“Why are person’s different in disposition? Why is one healthy and another an invalid? Why does one come from a harmonious family and another from a broken one? And so one through all the inequalities which press upon us everywhere. We cannot grasp their roots. Let us rather consider what would be possible in daily life.
“There is, for example, the elementary question of whether we actually grant to the other the right to be as he is. If we consider the matter, we shall soon see that we usually do not do this at all, but, by aversion, ungraciousness, or bias, we reproach him for his own nature. But his existence gives him the right to be as he is; so we should grant it to him, and not only in theory, but also in our disposition and in our thoughts, in our daily attitude and actions. This we should do especially in our immediate environment, in our family, among our friends, associates, and colleagues. It would be justice to seek to understand the other person from his own point of view and to act accordingly. Instead we emphasize the injustice of existence by sharpening and poisoning the differences through our judgment and actions.
“But if things are so in the small circle which we can influence, how can they be otherwise in world affairs? Everyone should say to himself: ‘The history of nations moves in the same way as the affairs in my home. The state mirrors the way in which I order my small sphere of action.’ All criticism should begin with ourselves, and with the intention of improving things. Then we would soon see how much goes wrong because we do not permit the other person to be who he is and do not give him the room which we requires.
“But will things never be properly ordered? If we put aside wishful thinking, we must reply evidently not in the course of history. Of what avail are all the attempts to bring about justice on earth if we look not at ideologies and party politics but at reality – the whole reality?
“Let us consider the present situation. Let us presume that those who live and fight today are really concerned about the establishment of justice; that is, a proper order of society, sufficient food for all, suitable working conditions for everyone, the possibility of education without privileges, and so on. Then much would have been accomplished. But how much all this is intermingled with striving for power and self-will! How much injustice enters into it, how much falsehood, and even how much crime! Millions of persons are crushed in order that the supposedly correct form of economic conditions of the social order, of government – even of justice – may be established. And let us assume that in all this, a forward step is taken. Does this take away and nullify all the terrible things which brought it about? Or is the evil still there, in the context of life, poisoning what has been attained?....
“Only by God will true and complete justice be established, and only through His judgment. We should try to let the revelation that this judgment will be passed upon all mankind affect us deeply. The first thing that everyone who thinks of the judgment should say to himself is, ‘Judgment will be passed upon me!’ But there will also be a judgment upon all the human institutions and powers about which we are so likely to feel that they are sovereign and subject to no examination: the state, civilization, history.
“The judgment must be taken into account in all being and action. It is God’s verdict upon every finite reality. Without it everything is half-balanced in space. Only God determines it. He it is who sees through all, fearing nothing, bound by nothing, just in eternal truth. If a man does not believe in Him, his hunger and thirst shall never be satisfied.”
(Romano Guardini, Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God, p. 53-55)