Man’s Desire To Know God — “In love the gates of my soul spring open.”

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Fr. Karl Rahner S.J. (5 March 1904 – 30 March 1984), was a German Jesuit priest and theologian. He is considered one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the 20th century.
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Fr. Rahner was completing his seminary education at about the same time that Adolph Hitler was coming to power in Germany. Fortunately for us, Father Rahner was able to keep from getting swept up into the turmoils of that time. One of his first writings that came to public notice was his treatment on the necessity and need for prayer.
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Rahner believes that the very nature of the human being contains an inescapable orientation towards something greater than ourselves, often called God. But Rahner also believes that God cannot be explained or scientifically proved because of the limits of our nature requires us to understand that God’s nature is often intrinsically “mystery.”
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He identifies the God of Absolute Being as Absolute Mystery.
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Rahner says that God communicates Himself to us in what many call “grace” or the “Holy Spirit.” Rahner says Grace is God within us and all around us.
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We at Peace and Freedom claim no mastery of Rahner’s very difficult writings. He seems a befitting messenger who transmits a powerful belief and faith rather uncommon in our everyday life today. He challenges us all to seek and find God through prayer and living out The Word of God.
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Some quotes from Karl Rahner’s teachings:

 

“When man is with God in awe and love, then he is praying.”

 

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“In the days ahead, you will either be a mystic (one who has experienced God for real) or nothing at all.”

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“The number one cause of atheism is Christians. Those who proclaim Him with their mouths and deny Him with their actions is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.”
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“Only in love can I find you, my God. In love the gates of my soul spring open, allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom and forget my own petty self. In love my whole being streams forth out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion, which make me a prisoner of my own poverty emptiness. In love all the powers of my soul flow out toward you, wanting never more to return, but to lose themselves completely in you, since by your love you are the inmost center of my heart, closer to me than I am to myself.”

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“For it is the bitter grief of theology and its blessed task, too, always to have to seek (because it does not clearly have present to it at the time)…always providing that one has the courage to ask questions, to be dissatisfied, to think with the mind and heart one ACTUALLY has, and not with the mind and heart one is SUPPOSED TO have.”
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“Childhood is not a state which only applies to the first phase of our lives in the biological sense. Rather it is a basic condition which is always appropriate to a life that is lived aright.”
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“In the midst of our lives, of our freedom and our struggles, we have to make a radical, absolute decision. And we never know when lightening will strike us out of the blue. It may be when we least expect to be asked whether we have the absolute faith and trust to say yes”
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“Meditating on the nature and dignity of prayer can cause saying at least one thing to God: Lord, teach us to pray!”
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“The dead are silent because they live, just as we chatter so loudly to try to make ourselves forget that we are dying. Their silence is really their call to me, the assurance of their immortal love for me.”
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“The task of the theologian is to explain everything through God, and to explain God as unexplainable.”
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“For a Catholic understanding of the faith there is no reason why the basic concern of Evangelical Christianity as it comes to expression in the three “only’s” should have no place in the Catholic Church. Accepted as basic and ultimate formulas of Christianity, they do not have to lead a person out of the Catholic Church. . . . They can call the attention of the Catholic church again and again to the fact that grace alone and faith alone really are what saves, and that with all our maneuvering through the history of dogma and the teaching office, we Catholic Christians must find our way back to the sources again and again, back to the primary origins of Holy Scripture and all the more so of the Holy Spirit.”
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“If we have been given the vocation and grace to die with Christ then the everyday and banal occurrence which we call human death has been elevated to a place among God’s mysteries.”

Related:

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More Quotes by Karl Rahner

“So You haven’t really sent me away from You, after all. When You assigned me the task of going out among men, You were only repeating to me Your one and only commandment: to find my way home to You in love. All care of souls is ultimately possible only in union with You, only in the love that binds me to You and thus makes me Your companion in finding a path to the hearts of men.” (Encounters with Silence, Karl Rahner, translated and foreword by James M. Demske, SJ, South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press 1999, p. 67.)

“Thanks to Your mercy, O Infinite God, I know something about You not only through concepts and words, but through experience. I have actually known You through living contact; I have met You in joy and suffering. For You are the first and last experience of my life. Yes, really You Yourself, not just a concept of You, not just the name which we ourselves have given to You! You have descended upon me in water and the Spirit, in my baptism. And then there was no question of my convincing or excogitating anything about You. Then my reason with its extravagant cleverness was still silent. Then, without asking me, You made Yourself my poor heart’s destiny.” (Encounters with Silence, p. 30.)


Related Links

Blog posts about Karl Rahner, SJ.

Why Become or Remain a Jesuit? by Karl Rahner, SJ

Karl Rahner and Ignatian Spirituality

By Philip Endean

Limited preview on Google Books includes all of Chapter 1, a significant portion of Chapter 2, “The Immediate Experience of God,” and portions of Chapter 11, “Ignatius, Rahner, and Theology.”

Karl Rahner (1904-1984)

Edited by Derek Michaud

An accessible and fairly comprehensive review of Rahner’s thought, based primarily on Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Rahner

It is our belief that Rahner would endorse the thoughts of Matthew Kelly, author of “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.”

Karl Rahner is a thinker and theologian. Matthew Kelly is a practical map reader on the road to bringing ordinary people closer to God.

Rahner gives us theory. Matthew Kelly tells us what to do about it that could be pleasing to God and Helpful to our Souls!

In our view at Peace and Freedom, Matthew Kelly’s book could easily have been called “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Christian,” or “”The Four Signs of People in Twelve Step Recovery Programs.”

There are Matthew Kelly’s “Four Signs” —

  1. We Pray and Meditate
  2. We study (spiritual works, like the scripture)
  3. We pour ourselves out in loving service to others
  4. We evangelize. A Christians talks about his faith — he is not ashamed. A person in AA or another 12 Step recovery program, does 12 Step work.

Related:

 (By Bishop Robert Barron)

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Sermon of Pope Francis at the Saint Francis of Assisi Hospital, Rio de Janeiro, Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

(Many in the audience were drug addicts and alcoholics in recovery.)

Dear Archbishop Tempesta, brother Bishops,
Distinguished Authorities,
Members of the Venerable Third Order of Saint Francis of Penance,
Doctors, Nurses, and Health Care Workers,
Dear Young People and Family Members, good night!

God has willed that my journey, after the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, should take me to a particular shrine of human suffering – the Saint Francis of Assisi Hospital. The conversion of your patron saint is well known: the young Francis abandoned riches and comfort in order to become a poor man among the poor. He understood that true joy and riches do not come from the idols of this world – material things and the possession of them – but are to be found only in following Christ and serving others. Less well known, perhaps, is the moment when this understanding took concrete form in his own life. It was when Francis embraced a leper. This suffering brother was the “mediator of light … for Saint Francis of Assisi” (Lumen Fidei, 57), because in every suffering brother and sister that we embrace, we embrace the suffering Body of Christ. Today, in this place where people struggle with drug addiction, I wish to embrace each and every one of you, who are the flesh of Christ, and to ask God to renew your journey, and also mine, with purpose and steadfast hope.

To embrace, to embrace – we all have to learn to embrace the one in need, as Saint Francis did. There are so many situations in Brazil, and throughout the world, that require attention, care and love, like the fight against chemical dependency. Often, instead, it is selfishness that prevails in our society. How many “dealers of death” there are that follow the logic of power and money at any cost! The scourge of drug-trafficking, that favours violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires of society as a whole an act of courage. A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use, as is currently being proposed in various parts of Latin America. Rather, it is necessary to confront the problems underlying the use of these drugs, by promoting greater justice, educating young people in the values that build up life in society, accompanying those in difficulty and giving them hope for the future. We all need to look upon one another with the loving eyes of Christ, and to learn to embrace those in need, in order to show our closeness, affection and love.

To embrace someone is not enough, however. We must hold the hand of the one in need, of the one who has fallen into the darkness of dependency perhaps without even knowing how, and we must say to him or her: You can get up, you can stand up. It is difficult, but it is possible if you want to. Dear friends, I wish to say to each of you, but especially to all those others who have not had the courage to embark on our journey: You have to want to stand up; this is the indispensable condition! You will find an outstretched hand ready to help you, but no one is able to stand up in your place. But you are never alone! The Church and so many people are close to you. Look ahead with confidence. Yours is a long and difficult journey, but look ahead, there is “a sure future, set against a different horizon with regard to the illusory enticements of the idols of this world, yet granting new momentum and strength to our daily lives” (Lumen Fidei, 57). To all of you, I repeat: Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! And not only that, but I say to us all: let us not rob others of hope, let us become bearers of hope!

In the Gospel, we read the parable of the Good Samaritan, that speaks of a man assaulted by robbers and left half dead at the side of the road. People pass by him and look at him. But they do not stop, they just continue on their journey, indifferent to him: it is none of their business! How often we say: it’s not my problem!  How often we turn the other way and pretend not to see!Only a Samaritan, a stranger, sees him, stops, lifts him up, takes him by the hand, and cares for him (cf. Lk 10:29-35). Dear friends, I believe that here, in this hospital, the parable of the Good Samaritan is made tangible. Here there is no indifference, but concern. There is no apathy, but love. The Saint Francis Association and the Network for the Treatment of Drug Addiction show how to reach out to those in difficulty because in them we see the face of Christ, because in these persons, the flesh of Christ suffers. Thanks are due to all the medical professionals and their associates who work here. Your service is precious; undertake it always with love. It is a service given to Christ present in our brothers and sisters. As Jesus says to us: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).

And I wish to repeat to all of you who struggle against drug addiction, and to those family members who share in your difficulties: the Church is not distant from your troubles, but accompanies you with affection. The Lord is near you and he takes you by the hand. Look to him in your most difficult moments and he will give you consolation and hope. And trust in the maternal love of his Mother Mary. This morning, in the Shrine of Aparecida, I entrusted each of you to her heart. Where there is a cross to carry, she, our Mother, is always there with us. I leave you in her hands, while with great affection I bless all of you. Thank you.

https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2013/july/documents/papa-francesco_20130724_gmg-ospedale-rio.html

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Pope Francis greets a man as he meets with patients, family and staff at St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro July 24, 2013. The pope addressed a group of recovering drug addicts offering them a message of compassion and hope as well as a call to self-determination. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis at the St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro talking to recovering drug addicts, July 24, 2013

 

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One Response to “Man’s Desire To Know God — “In love the gates of my soul spring open.””

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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