Virtue in ethical life according to Romano Guardini (3/3)
Although natural education can make you safe and creative, confident, and responsible, the spirit can be lifted to eternity only doing the will of the Father.
Grace makes the conscience responsible with experience, making it sensitive to values and strong in decisions.
The kingdom of God requires a pure responsibility to face duty with courage, accepting happy and sad events.
The Gospel keeps mutual responsibility alive, but Guardini saw that, at the beginning of the modern era, many were convinced that they could live better without the Christian faith, seeking an «authentic» ethos of relations, with immediate respect and responsibility for the other, providing for different forms of human needs and rights.
Without genuine reasons, the gesture of help is reduced to advantageous measures, natural or rational, with an emotionality mitigated to coexistence, avoiding the warnings of life, and no longer shaken by the gospel.
The conscience warns against selfishness blandished with lies; in difficulties, the conscience rather calls to holiness daring with truth, learning to live responsibly according to God’s will and for salvation.
The spirit overcomes instinct and expresses responsibility when it is free to aspire to values that are superior to the riches of the world.
By ascesis, the will of man can hold instinct back and overcome the inclination to excess or deviation.
Staying close to God, responsibilities spur for new light and authenticity for responses, which are so free from instincts, calculations and impulses to domination; renouncing to own sakes and pleasures, ascesis makes possible detached judgments and independent decisions.