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Encounters with Silence Paperback – 1 Jan 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: St Augustine's Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Jan. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890318221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890318222
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 0.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 249,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

'Encounters with Silence' is one of Karl Rahner's most lucid and powerful books. A book of meditations abut man's relation with God, it speaks simply and yet profoundly to ordinary men and women seeking an inspiring guide to the inner life, yet it never forsakes the world of reality. The book is cast in the form of a dialogue with God that moves from humble but concerned inquiry to joyful contemplation.

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 5 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
Most seminarians and students first encounter the theologian Karl Rahner as author of big, thick, German tomes of theology. When I took systematic theology, he was considered to be rather more difficult than the typical student of that class could handle - that's all I needed to hear to select him as my primary companion theologian. However, Rahner was not exclusively a systematic theologian - like all great theologians, he knew that theology served a purpose, and that purpose was a higher one, to understand, know, worship and love God more fully.
This book develops an extended prayer to God - as such, it is addressed not to the reader (either as subject or object), but rather, like prayer, it is addressed directly to God. There is a certain sense in which Rahner borrows from the collect form of prayer for his titles:
I God of My Life
II God of My Lord Jesus Christ
III God of My Prayer
IV God of Knowledge
V God of Law
VI God of My Daily Routine
VII God of the Living
VIII God of My Brothers
IX God of My Vocation
X God Who is to Come
In each of these prayers, Rahner's sense of God's love, presence, and mystery come through clearly. God is not a distant being, but one who is always present in an intimate, compassionate way. God is one who calls us in power to be humble servants, yet God is one who supports us in whatever our daily life and work requires us to do. God is, in the end, the final hope for all of us - 'Your coming is neither past nor future, but the present, which has only to reach its fulfillment.'
The translator of this small volume, a fellow Jesuit with Rahner, writes, 'the present work [is] proof that his theology is as practical as it is profound.' First written in the 1950s, this continues to be reprinted and re-prayed on a regular basis.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
A theologian on prayer and meditation 24 Sept. 2005
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Most seminarians and students first encounter the theologian Karl Rahner as author of big, thick, German tomes of theology. When I took systematic theology, he was considered to be rather more difficult than the typical student of that class could handle - that's all I needed to hear to select him as my primary companion theologian. However, Rahner was not exclusively a systematic theologian - like all great theologians, he knew that theology served a purpose, and that purpose was a higher one, to understand, know, worship and love God more fully.

This book develops an extended prayer to God - as such, it is addressed not to the reader (either as subject or object), but rather, like prayer, it is addressed directly to God. There is a certain sense in which Rahner borrows from the collect form of prayer for his titles:

I God of My Life

II God of My Lord Jesus Christ

III God of My Prayer

IV God of Knowledge

V God of Law

VI God of My Daily Routine

VII God of the Living

VIII God of My Brothers

IX God of My Vocation

X God Who is to Come

In each of these prayers, Rahner's sense of God's love, presence, and mystery come through clearly. God is not a distant being, but one who is always present in an intimate, compassionate way. God is one who calls us in power to be humble servants, yet God is one who supports us in whatever our daily life and work requires us to do. God is, in the end, the final hope for all of us - 'Your coming is neither past nor future, but the present, which has only to reach its fulfillment.'

The translator of this small volume, a fellow Jesuit with Rahner, writes, 'the present work [is] proof that his theology is as practical as it is profound.' First written in the 1950s, this continues to be reprinted and re-prayed on a regular basis.
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Rahner's Mystical encounters with Silence 20 Jan. 2002
By Didaskalex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"The quiet we seek for retreat ... is more often recalled in its absence than in its presence. When was the last time you witnessed a joyful silence, a rapturous silence? When have you heard some raconteur relay a congenial encounter with silence." Jane H. Kay

"I am drawn more and more to the mystical Christ. I always was. There was always something much deeper than words for me. Much emphasis is spent on studying the Word, and while I must admit that the Word speaks deeply to me it is the "non-word" that speaks even more." Fr. Bob Struzynski, OFM

Encounters with Silence:
Encountering Silence is one of Karl Rahner's most inspiring and mystifying books. A book of meditations about man's relation with God, Rahner's classics of modern spirituality, is cast in the form of a dialogue with God that moves from earnest inquiry to peaceful contemplation. This book of prayerful reflections on love, with obedience, in knowledge, and faith transforms daily routines, spanning life with our Family and friends, that covers our work and vocation. The power of this moving work is a tribute to its mere truth and simple practicality. A great theologian, Rahner, who could easily communicate in profound and touching language to wandering lay men and women, who look for inspiration for their inner life, one that never forsakes the world of reality.

The heart of all things:
"It must become progressively manifest to the world that the heart of all things is already transformed, because you have taken them all to your heart. ...The false appearance of our world, ... that it has not been liberated... must be more and more thoroughly rooted out. . . . And your coming is neither past nor future, but the present, which has only to reach its fulfillment. Now it is still the one single hour of your advent." Encounters with Silence

A Contemporary desert father:
" The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all," prophicies Karl Rahner.
In this moving work by the great mystic who expresses in modern language the daily utterance of the early saintly abbas and ammas of the Church, it is hardly not in order, that a Roman Catholic theologian utters these prayers of the noia (heart of thinking) in his ever continuous self transformation, sanctification by grace, a divinization through the Holy Spirit.
In his book: The Spirit in the Church (Seabury,1979); he appropriates 'The testimony of the mystics,' "they experience grace, the direct presence of God, and union with Him in the Spirit, in the sacred night, or in a blessed illumination, in a void silence filled with God."

God of my life:
When I abandon myself in love, then You are my very life, ... The farther Your infinity is removed from my nothingness, the greater is the challenge to my love.

God of my Lord Jesus Christ:
Grant, O infinite God, that I may ever cling fast to Jesus Christ, my Lord. ....... But I have still one more request. Make my heart like that of Your Son.!

God of my prayer:
How can a man hope to speak with You? .......How can I pray with love, when the prayer of love is the absolute surrender of the heart from its deepest roots,...?

God of knowledge:
Truly my God, mere knowledge is nothing. .....how can we approach the heart of all things, the true heart of reality? Not by knowledge alone, but by the full flower of knowledge, love.

God of Law:
But, Lord, what of the commandments imposed upon us by men, issued in your name?.......The burden about which I was complaining in the stillness of my heart is mainly our burden, the burden of Your priests,.......set upon our own shoulders.

Enjoy the above quotations:
Read this book, before you pray, even if you do not pray, since you will discover you are in a continuos prayer, with the whole universe even if not aware of it. (Ps.19:1-4)

The Mystic, a Theologian:
Impelled by his Ignatian mysticism of joy in the world--of finding God in all things and all things in God, Rahner's theology moves in two directions. He compresses all Christianity into three mysteries--Trinity, incarnation, and grace. He also unfolds these mysteries into every dimension of human life, even into a "theology of everyday things"--a theology of work, of seeing, of laughing, of eating and sleeping, and of walking and sitting. And if his theology of compression often involves anfractuous dialectics dealing with questions about the triune God, the Word made flesh, and our divinization through the Holy Spirit, his theology of unfolding can be as lovely as advising an unwed mother in her darkest hour to look into the face of her newborn for light. Who would not be fascinated by a theologian who loved carnivals, ice cream, large shopping malls, and being driven at very high speed-- However, most impressive of all were his childlike curiosity and the simplicity, holiness, ... of his Jesuit and theological life." Harvey Egan, S.J.

Late Fr. Karl:
"Strengthened by the Church's sacraments and accompanied by the prayers of his Jesuit brothers, shortly after completing his eightieth year, Father Karl Rahner has gone home to God. . . . He had loved the Church and his religious Order and spent himself in their service." Official Jesuit announcement of Father Karl Rahner's death, March 30, 1984.

The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality
An Anthology of Christian Mysticism (Pueblo Books)
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
The Silent but Loving God 23 Feb. 2004
By PhiloX - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Traveling the Christian Mystic path, many may end up with silent prayer, experiencing the holiness of God in one's heart & afterwards in death. When the scripture "I shall know even as I am known" will become a reality for us all. Karl Rahner, an Austrian Roman Catholic priest, philosopher, & mystic writes in an almost 'Martin Buber' poetic fashion expressing in words what can't be spoken. Questioning, Reflecting, & Meditating on such topics as 1. God of My Life, 2. God of My Lord Jesus Christ, 3. God of My Prayer, 4. God of Knowledge, 5. God of Law, 6. God of My Daily Routine, 7. God of the Living, 8. God of My Brothers, 9. God of My Vocation, 10. God Who is to Come. Each topic is done within a short chapter, all in 87 pages. This book is very 'Universal' (one of the meaning behind the word Catholic) for Protestants & Eastern Orthodox to read with a careful eye overlooking a few 'Roman' references. Read a topic chapter a night before going to bed for best spirtual effect.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Exquisite 24 Sept. 2007
By Lucas Grubbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If I were stuck for the rest of my life on a desert island and could only have one piece of spiritual nourishment, other than the Holy Bible, this would be it. Absolutely gorgeous and deeply moving. This is spiritual poetry of the highest order. It brings tears to my eyes. Exquisite.
Karl Rahner as a human being... 19 May 2015
By Daniel Scalph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Rahner's theological works, but sometimes my head can't handle too much formal theology. When I'm in a more contemplative mood, this slim volume is perfect to read and reflect on. The voice of these musings, which are addressed directly to God, is different than his more formal works: humble, vulnerable, unsure...a side of Rahner is revealed that anyone can identify with. This is all the more encouraging to the common sinner such as myself, as he is arguably one of the most influential Catholic theologians of modern times. I only wish there were many, many more reflections in the book. It ends all too quickly.
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