Prayer for Study and Daily Life

Below is one of the prayers from Karl and Hugo Rahner. I have enjoyed this prayer and find that often it helps revive my efforts to live and love the Lord more than knowledge and wisdom. I hope it will encourage you as well.

Study and Daily Life

Lord Jesus Christ, you are present in the Sacrament of Bread
and also in the mystery of that daily bread, for which we ask in the Our Father and which is at the same time the supernatural Bread. you are indeed the bread of our daily life. Without this bread all our busy, wearying and disappointing thought and work would be meaningless and burdensome.

It is this bread alone which sustains my life. It does not always appeal to the palate of my spiritual curiosity and carelessness. But it always imparts strength and stills my hunger. It seems to be shut away in the tabernacle of your seclusion. Nevertheless it is here. It is always here. You yourself are here, you, our beloved simple bread. In the midst of our ordinary daily routine you are here. You are here in the market-place of everyday life, amid the wretched and labored course of our earthly hours and in the busy flight of the weeks and years.

Be then the bread of my daily life. Be the deepest meaning of my study and my work, of my efforts towards the knowledge which will one day procure for me the daily bread of my earthly existence.

The tables of knowledge are richly spread for me. But they still leave me hungry. My understanding must busy itself with the thousand things that are to be learned. But often my heart remains cold and empty throughout. Then, like the prodigal son, I face the temptation of filling this emptiness with the scanty unwholesome fare of this world’s pleasures, which only bring on spiritual atrophy, or even with the husks the swine eat. Without you, O Christ, my heart will die of hunger.

Therefore, I implore you, grant that in this daily bread I may taste also the supernatural bread of your Father’s house. Let me find you in my daily life. Fashion my studies into the search for your truth which lies mysteriously hidden in all human knowledge. Let me find you in all the substances of your creation, you, who are both natural and supernatural. You, the eternal Word of the Father, ever at work in all the stars and atoms, in all human truth, in all human words, in human justice and in human sorrow, you, the heart of the whole universe.

On the walls of this university stand the words: The truth shall make you free. Let us never overlook in our daily life that it was you who said this, you, the hidden Lord of all truth, the hidden king of all learning, the heart in which all treasures of knowledge are hidden. Only when I find you in all my quests for truth, will I be free. Free from the narrowness of any one field of Study, free form the desire for success, free from the greed of my heart. Only your kingly Heart can teach me to love my study and knowledge, to put my best into it for your sake, to consecrate my heart in the service which I render to you alone in the depths of my love: the service of truth, of justice, of healing, of the enriching of mankind, to whom you have sent me.

It is my daily life that will be the measure of my knowledge. My heart must first act the truth before my spirit can apprehend it. Only great love can bring forth great knowledge. For I know that you said long ago in Palestine, what you repeat now to our hearts and what one day you will say once again, when, at the end of the daily round of this world’s history,  there shines for the beginning of your eternity: “If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth; and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).


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