• July 11, 2016

Behold, I make all things new

Romano Guardini

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)

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