prompted him to immerse himself in the realm of the Christian mystery. His later life was an anxious search for the truth.
The truth of human life, in all its facets, knows how to make it shine in paragraphs of a lucid expressiveness. "Man needs prayer to remain spiritually healthy — he writes in the beautiful introduction to The Life of Prayer (ed. Word)." But prayer can only spring from a living faith. And faith, in its turn, can only be alive if it is prayed... In the long run, you cannot believe without praying, as you cannot live without breathing. Praying is stopping to talk to God so that the power of God may enter our soul. ' 
In the Lord (ed. Christendom) makes us live Guardini in an impressive way the space of open presence between men and God by the Holy Spirit: «When Jesus left the realm of visible and historical existence, he forms, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, the new Christian sphere: the inner life of the believers and the Church, mutually linked and united». Ethics helps us to discover for ourselves that "the knowledge of good is a cause for joy", and that «the life of the spirit is realized in its relation with the truth, with the good and with the sacred... Only in the realization of the truth does the person reach its meaning, because it is referred by nature to the truth. It exists for truth, as a permanent possibility to carry it out. " 
In Letters about the Formation of Oneself (ed. Word), Guardini makes us see to what heights the daily life can arise when we give the due quality to our attitudes: «We must try that our heart is joyful. Not funny, this is something else. Being funny is something external, makes noise and disappears quickly. But joy lives inside, quietly, and deep roots. " 
The booklet Who knows about God knows man (PPC) offers us the key to Guardini's anthropological thinking: "Man knows who he is to the extent that he understands himself from God." The goal of all Guardini's production was to discover the greatness that man acquires by living linked to God. The man is great when he is restless until he rests on the creator from which he comes. Before entering into a coma, Guardini recited, for an hour, the sentence of St. Augustine: "You have made us, Lord, for You and our heart is restless until it rests in You."
In World and Person (ed. Encuentro) he exposes, in a precise way, its relational idea of the person. Here it is the ontological fact that a person cannot be given alone... Man is essentially in dialogue... Spiritual life is essentially done in the language. “This is not "a means by which events are communicated; it is the realm of meaning in which every man lives.” 
Contrast (BAC), Guardini's most academic work marks the measure and rhythm of all his writings, as he lays the foundations of his relational thinking, which tends to see how as contrasts that complement certain realities – or certain aspects of them – that seems to be opposite when it is not acted creatively. The secret of the eminently positive character of Guardini's thinking is to have discovered early that, when we live creatively, we notice that freedom and norms, independence and solidarity, personal identity and openness to the environment... they are complementary aspects of life, not contradictory. 
In the Existence of the Christian, Guardini reveals the vital value of dogmas. The description of the sense of earthly paradise surprises by the light that casts on the depths of our lives. "Paradise is lost forever. It cannot be conquered again. This fact is suddenly the character of the loss of fullness of values to which we will never be resigned, with everything that carries with it deprivation and sadness. But it also has the character of guilt. Paradise was lost because a man betrayed God's trust. " 
Guardini was an exemplary witness of the truth in a time of special tribulation. His intellectual legacy can help us to clarify our existence at this agitated moment we live.

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