Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Karl Rahner, and the Daily Routine
Karl Rahner—a major Christian theologian of the 20th century, professor of Dogmatics and Theology at several prestigious universities, and one of the men who had a part in crafting the language of Vatican II. He was also a man of intense spirituality and service to his fellows.
“Look at this routine, O God of Mildness….Isn’t [my soul] just like a noisy bazaar, where I and the rest of mankind display our cheap trinkets to the restless, milling crowds?”  This is what Fr. Rahner wrote in Encounters with Silence. This is what he considered his life to be: a life of diligent service to God.
Rahner wished that he might experience God’s mercy. This was one of his most fervent wishes—between the times that the daily, everyday routine cluttered up his life, that is.
“How can I redeem this wretched humdrum? How can I turn myself toward the one thing necessary, toward You? How can I escape from the prison of this routine?”  And then, Fr. Rahner answers this very question: “Aren’t You my Creator? Haven’t You made me a human being? And what is man but a being that is not sufficient to itself, a being who sees his own insufficiency, so that he longs naturally and necessarily for Your Infinity?” 
Oh, how perceptive is Karl Rahner. How petty is humanity in its unrepentant, even unwashed state! Fr. Rahner echoes Psalm 8 in his musings, finally announcing that the long-lasting stars will remain, long after you and I and our friends are all gone. (For that matter, after our enemies are gone, too.) Yes, even the disillusioned heart/person can take heart in God, for God is truly all that we really need.
Dear Lord, thank You for being with us, day or night. Thank You for coming to us unexpectedly, visiting us with your care, concern, and encouragement. For, it is as Fr. Rahner said: “only through You can I continue to be myself with You, when I go out of myself to be with the things of the world.”  Lord, in Your mercy, hear all our prayers.
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 Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 217.
 Ibid, 219.
 Ibid, 221.