When Prayer can be Itself

My daughter holding her mother’s finger while breastfeeding. Grasping without fully understanding. Photographed by R.H. Foerger, 1985.

When Prayer can be Itself, by Karl Rahner

Prayer can be itself only when it is understood as the last moment of speech before the silence,

as the act of self-disposal just before the incomprehensibility of God disposes of one,

as the reflexion immediately preceding the act of letting oneself fall after the last of one’s own efforts and full of trust,

into the infinite Wholeness which reflexion can never grasp.

To this Susan Phillips writes, “One falls, trustingly, beyond what can be expressed in speech… It’s a submission and immersion in grace, even when one’s life circumstances are distracting or painful.” (Candlelight)

Perhaps this is another reason why prayer is difficult; another reason why one might not pray. If prayer is best understood at the last moment of “self-disposal” – who can venture courageously to do that? Who has the trust to face the incomprehensibility of God?

In an earlier post I wrote:

And the beauty of it all is
     The endless loops of wonder
     The dendritic pathways of discovery
     The labyrinthine journeys of joy
     All found in You, from You, with You…

We are beckoned to be one with the infinite Wholeness and Holiness of God – who’s glory we cannot grasp, or in grasping, we hold only “fistfuls of grace.”

About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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