Monday, May 11, 2015

The Lord by Romano Guardini

The LordThe Lord by Romano Guardini
That Jesus’ task “is consummated” must be true, because he says so (John 19:30). Yet what a spectacle of failure! His word rejected, his message misunderstood, his commands ignored. None the less, his appointed task is accomplished, through obedience to the death—that obedience whose purity counterbalances the sins of a world. That Jesus delivered his message is what counts—not the world’s reaction; and once proclaimed, that message can never be silenced, but will knock on men’s hearts to the last day.
How does one adequately review this magnificent book? I'm not really up to the task.

Romano Guardini set out to explore the life and words of Jesus in the gospels. He has a clarity and depth that often turns our view upside down to show the deep meaning of Jesus' words and actions. All this is done with a completely reverent viewpoint that never leaves Catholic teachings but yet shows us something new and startling.
Such then the Firstborn of all creation. In him may be found the prototypes of all forms, beings, values. As white light contains all colors, the Word virtually contains everything distributed over the breadth of the universe, the length of time, the depths of intelligence, the peaks of the ideal. Christ is the creative hand of the Father into which are graven the lines of the world's destinies from the beginning on. Each line or thread is separate, yet together they compose the universal tapestry whose forms go back to him, the Weaver. In his hand lie also the decisions of grace, the impenetrable warp and weft of sacred history with its revelations, its prophecies and warnings, the infinite fabric of that which is to cooperate for the good of those who love God. What a thought!

Bearing all this within him, that same Christ entered into history, loved and died in the narrow confines of a human life. ...
It is the book that delved into the Beatitudes in such a way that I finally related to them. It opened up the Book of the Revelation in such a way that moved the symbolism into how Christians live and strive to know Christ better. It left me knowing more about Christ, with a sense of excitement and inspiration about the Church and being Christian, and more insight into the eternal.

That's a lot to ask but I now understand why this book was considered personally important into forming both Pope Benedict's and Pope Francis's Catholic foundations. If one wonders how two such different-seeming popes can have one book so much in common (aside from the Bible, of course), then it begins to give a feel for the depth and breadth of this work.

I began this in Lent and am finishing close to the end of the Easter season which is very fitting. Most of the chapters were 4-5 pages and those were rich enough that they fueled my thoughts for the day. Thus it makes a perfect devotional.

NOTE: I can recommend this book to any Christians, not just Catholics.

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