The Life of Faith
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By Romano Guardini
Concluding his Farewell Discourse, Christ tells his Apostles: “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” Thus does the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, per Romano Guardini, mark the formal beginning of Christian existence; it is “the first time we have that which is properly called faith.” Treating the mystery of faith, not as a concept, but as a living reality, The Life of Faith takes its cue from divine revelation (the “only means” by which faith is intelligible) and examines the essence of faith as the covenant between the God who speaks to man and the man who hears the Divine voice. Across ten succinct chapters, Guardini considers faith and its relationships to hope and love, to action and knowledge, and to the life of Church, in dogma and sacrament, as its ultimate fulfillment.
What is the object of Christian faith? The living God who reveals Himself in Christ. Not God in general, understood in an indefinite sense or as somehow experienced, but Him “who is God and the Father of Jesus Christ.” (Romano Guardini)
A powerful aid to meditation, The Life of Faith also issues a stern challenge to subjective, spiritualistic conceptions of what it means to believe, staunchly affirming faith in Jesus Christ as the ever-ancient, ever-new foundation of life.
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Romano Guardini (1885–1968) was a Catholic priest, professor, and author. He taught theology and philosophy at the University of Berlin, University of Tübingen, and University of Munich. Included among his intellectual disciples are Josef Pieper, Luigi Giussani, and Joseph Ratzinger.