I found this wonderful prayer by Karl Rahner, S.J. and reworked it for this week’s Act One prayer partner reflection. The original source is Prayers for a Lifetime, New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing, 1987.
I’ve adapted this prayer from Karl Rahner’s “Prayer for Creative Thinkers”
Eternal God, Creator of all, today we bring before you our prayer of intercession for all those in Act One who have a creative contribution to make in film and television.
Lord, who else offers prayers on their behalf? And yet we know that the goal they set for themselves, their creative power, their work and their achievements are willed by You. For Your will is extended unreservedly to those who are engaged in constantly producing new expressions of their own natures and spirit. You love the sort of artists who realize their own being in what they achieve and produce, who discover and express that nature which is an image and likeness of Your own glory. That which Your will intends them to be that they can only become with the help of Your grace. Eternal source of all Light, spirit of all true inspiration.
It is for this that we entreat You and invoke Your Holy Spirit upon them. Raise up among us people endowed with creative powers, thinkers, producers, negotiators, artists and writers. We have need of them. We remember that man cannot live by bread alone, that unless the Word proceeds from your mouth becomes his nourishment, we still go hungry. That scripture applies to them too. Give these artists the courage to respond to that inner call to bear the burden and the pain which such a call involves, not to be led into betraying their task in the quest for money and the cheap applause of the superficial, who wish merely to be diverted. In words and in images, in their whole attitude and presentation, they express what is in us because they proclaim what they themselves experience and in expressing this let them express everything! Grant them the experience that man is not merely the frustrated hell of his own nothingness, but also the fair and balanced land over which stretches the heaven of your own infinitude and freedom. They do not need to be constantly bringing you into everything they say. They must mention of You by name only when they are filled with the spirit of the purest happiness or the deepest pain. For the rest let them honor you with their silence. For the rest let them praise the earth and humanity. But in doing this they must always bear You silently in their hearts for it is here that their creative work has its source. Then even the slightest song becomes an echo of the rejoicing that takes place in Your heaven, and even when they have to tell the tales of the most somber depths to which man can sink, still their record of this is encompassed by Your compassion and permeated by a longing for light, virtue, and the eternal love. Then even an attempt to entertain is still a reflection of the gentleness and patience with which You love us in our daily lives. Give them the courage to attain to the light and to the joy in the darkness of this age and in all the hunger and poverty of our hearts. Such courage is a grace that comes from You. But give it to them, for we have need of such high courage. Give them the courage to distinguish and to decide. They do not need to be so very subtle, but their work must manifest the fact that an undivided heart has wrought them, one which, while it is open to everything, still in everything seeks You . . . recognizing no craven compromise of peace between the good and the evil, the light and the darkness. Give them the courage constantly to begin anew, because only so do they find their source in that which is true from eternity. Let them say what Your Spirit has given into their hearts, rather than that which would make pleasant hearing to those who represent the forces of all that is average. When they make experience of the fact that all their work is in vain, of the frustration of their creativity and the insensitivity of their age, let them believe even then that in Your sight what seems to be so futile is not futile, that You have regarded their work with delight, and have gently taken their heart when it was breaking into Your own.
Your eternal Word, the radiance of Your nature and the image of Your glory has Jesus come in our flesh. He has taken upon Himself all that is human as His own reality. With a power that is greater and more ultimate, and a love that is deeper than that of any other creative worker for the work of his own hands He has set His own heart in the very center of the image His hands have wrought. He has done this in order that man himself may be the expression and image of Your glory. And therefore, whether we realize it or not, every creative activity of the human spirit has become an element in the personal history of His own world . . . . It is the world from which this Word of Yours will never more be separated for all eternity. Let those for whom we pray understand this truth. What they create is inevitably, either a part of the Cross to which they nail Your Son in guilt, and therefore a condemnation of themselves, or else a factor contributing to the coming of the eternal Kingdom of this same Son, and therefore a grace for them. . . . Therefore everything which they create can and must be a promise that Your eternal Kingdom is already on the way, the Kingdom of truth and love, the Kingdom of the glorification of man in his undivided nature, in body and soul, earth and heaven. Therefore grant to them too, that they may be proclaimers and promoters of this Kingdom. For everything which man himself has fashioned as sharer in your creative powers will be redeemed and taken into this Kingdom for all eternity, transferred and glorified. May the Spirit of Your Son come upon them in order that Your name may be praised now in this time and throughout all eternity.