Between Worldliness and Piety
Von Balthasar quotes that same passage -- in a slightly different English translation -- but he also quotes something I have not seen in the available English translations of Guardini before, something just as audacious:
What! That sounds like the Taliban. But, wait, hear Guardini out:
Forces that would be strong enough to keep one's power in check derive neither from science nor from technology. They do not emerge from the autonomous ethics of a specific individual or from the sovereign wisdom of the State. . . . The truly salvific possibilities lie in the consciences of human beings who are connected to God in a living way.Note: what's crucial and what Christians should bring to the task of administering the world -- as J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings shows -- is the capacity to resist the lure and seduction of power. This, Guardini argues, is what Christ teaches his disciples to do. To the extent that we have been made immune to the appeal of power, we can, perhaps, help heal the schizophrenic division between worldliness and piety.