Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Spring Within


Rahner's "everyday mystic" has a direct relationship with Ultimate Reality, even when the mystic doesn't have a name for it. I have often wondered where the Church and the Sacraments fit into this relationship. Reading this morning in The Mystical Way in Everyday Life, translated and edited by Annemarie S. Kidder, I was struck by a metaphor of Rahner's (p. xxxi.) He says the Church has "apparently constructed immense and complicated irrigation systems in order to water and make fertile the landscape of this heart by means of the word, her sacraments, her institutions, and practices." However besides these waters "piped in from outside" there exists, "so to speak, a drilling station on the landscape itself, so that from such a source, once tapped, there spring from the land itself the waters of the living spirit unto eternal life, as spoken of by John."
This is not to say that there "exists an ultimate opposition between this innate source and the 'irrigation systerm' installed from the outside." What is meant here is that "such external pipes of grace only useful when they meet with this ultimate grace from within."
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