My New Prayer

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 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 I will 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.

From Wikipedia:

Thomas Merton (31 January 1915 – 10 December 1968) was one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, in the American state of Kentucky, Merton was an acclaimed Catholic spiritual writer, poet, author and social activist. Merton wrote over 60 books, scores of essays and reviews, and is the ongoing subject of many biographies. Merton was also a proponent of inter-religious dialogue, engaging in spiritual dialogues with the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and D. T. Suzuki. His life and career were suddenly cut short at age 53, when he was electrocuted stepping out of his bath.

As Eileen says: “he was da bomb!” I like that he was a regular guy with human faults and failings but he still had this incredible love for his Redeemer. He came into the world, like everyone else, captive to a tainted ancestry of human selfishness, greed, and violence that would inexorably graft itself unto his own heart. And I love the prayer which Eileen shares so freely on her blog (in case you missed the link the first time!) and which Merton shared with us.
Here’s what I like about it… In this phase of life, the human, walking on earth life, we don’t know what’s to come. Nor do we know that we’re doing it right. We can best guess it and try our best. This line brings tears to my eyes, 

But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.

And the next line lays me out, face down on the ground, heaving huge sobs, 

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I cry because I can now… but that’s another post. I pray, I really pray, that I will always have the desire to please God.  I know that I have faults and failings, like Merton, and that at this stage of my life, I should try to keep them in check. I mean Merton was 53 when he died and I’ve already outlived him by 3 years. 

 
So it’s time to get cracking. I’m way overdue. It’s time to curve that bitter tongue and those evil thoughts.  

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

God, I want to serve you with my whole being. So I’ll get out there on that bike and start praising while I’m cycling to better health. And I won’t binge on hot wings and Texas Toast anymore… only healthy foods for me! And I will put other’s needs before mine, because really, what do I need?

 

Creator, your world is beautiful. Help me to fit into that beauty somewhere, somehow.

 

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4 Comments

Filed under Life

4 responses to “My New Prayer

  1. Heather

    “But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.”

    That’s also my favorite. :)

  2. thetownnews

    Hey – one thing at a time – baby steps. If you try to curb your evil thoughts, get out on the bike, eat healthy and put others’ needs before your own all at the same time, you’ll fail. Breathe!

  3. Right! I already did that yesterday!
    So today, I’ll review what I’ve learned and try harder.

  4. episcopalifem

    One step at a time is great advice…I try to keep it in mind when I’m FREAKING out…lol

    I just love Merton’s whole prayer…but the lines you have pointed out are powerful ones…and they feel like they get to the heart of God’s grace for me.

    And I try and fail at this stuff, everyday, but I keep Merton’s lines in mind, and keep on tryin!

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