A Poem by Karl Rahner on a Mystic Monday

[Karl Rahner was one of the most influential Roman Catholic theologians in the years leading up to and following Vatican Council II. As difficult as his theology was to read and understand, he also could write simply, preach, and speak from the heart. This poem is one example of how some theologians have a mystical bent.]

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 makes me a prisoner of my own poverty and 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.

But when I love you,
when I manage to break out of the narrow circle of self
and leave behind the restless agony of unanswered questions,
when my blinded eyes no longer look merely from afar
and from the outside upon your unapproachable brightness,
and much more when you yourself, O Incomprehensible One,
have become through love the inmost center of my life,
then I can bury myself entirely in you, O mysterious God,
and with myself all my questions.

[PHOTO by Wildgarlic This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. The copyright on this image is owned by Wildgarlic and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. Thanks to Wikimedia Commons.]


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
This entry was posted in Prayer, Songs and Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Poem by Karl Rahner on a Mystic Monday

  1. Catherine says:

    Beautiful. Thank you Paul. Throwing some steaks on the grill, tossing a Greek Salad and frying up a mess of gteen tomatoes at 4 today. Wish you could join us.

  2. Kristen O'Sullivan Harrison says:

    Very nice

  3. Barbara Lilly says:

    Love says it all.

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