The impression given by the world about itself – what we see in our personal life as well as through the realm of history – does not prompt us to see the action of God’s redeeming love. In general, the world is indifferent, and often malicious; sometimes, we may feel that it is run by a cold cruelty. This is the moment to cling firmly to the hidden love of God, to introduce the world into this love through faith. This is not a question of unrealistic ideas or illusions, which produce skepticism or deception. It simply means that, in spite of all appearances, our faith gives us the victory through a deeper truth.
Thus, faith, built upon love, takes the first step forward ; the second being for each one of us to accept the world as it introduces itself to us exactly where we are. Easier said than done, for our existence does not help us in accepting it easily, in fact, it even makes it very difficult for many people. Here, we have to be very aware that we are not speaking about utopias. We can neither call right what is wrong nor say that suffering is a delight; injustice, violence and falsehood forbid us to say that all is well in the world. Some are persuaded that it is enough to look at the world with the right gaze and to grapple with their difficulties with courage to make everything turn out right. Those who say so bring more harm than they know. If they have an agenda to follow, we can only speak of foolishness or treachery. Convinced optimists are dangerous as well, for they distort the perspective of those who hear them. They themselves usually have an unfortunate destiny, for life crushes them and makes of them disappointed and embittered persons.
It is not so here – for it would be against truth itself – here is truth: truth of the heart, truth in which a clearheaded way of seeing things, openness, and courageous trust come together. Truth means that we should not start with a “no” toward existence, but with a “yes”, which is a deeply positive, affirming position taken in regards to what is real, toward the work of the Creator. Behaving thus is a real and free act, because it overcomes the appearances of the world. It penetrates unto the origin, unto God’s disposition, which is love – the original love, the only love through which every other love is possible. We know that the world is not good the way it is now, but that God willed it good. Our fault, the fault of humanity, introduced disorder in it, but God put it back again into our hands in order for it to become good again. This will happen neither through an idealistic blindness, nor through the agenda of perfectionists, but through trust and faithfulness, through all the sufferings that come out of the disorder, and in a persistent hope in this “one day” when will be accomplished the word : “behold I make all things new” (Rev 21:5).
Therefore, to love is to accept existence, here and now. Not in overcoming, once and for all, that which cannot be otherwise, but in somehow entering into God’s intention: by keeping, through our actual experience, our gaze fixed on His infinite greatness, which we see in His creating and redeeming the world. This attitude is expressed in the most beautiful way in a constantly renewed thanksgiving for God’s creation of the world - especially in the morning, when the day is in all it’s freshness. Thus the essential meaning of existence recovers its proper place.
translated from the French, Le Message de St Jean. For more about Guardini or to purchase one of his books through Amazon Smile (a percentage of your purchase goes to support Heart’s Home), click here (with this link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-0701395)