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Lord Paperback – September 1, 1996
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
From the Inside Flap
"This book is a masterpiece. It embodies the wealth of modern exegetical criticism opened by Protestant theologians like Karl Barth, the greatest traditions of 'devotio moderna,' French seventeenth century thought, the great insights of the Catholic mystics, and the matured speculation of scholasticism. But above all, it is an approach to Christ through the Gospels."
H.A. Reinhold, Commonweal
"Guardini’s book The Lord has not grown old, precisely because it still leads us to that which is essential, to that which is truly real, Jesus Christ Himself. That is why today this book still has a great mission."
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI
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"Guardini's book The Lord has not grown old, precisely because it leads us to that which is essential, to that which is truly real, Jesus Christ Himself. That is why today this book still has a great mission.”
After Ratzinger (whose mentor Guardini had been) it seems pretty impudent to be trying to comment on The Lord. But I am doing just that – not to pronounce in any definitive way, but to try to convey what a great read it is, and what a powerful support to faith.
Guardini's book is not one you can read quickly. In fact it would be a mistake to rush it. The beauty of this holy prelate's musings is contained in the arresting freshness of his insights, and the way he expresses them. For example:
"...Logic and natural science rest on the assumption that the world comprises an entity, complete in itself, in which other than natural factors have no place. To this faith replies: the world lies in God's hand. He is Power, Creator in the pure and infinite sense of the word, and when he commands, the ordered world obediently and constructively submits to his will. He is 'the Lord.'"
Guardini's book is a series of meditations that follow the career of the Lord from the beginning of his earthly life to the cross and on to what is the new beginning. And if you think you know all about that, just read Guardini! There is not a chapter that will not make you stop and think all over again.
Happily the chapters are short. If Guardini has more to say than in a short chapter, he adds another. The Last Supper gets two and they are not to be missed. Gethsemane just one, but what a chapter!
"Gethsemane was the hour in which Jesus' human heart and mind experienced the ultimate odium of the sin he was to bear as his own before the judging and avenging countenance of God..."
Although Guardini was a theologian this is not a theologian's book. Instead it takes us back to the essence – after the theologians and psycho-analysts have tied our faith in knots, Guardini says: what did Jesus say? Then he asks what that means and reminds us that Jesus never lied but said simply what he meant. That's why these chapters in the end are as refreshing as they are challenging.
But comforting too! Here he is on the overwhelming challenge of the Sermon on the Mount:
"...Isn't it a question of everything or nothing? To be quite frank, the Either-Or people seldom appear to practice their own severity. Their uncompromising attitude often looks suspiciously like rhetoric. No, what the Sermon on the Mount demands is not everything or nothing, but a beginning and a continuing, a rising again and plodding on after every fall..."
This book does carry out a great mission. I am so grateful I encountered it.
This is a classic book which every Catholic Christian should read. It is a highly enlighting book with new insights in the life of Christ. This book generally deals with the ministry of Jesus till death and resurrection. You will find any and many of your questions about Jesus answered. The way this book has been written is simple without any "heaviness" of theological language so that a layman can also understand it properly. The author Romano Guardini has warned in the preface that this book is not a theological work and that this book is one of the perspective of Jesus's life.
Some words about Romano Guardini:- The way he has written this book should make possible for numerous Christians to benefit from his book. What's more Romano Guardini was one of the authors which influenced the thinking of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, later Our Pope Benedict XVI.
Go ahead and buy this book. You will be buying a timeless Christian Classic which not many people know about.
For those who are not familiar with Monsignor Guardini, the author is a Catholic priest (he was offered a Cardinalship by Paul VI but he declined).
This book is really a series of meditations on Jesus Christ from birth ("before all ages") to the Second Coming.
It delivers a wealth of theological and poetical insights and is written in a beautiful and direct style. At around 600 hundred pages the book is long but it it is divided into many short chapters that help focus meditation. Personally, I have chosen to read only one chapter a day and let the riches of this book sink in in me over months.
This book has moved me, surprised me, hit me in the stomach like a punch. I think someone could disagree with Guardini's take on some theological aspects (I am no expert) but the sincerity of heart of the author makes his "reflections" well worth reading. I just loved it.
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