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The Need and the Blessing of Prayer Paperback – August 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press; 3rd edition (August 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814624537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814624531
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.8 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth G. Melillo VINE VOICE on October 26, 2000
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Each chapter in this work provides enough material for reflection to fill a month - and, perhaps, that is the way to enjoy it fully. Father Rahner's sermons on prayer, especially deep and poignant because they were originally delivered to Germans suffering the pain and deprivation following the second world war, are exquisitely beautiful. He writes movingly of how God strips aways our false ways, how the Holy Spirit and Christ within us "pray for us" when our own efforts are weak, and far more. Much of it may be difficult to ponder, but the ring of truth and love are so clear that the light of resurrection shows the cross to be a shadow. Superb work to be read at any time, but particularly when one is struggling in one's own prayer life. Those who are familiar with this brilliant Jesuit through his systematic theology will see that the picture is incomplete without observing what a great man of prayer he was.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kim Boykin on July 7, 2000
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A powerful book on prayer by one of the most important Christian theologians of the 20th century.

If you think you want to pray but have trouble even beginning because belief in a loving God seems like ludicrously wishful thinking in such a mess of a world, try out this book. Rahner understands suffering, he understands atheism, he understands angst (this book is based on sermons preached in bombed-out Munich in 1946), and yet he dares to be Christian and to pray.

Two other books that I've found especially helpful: C. S. Lewis's "Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer" and Ann and Barry Ulanov's "Primary Speech: A Psychology of Prayer."
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
An excellent theologian that shares not only his thoughts but his personal spiritual experience. Faithful to the Church and to his vocation as a Jesuit Priest, Karl Rahner is a great help in priestly ministry nowadays. Open to the needs of the world, he shows the need and the blessing of prayer. The translation is excellent, in good modern English.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By FTS on August 3, 2001
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Karl Rahner is one of the 20th century's most powerful and insightful Christian theologians who understood and spoke to the modern Christian. Never in all my years of reading and study have I encountered a book that understands what it is to live and, more importantly, to pray in the modern world. This is not a "how to" book. It is a book of prayer, about prayer.
My objection is the translation. Bruce Gillette has chosen to translate the German "mensch" into "man" rather than "people" (it really means "mankind") and to use the masculine pronoun "he". There is no reason for this; Rahner would certainly be more careful were he writing today and using inclusive language would not have altered the meaning in the slightest. Furthermore, the translator tends to use sentence fragments which might make sense in the original German but often stand as "orphans" without clear relationship to the preceding or following sentence. While I thank Liturgical Press for publishing this book, I suggest greater editorial care. Notwithstanding, ignore the translation defects and read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne Glaser on January 30, 2011
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I found the book very wordy, and difficult to follow, probably because it was from the German translation. It seemed to be a rather literal translation and not easily read. Thank you.
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