This morning’s reading in my prayer book (People’s Companion to the Breviary) is truly awesome. The author, Annice Callahan, RSCJ (who was teaching at Regis College in Toronto while I was studying there), writes about one of theologian Father Karl Rahner, SJ’s central messages in all of his theology (and trust me, he’s written a lot … he happens to be my all-time favorite theologian and the subject of my Masters’ thesis). Rahner teaches, as does the Church, that we have the capacity not only to know about God, but to truly experience God. We may even know that it is happening … we may even feel farther from God’s presence than ever … yet even if we are not consciously aware, God is communicating himself to us, he is in direct relationship with us. Read on …

Rahner asserts that to speak of the human is to speak of the divine and vice versa. He describes God as the mystery in human experience. For him, then, God is the depth dimension in experiences such as solitude, friendship, community, death, hope and, as such, is the orientation toward the future. Rahner goes so far as to say that loneliness, disappointments and the ingratitude of others can be graced moments because they open us to the transcendent. The silence of God, the toughness of life and the darkness of death can be graced events. This mystery of grace discloses itself as a forgiving nearness, a hidden closeness, our real home, a love which shares itself, something familiar which we can turn to from the alienation of our own empty and perilous lives. When we are in touch with ourselves authentically, we experience God.

Annice Callahan, RSCJ, Traditions of Spiritual Guidance, p. 341, (32)