The Dynamic of  the Vocation and Becoming a Person: Guardini

       Man, the only earthly being God has willed for itself, finds himself by the sincere gift of himself [Gaudium et spes #24]

“It is one and the same man who is to exist on each of these levels, but he does not get from the lower to the higher by simply continuing to live. He does not automatically develop from one level to another; this would only be possible if they differed from one another in a purely quantitative manner. Rather, the difference is qualitative and man attains the higher level  – higher in its differentness – only by deciding and daring. It is thus not a matter of approach and transition, but of choice and leap. On his momentary, variously determined level of existence, aman comes to a ‘brink.’ “It is one and the same man who is to exist on each of these levels, but he does not get from the lower to the higher 

The level has been lived through to something higher – until he feels himself faced with the decision, whether or not he will take the risk…. It is given to him to the extent to which he dares….   Then he becomes aware of what ‘person’ really means, its solitude, its responsibility, its earnestness, and that it is something different, something higher than any immediate  structure of life and culture . He thereby comes to the brink of his hitherto existing levels of existence; he divines the new  level and its demand upon him. In order to satisfy the demands, he must let go of the present level and ‘leap’ to the next. He must leap, because  he receives no guarantee from his old position that  he will gain a foothold on the new one , for the new one is of a higher level; his eyes are opened to a new  and superior reality; a new  power of evaluation awakens, and he is able to appreciate and to love on a higher level. Thus the existence  of a truly living man is divided according to existential  levels and t h e risks which li e before each level; according to ‘st ages’ which in each case bear their own values within themselves, pose their special problems, and in which corresponding possibilit ies of the given, concrete  men are realized” [Romano Guardini – “Pascal for our time” 20, 21].


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