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My Favorite Thomas Merton Quote

June 3, 2013

“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 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 you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” 

The above can be found  In Thoughts in Solitude, Part Two, Chapter II consists of fifteen lines that have become known as “the Merton Prayer.”

(Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude Copyright 1956, 1958, 1986 Shambala 1993)

When I think about my relationship with God, I wonder what he sees in me. I certainly cannot do many things correctly and when I attempt to strike out on my own, I get lost almost as soon as I begin the journey. The blindness that I feel is summed up in this quote from Thomas Merton. Its echo resounds within me. I know that I want to do God’s will and feel that I am attentive to whatever that may be while at the same time recognizing that I cannot know what God knows. Yet with all of these doubts, I am confident in God’s love.

There are many passages in the Bible that reinforce the confidence that I have in God’s love. If you accept that God cannot lie, for the fact that He cannot tolerate sin illustrates that, you will here from His Son his proclamation and by His Son’s death the illustrate of the depth of that love. We reach a point of freedom when we no longer feel that our actions can be nothing but righteously motivated. Our desire complete in our attempt to do what is pleasing to Him. To obey His commandments and to seek His kingdom and righteousness should be keep us truly occupied from now through eternity.


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