Saturday, January 08, 2005 +

Guardini: The Birth of the Modern World

From Romano Guardini, The End of the Modern World, “The Birth of the Modern World”:

Insofar as modern man saw the world simply as “nature,” he absorbed it into himself. Insofar as he understood himself as a “personality,” he made himself the Lord of his being, and insofar as he conceived a will for “culture,” he strove to make of existence the creation of his own hands. . . . [Nature, subject-personality, Culture] belonged together, they conditioned and perfected one another. They created a unified framework, a finality beyond which man could not venture. That triple unity needed no verification from any other source nor did it permit the existence of any standard above itself.

A curious religious problem emerged when the limited world picture of the Middle Ages was canceled out by the modern picture of a limitless world. To speak precisely, God lost His dwelling place; thereby man lost his proper position in existence.

The problem of man’s place in being throws light upon the trial of Galileo. Although the negative aspects of the trial should not be excused, evidence does not prove that the trial itself resulted from spiritual obscurantism. At bottom the whole business was rooted in an anxiety about the existential foundations of being, about the place of God and of man in the economy of existence. Granted that these “places” were symbols it still holds true that a symbol is as real as a chemical or a bodily organ. Modern psychology has begun to regain a proper insight into the nature of symbolism which was self-evident to medieval man. Indeed, we may ask whether man ever recovered from the shock that racked his soul as his world turned upside down at the time of Galileo. It seems he has not recovered! Although the scientific picture of the world has become increasingly exact, man no longer finds a home within it. Insofar as man’s feelings are concerned God is not at home in it.

Most intensely modern man sought for answers within his own soul. . . . Every fundamental question shook man with a new intensity: salvation and damnation, man’s just relation to God, the true ordering for human life. As time passed the tensions within man’s soul between the will to truth and the drive toward error, between good and evil, increased and weighed down his spirit. . . . These inner tensions of spirit spread into the outer world, into history, and set in motion the great religious upheavals of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. Although these struggles were first linked with questions proper to theology, with the sterility that had invaded life at large, they also attested to the fact that the Christian life itself was to undergo a universal change.

Notes 76

In thinking from scripture, why is Paul more often quoted than Jesus?

Even after the Resurrection, the apostles used a net and a boat.

One should not contend to be the worst of sinners.

The scriptures, not scripture.

Not scripture, but the scripture (except 2 Timothy 3:16).

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and
it is marvellous in our eyes? Matthew 21:42

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. Matthew 22:29

But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? Matthew 26:54

But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. Matthew 26:56

And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? Mark 12:24

I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. Mark 14:49

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:27

And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? Luke 24:32

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, Luke 24:45

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. John 5:39

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Acts 17:2

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11

And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. Acts 18:24

For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. Acts 18:28

(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Romans 1:2

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: Romans 16:26

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 1 Corinthians 15:3

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:4

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:16

But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince. Daniel 10:21

And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors. Mark 15:28

And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:21

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? John 7:42

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; John 10:35

I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. John 13:18

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. John 17:12

They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. John 19:24

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. John 19:28

For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. John 19:36

And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. John 19:37

Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. Acts 1:16

The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: Acts 8:32

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Romans 9:17

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans 10:11

God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, Romans 11:2

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Galatians 3:22

For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 1 Timothy 5:18

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. James 2:23

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? James 4:5

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 1:20

Friday, January 07, 2005 +

Notes 75

Distinguish between dignity and pride.

Unlikely book title: Autobiography of a Martyr

I shall ask. I shall ask. I shall ask.

Thursday, January 06, 2005 +

Holy Innocents

Against Double Death: Pleading from Scripture

When you said (John 3:5), Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, you were speaking to an old man, a Rabbi, about seeing and entering the Kingdom of God in his life. You would not say to an aborted child, You must be born again: How can the unborn be born again?

When you said of little ones (Matthew 18:10), That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven, you did not say, If they are baptized. You would not say to the aborted, Your angels behold the face of my Father, but not you: you wretched victims “will eternally enjoy a state of perfect natural happiness with no severer penalty than eternal exclusion from the beatific vision”—“you are excluded for want of the ‘seal’ of baptism from the ‘honor’ of seeing God face to face, but since you are not personally wicked you are free from positive punishment; you will be perfectly happy being deprived forever of the vision of God; true, in a sense, you are in Hell, but this does not necessarily mean anything more than that you are excluded eternally from the vision of God: you are damned: you have failed to reach your supernatural destiny, and this viewed objectively is a true penalty; but this does not deny the possibility of your perfect subjective happiness.” (Limbo)

When you rebuked your disciples and said (Matthew 19:13-14), Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven, you did not say, If they are baptized.

When your apostle Paul said (Romans 5:12), Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned, he did not say, The unborn sin.

When your apostle Paul said (Romans 8:22), The whole creation groaneth, and (Romans 8,26) The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings, he did not say, Only baptized creation.

When your apostle Paul said (1 Corinthians 7:14), For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy, he did not say, Provided they are baptized.

When your apostle Paul said (Colossians 1:20) that you who made all things reconciled all things, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of your cross, he did not say, Provided they are baptized.

John 4:2
(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005 +

Circles for Simeon and Anna

Notes 74

There is a place for everyone in God's kingdom, whether taken or not.

We may hope that in heaven our taste like our bodies will improve.

Frederick D. Wilhelmsen

“Seeking God, the Christian of the future will scan the horizon in vain; nowhere in the new age will he find Him, but only in that love which conquers the world.”
—Frederick D. Wilhelmsen, Introduction to Romano Guardini's The End of the Modern World

“I once knew, without knowing, an old man whom I saw on the bus every day at the same time when I was studying at the University of San Francisco after the War. This fellow always crouched in the back of the bus and muttered to himself: ‘Don't give your money to her; put your money in the bank; don't give it to her; put it in the bank.’ This was not, as some shallow people insist, a mark of insanity. Talking in this way to yourself is a last grip on sanity. Old people do this very often because there is nobody who cares to talk to them. Communication is identically intellection in man. The poor devil who is forced to live alone necessarily invents an alter ego and he carries on a lively dialogue with this self-created puppet who is the last moving shadow on the backdrop of his consciousness, separating him from the loneliness of insanity.”
—Frederick D. Wilhelmsen, "Sign, Faith, and Society"

Romano Guardini once wrote that there was a Catholic way to climb a tree.”

Christian Carnival: 2005 No. 1

Tuesday, January 04, 2005 +

Catholic Carnival #11

Sunday, January 02, 2005 +


A with seven women and a boy: rub once, rub twice.