Guardini’s influence on Ratzinger

There are those who hesitate to praise the work of Romano Guardini, a titanic figure in the Liturgical Movement of last century.  He is sometimes looked at as being too close to the Beauduin camp.

But his influence is indisputable and much of it was positive.

The gentlemanly Sandro Magister has offered us something very interesting about Fr. Guardini on Chiesa.   You should read this.

Here is part of it:

Benedict XVI Has a Father, Romano Guardini

He was the guide of the young Ratzinger, who has not ceased to draw inspiration from his thought. Forty years after the death of the great Italian-German intellectual, an analysis of his influence on the current pope

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, October 1, 2008 – This very same time of the year, forty years ago, Romano Guardini (1885-1968) died in Munich. In her biography of him, Hanna-Barbara Gerl called the Italian-German philosopher and theologian "a father of the 20th-century Church."

Guardini’s books nourished the most lively segment of Catholic thought during the 1900’s. And one of his students was special – he’s the current pope. When he was a student not much over the age of twenty, Joseph Ratzinger had the chance not only to read, but also to listen in person to the man he chose as his great "master."

As theologian, as cardinal, and also as pope, Ratzinger has repeatedly acknowledged in his books that he intends to proceed along the pathways opened by Guardini. In "Jesus of Nazareth," he declares from the very first lines that he has in mind one of the classics by his master: "The Lord." And in his "Introduction to the Spirit of the Liturgy," he shows right from the title that he takes his inspiration from one of the masterpieces of Guardini himself, "The Spirit of the Liturgy."

At the fortieth anniversary of his death, in Italy, Germany, and other European countries there will be symposiums, seminars, and conferences dedicated to him, seeking to analyze his extraordinary contribution to philosophical and theological thought.

But one of the most interesting areas to explore is that of the connections between the life and thought of Guardini, and of the current pontiff.

This is what is done in the following essay, written by one of the leading experts in this matter, Silvano Zucal, a professor of philosophy at the University of Trent and the editor of the complete critical edition of Guardini’s works, published in Italy by Morcelliana.

The article was published in the latest issue of "Vita e Pensiero," the magazine of the Catholic University of Milan.

Ratzinger and Guardini, a decisive encounter

by Silvano Zucal

In this essay, we would like to call attention to the relationship between Romano Guardini and Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. The pope has called Guardini "a great figure, a Christian interpreter of the world and of his own time," and he often turns to Guardini, in almost all of his writings.

Now go find the rest… please.

Maybe I will add more later.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Mark says:

    Thanks for a very interesting post.

    Reading Romano Guardini’s “Spirit of the Liturgy”, I can see the connection between the principles outlined therein and Pope Benedict’s liturgical reforms.

    My understanding of the Liturgical Movement with which Guardini was associated is that (at least in its early days) it was primarily about rediscovering the riches of Patristic and Mediaeval liturgy and theology.

    Clearly this vision was tragically lost during the liturgical “reforms” which took place in the wake of Vatican 2, as there is nothing remotely Patristic or Mediaeval about what happened subsequently.

    It will be wonderful if the renewed interest in studying Guardini forty years after his death helps recover a sense of what the Liturgical Movement and Ressourcement were really about.

    For too long the Liturgical Movement and Ressourcement have been used to justify liturgical and theological trends which, for the most part, are entirely foreign to the spirit of those movements as they were originally conceived.

  2. dominic1962 says:

    I’m reading Guardini’s “Spirit of the Liturgy” right now, and if I didn’t know any better, I would think it was written as a critique of the “post-Vatican II” liturgical revolution.

  3. Torquemada says:

    I’m confused by this part of the Chiesa article:

    “One could say that the liturgy at the time – in 1918 – was in some ways similar to a fresco that had been preserved intact, but almost entirely plastered over; in the missal that the priest used to celebrate it, its form was fully present, as it had been developed from its origins, but for believers it was mostly hidden by instructions and forms of prayer of a private character. Thanks to the liturgical movement, and, – in a definitive manner – thanks to Vatican Council II, the fresco was brought back into the light, and for a moment we all stood fascinated by the beauty of its colors and its forms.”

    This seems to imply that Bugnini’s Protestant-inspired hatchet job was seen by some as a restoration of that which was “plastered over.” Or does it mean that the liturgy was seen in a new light DURING the Council, before Bugnini got his filthy hands on it?

  4. I recall Guardini advocating silence before and after Mass. He wrote that when a familiy goes to mass they shoukd be silent as they go,

  5. Emilio III says:

    I gather that Hanna-Barbara Gerl is smarter than the average bear?

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