Monday, December 10, 2012

FEAST OF THOMAS MERTON

The splendid and moving icon of Thomas Merton was written by Brother Tobias Haller.

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 Spirit

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.
Collect of the Day: Thomas Merton, Contemplative and Writer, 1968
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.

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful!

    And from his Book of Hours the Closing Prayer for today:

    "God touches us with a touch that is emptiness and empties us. He moves with us with a simplicity that simplifies us. All variety, all complexity, all paradox, all multiplicty cease. Our mind swims in the air of an understanding, a reality that is dark and serene and includes in itself everything. Nothing more is desired. Nothing more is wanting. Our only sorrow, if sorrow be possible at all, is the awareness that we ourselves still live outside of God."

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    1. Ah Bonnie, another wonderful prayer from Merton.

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  2. Thanks, Mimi, for reminding us of this beautiful life. A.

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    1. Hey Calliope Street. How ya been?

      Yes, Merton was a lovely man, a saint who was entirely human, truly one of us. I expect that's why so many are moved by his writings.

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  3. Dear Grandma,

    Can’t get on your web so I’ll say it here. Thanks for the Merton prayer. Its come just at the right moment for me.

    Regards, Charley F-B.


    The comment above came to my email because Charley could no longer post as Anonymous and sign his name. I'm sorry about that. In a week or so I'll try disabling the ban on anonymous comments and see what happens.

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