Rahner on Christmas

Photo credit: KarlRahnerSociety.com (http://karlrahnersociety.com/published-papers/)

For my birthday this year, a friend gave me a collection of writings by Karl Rahner. The collection is titled The Great Church Year: The Best of Karl Rahner's Homilies, Sermons, and Meditations. As you'd expect, every paragraph edifies. Here I want to share a poetic passage that struck me most powerfully. Rahner writes:

And now [God] says to us what he has already said to the world as a whole through his grace-filled birth: "I am there. I am with you. I am your life. I am your time. I am the gloom of your daily routine. Why will you not bear it? I weep your tears -- pour yours out to me, my child. I am your joy. Do not be afraid to be happy, for ever since I wept, joy is the standard of living that is really more suitable than the anxiety and grief of those who think they have no hope. I am the blind alleys of all your paths, for when you no longer know how to go any further, then you have reached me, foolish child, though you are not aware of it. I am in your anxiety, for I have shared it by suffering it. And in doing so, I wasn't even heroic according to the wisdom of the world. I am in the prison of your finiteness, for my love has made me your prisoner. When the totals of your plans and of your life's experiences do not balance out evenly, I am the unsolved remainder. And I know that this remainder, which makes you so frantic, is in reality my love, that you do not yet understand. I am present in your needs. I have suffered them and they are now transformed, but not obliterated from my heart. I am in your lowest fall, for today I began to descend into hell. I am in your death, for today I began to die with you, because I was born, and I have not let myself be spared any real part of this death.

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