Wednesday, December 10, 2008

40 Years On

Today marks four decades since the death of Thomas Merton, the celebrated convert, Trappist priest, famed spiritualist and beloved scribe who sought to "create in [him]self" a reunion of East and West.

Though still a controversial figure in some circles, tributes (even televised ones) abound to mark the anniversary of Fr Louis' premature passage at 53, when he accidentally touched a short-circuited fan while exiting a shower in Bangkok, where he was attending an interfaith conference.

But for them all, it might just be best to return to the words of the "man of contradiction" himself, here from his Thoughts in Solitude.....
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.