“On Prayer”

A friend blessed me with a book by Karl Rahner (SJ, or some such) titled as shown above.  Many passages are worth passing along; here are a few.

“Our love of God and our prayer have one difficulty in common.  They will succeed only if we lose the very thought of what we are doing in the thought of Him for Whom we are doing it.  To be concerned mainly with the correct way to love or the correct way to pray, entails almost inevitable failure in the realization of either activity.  It is useful to consider these matters in retrospect by meditating on the nature of the love of God and on the nature of prayer; it is useful to attempt to describe what the act of love or the act of prayer really entails.  Yet, to some extent, such meditation destroys the very act itself, for we cannot really perform an act and at the same time be preoccupied with the mechanics of our doing it.”

Quoting St. Augustine’s famous statement, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee,” he goes on to say:

“Deep in our buried heart, we find this seed of the Divine, this restless searching out towards something infinitely beyond the things of this world; and we find strength to pray:

“Our Father Who art in the depths of my heart, transforming its hallow emptiness into a heaven on earth, Hallowed be Thy Name, even in the death-like silence of my ignorance and my lack of faith; Thy Kingdom come in the very midst of my desolation; Thy will be done in me, even if it means pain and death; Thy will be done in me, for Thy will is my true life; Give us this day our daily bread, for I am utterly dependent upon Thy Divine Providence; Forgive us our trespasses – those sins which are ultimately but treason against Thy love for us, and therefore treason against myself; Deliver us from evil-from the evil of centering our lives upon ourselves, in order that we may learn that Thou are the center of all, and that only in Thee can we find freedom worthy of the sons of God.”

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