Frederick Wilhelmsen, “Introduction” to Romano Guardini’s The End of the Modern World

New York: Sheed & Ward, 1956.

Wilhelmsen stresses the need for rootless modern man to find his place in the universe and embody his conception of reality in tangible ways: “before a reality—be it a reality of the Faith or of the cosmos—can wait for a man, it must take on a structure proportioned by the limits his senses place upon the realities converged to his intelligence” (6). If the ideas of MacIntyre et al. are to be put into practice, we will need to think of tangible ways of embodying them. Mere talk and writing will neither articulate nor realize them. Wilhelmsen proposes two ways—either Chesterton’s method of harking back to tradition or trusting in the inner dynamism of the Church to find new ways.

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