Book: Power and Responsibility
Author: Romano Guardini
Henry Regnery Co., Chicago, pp. 104
Excerpt from Jacket:
An intense practicality, grounded in calm religious faith, informs this remarkable essay by one of today's most profound thinkers. Here Monsignor Guardini turns his attention to contemporary man's most shattering dilemma: man must use the power he has amassed over nature and other men, yet in using this power he threatens to destroy himself.
Those who expect a pious answer will be surprised, perhaps jolted. Instead of renouncing power, Guardini approves of it. Indeed, he contends it is man's right, as well as duty, to exercise sovereignty over the world. But this sovereignty must be used realistically. It must have respect for things as they are, and the realization that among the realities of life is man's spirit, which alone is free to determine the use of power for good or evil.
Excerpt from Book:
We must try to discover something of what is called the contemplative attitude, actually experience it ourselves, not just talk about it. All around us we see activity, organization, operations of every possible type; but what directs them? An inwardness no longer really at home within itself; which thinks, judges, acts from the surface, guided by mere intellect, utility, and the impulses of power, property, and pleasure. An "interiority" too superficial to contact the truth lying at life's center; which no longer reaches the essential and everlasting, but remains somewhere just under the skin-level of the provisional and the fortuitous.
Before all else, then, man's depths must be reawakened. His life must again include times, his day moments of stillness in which he collects himself, spreads out before his heart the problems which have stirred him during the day. In a word, man must learn again to meditate and to pray. . . .
Table of Contents:
The Essence of Power
Theological Concept of Power
The Unfolding of Power
The New Concept of the World and of Man
Possibilities of Action