a rose by any other name-

July 24, 2012

‘Oh, everyday prayer! You are poor and a little tattered and the worse for wear like the everyday itself. August thoughts and exalted feelings are difficult for you. You are not an exalted symphony in a great cathedral but more like a devout song, well-intended and coming from the heart, a little monotonous and naïve. But, prayer of the everyday, you are the prayer of loyalty and reliability, the prayer of selfless, unrewarded service to the divine majesty, you are the dedication that makes the grey hours light and the trivial moments great. You don’t ask about the experience of the one praying, but about the honour of God. You don’t want to experience something, but to believe. Your gait may sometimes be weary, but you still walk. Sometimes you may appear to come just from the lips and not from the heart. But isn’t it better that at least the lips are blessing God than when the entire human being becomes mute? And isn’t there more hope then that the sound from the lips will find an echo in the heart than when everything in man remains mute? And in our prayer-poor times, what one chides oneself or others for as lip-prayer is most often in reality the prayer of a poor but loyal heart that laboriously and honestly, in spite of all the weakness, weariness, and inner discontent, is at least continuing to dig a small shaft through which a small ray of the eternal light falls into our heart that is buried by the everyday.’

(Karl Rahner, SJ, from The Need and the Blessing of Prayer)


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