Archive for thoughts in solitude

Thomas Merton’s Most Famous Prayer

Posted in Thomas Merton, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 20, 2013 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

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My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahed 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.

43rd Anniversary of Thomas Merton’s Death

Posted in Thomas Merton with tags , , , on December 10, 2011 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Today, as my Franciscan community celebrates the life of our recently deceased brother Harry Monaco, OFM, with the funeral mass of resurrection, we might also pause to remember and celebrate the life of Thomas Merton who died on this day 43 years ago. There is so much that could be said about Merton, so instead of adding some commentary, I simply share the prayer from Thoughts in Solitude that has become so famous and has spoken to the hearts of so many.

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. 

Photo: Merton Legacy Trust

‘Thought and Life are One': Thomas Merton on Vocation

Posted in Thomas Merton with tags , , , on May 25, 2011 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Here is a selection from Thomas Merton’s Thoughts in Solitude, which reflects some of his thoughts on vocation and solitude. Merton’s reflection offers us a look at the interconnection of one’s vocation and seeing the world anew, which leads to peace and the recognition of God in all things. Living as we were created or called to be, to use some more traditional vocational language, is the condition for the possibility of integrated living.

A man [sic] knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live. Thus, if one is called to be solitary, he will stop wondering how he is to live and start living peacefully only when he is in solitude. But if one is not called to solitary life, the more he is alone the more will he worry about living and forgetting to live. When we are not living up to our true vocation, thought deadens our life, or substitutes itself for life, or gives in to life so that our life drowns out our thinking and stifles the voice of conscience. When we find our vocation — thought and life are one.

Suppose one has found completeness in his true vocation. Now everything is in unity, in order, at peace. Now work no longer interferes with prayer or prayer with work. Now contemplation no longer needs to be a special “state” that removes one from the ordinary things going on around him for God penetrates all. One does not have to thing of giving an account of oneself to anyone but him.

Photo: Merton Legacy Trust
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