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May 18, 2016

On Command

By Fr. Romano Guardini

This man knows how to command as well as how to obey.

He respects discipline not as a passive, blind "being integrated into" a system, but the responsible discipline which stems from his own conscience and personal honor.

Here is the prerequisite for the greatest task he faces: that of establishing an authority which respects human dignity, of creating a social order in which the person can exist.

The ability to command and to obey has been lost in the degree that faith and doctrine have disappeared from man's consciousness.

As a result, in the place of unconditional truth, we have catchwords: instead of command, compulsion, instead of obedience; self-abandonment. What real command and real obedience are must be rediscovered.

This is possible only when absolute sovereignty is recognized, absolute values are accepted; in other words, when God is acknowledged as the living norm and point of reference for all existence. Ultimately, one can command only from God, obey only in him. [i]