Thomas Merton has been a major influence in my spiritual life for many years, since the 1950s when I read Merton's biography The Seven Storey Mountain. The book had a profound effect on me in deepening my faith. Since the first, I've read a good many of Merton's other writings.
Merton's prayer below sustained me many through many periods in my life when I felt directionless or doubtful about choices I've made.
The Living SpiritCollect of the Day: Thomas Merton, Contemplative and Writer, 1968
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Gracious God, you called your monk Thomas Merton to proclaim your justice out of silence, and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others: Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.