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Encounters With Silence Paperback – June 30, 1999

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: St. Augustines Press; 2nd edition (June 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890318221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890318222
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 24, 2005
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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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on January 20, 2002
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.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By PhiloX on February 23, 2004
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.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lucas Grubbs on September 24, 2007
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.
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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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