Karl Rahner, a German Jesuit priest who died in 1984, is widely regarded as one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the 20th century. His writings played an enormous role in shaping the documents of Vatican II. But while he is best known for his academic theology, his deepest goal was to help ordinary Christians recognize and respond to the presence of grace in their everyday lives.
Mysticism--the direct encounter with God--is not just for spiritual prodigies. Rahner famously observed that the Christians of the future will be mystics--or there will be no Christianity. It was the experience of grace in all the humdrum activities and routines of our lives that he called "the mysticism of everyday life."
Annemarie S. Kidder, who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the author of several books, including The Power of Solitude. She is the editor of Etty Hillesum: Essential Writings.
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