Saturday, August 16, 2014

Realism Through Faith

The following is a major insight to understand the depths of the realism of Vatican II concerning Christ and the human person

From Romano Guardini’s “The Lord”[1]

“The life of faith demands a revolution in our sense of reality. In our consciousness, which is not only entangled, but completely befuddled by the world, the body is more ‘real’ than the soul; electricity more real than thought; power more real than love; utility more real than truth. Together they form ‘the world’ – incomparably more real than God. How difficult it is even in prayer to sense the reality of God! How difficult, and how seldom given us, the grace of contemplation in which Christ is more tangibly, powerfully present than the things of existence! And then to rise, to mix with people, perform the duties of the day, feel the rug of environment and public life and still to say, God is more real than all this, Christ more powerful, to say this spontaneously, absolutely convinced that it is so, how many can do this?
                “Living in faith, working in faith, practicing faith – that is what counts. Daily, earnest exercise of faith is what alters our sense of reality; Experience of genuine reality must be our aim. But that is auto-suggestion, someone objects. To this there is not much that can be said, little more than: You say that because you stand outside the experience. It is true that in the reforming of the consciousness all means of self-renewal are effective; nevertheless, it is not so much the technique that counts, as the actual result of that renewal. Enter into faith, and you will see clearly what it we are striving for. And you will no longer talk of auto-suggestion, but of the service of faith and its bitterly needed daily exercise.
                “Such exercises are not easy. Those are rare hours in which eye is lost in eye(?), and the circuit of power looping between God and man is complete. Usually our unrest is stronger than Christ’s paling features. Usually the water does not seem to bear our weight, and Christ’s word that it does, sounds like pious symbolism. What happened to Peter in that hour [walking toward Christ over the water] happens daily in every Christian life. For to count for nothing the things the world holds dear, and for  all-import ant what the world counts for nothing - simply on the word of Christ; to be contradicted again and again  by those around us and by our own hearts within us, yet to stand fast, that is no easier than Peter’s waling on the waves.

[1] Romano Guardini. The Lord Gateway (1996) 232-233.

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