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Romano Guardini on Courage



Courage is the confidence required for living with a view to the future, for acting, building, assuming responsibilities and forming ties. For, in spite of our precautions, the future is in each case the unknown. But living means advancing into this unknown region, which may lie before us like a chaos into which we must venture.

Here everyone must make the venture in the confidence that the future is not chaos or a totally strange thing. Rather, his own character, the ordering power within him, will make a way so that it really is his own future into which he moves.

. . . . Courage accepts life and meets it bravely and in each instance implies a conviction that within us there is something that cannot be destroyed, but rather which derives nourishment from everything, become stronger, richer, deeper through every experience rightly faced and carried out, because this something come from the creative power of God.

Actually, this something is the power of God itself. If in a favorable hour I penetrate quietly and recollectedly into the inmost depths of my being, ever more deeply until I, as it were, reach the interior boundary or nothingness ó there I find Godís power which maintains me in existence. This preserving power is indestructible, even though I pass through danger and through death. The reason for all present-day talk of anxiety and dissolution and nothingness, for all the grotesque figures of art and poetry, for the overwhelming force of political power, is that the consciousness of interior support, the confidence in the hand of God in the depths, at the edge of nothingness, is no longer alive in men.