Guardini on the Resurrection

“We are faced with an either-or that reaches to the bottom of existence. If we take ourselves as measuring-rod, our human lives, the world as it appears to us, our thoughts and reactions and attempt to judge Christ by them, can only conclude that the Resurrection was either the psychological result of a religious shock, or the product of a primitive community’s desire for a cult. In other words, individual or mass self-deception. The logic demands that this whole chapter of Jesus’ life be eliminated. . . . The alternative is to realize in our own lives what Christ’s whole existence demands: faith. Then we understand that he did not come to bring us new but world born truths and experience but to free us from the spell which the world has cast over us. We must measure him by the standards he himself has taught us; that we know once and forever, that he was not born to further this existence, but that a new existence was born in Him. We no longer judge with worldly eyes, but see the world and everything in and around it with his eyes. . . . . In the Resurrection, that which had lain dormant from the beginning in the vital existence of the Son of Man and God becomes apparent. When we look back at our own existence, it seems like a movement begun in the darkness of childhood — as far back as memory reaches — which mounts gradually to the summit, only, more or less fulfilled or broken off, to descend. The curve of my existence begins with birth and ends with death. Before it lies darkness so complete that it seems incredible that I ever could have begun to exist at all. After it again dark, out of which gropes a vague sensation of hope. In Jesus this is not so. The arch of existence does not begin with birth, but reaches far behind it into eternity. “. . .  before Abraham came to be, I am.” (Jn 8:58)  And the arch does not break off in death, but continues, bearing his earthly existence with it, into eternity: “. . .  and they will kill him; and on the third day he will arise again” (Matt. 17:22). For Christ, death — however burdened and agonizing and essential — is only a passageway to fulfillment. “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things before entering into glory?” he asks the disciples on the way to Emma’s (Luke 24:26). The Resurrection is the blossoming of the seed he has always borne within him. He who rejects it, rejects everything in Jesus’ life and consciousness that is ed with it. What remains, is not worth faith.”

Romano , The Lord, p. 477

1 Comment
  1. Thank you for this wonderful quotation from Guardini. It is truly amazing how relvant Guardini now appears in these days when the secularist worldview has everywhere become dominant. Writing, as he did, in the deep shadow cast by Nietzsche in the Germany of his day, his words speak all the more powerfully to the present. Today, the shadow of Niettzsche is deeper and wider than ever. And so few are aware of it. We are still living in the Cave.

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