It is with some frequency that I mention Thomas Merton or his work here on Dating God. The reason for such reliance stems from the perennial insight of the late Trappist monk. His biography reveals the most human of characters striving to live the Gospel, while his writings reflect the wisdom of the Holy Spirit’s work in the world and in the creative efforts of humanity.

After a very difficult week of reflection and commentary on contentious issues in our nation and world, I felt it worthwhile to share a simple prayer authored by Merton. You can find this text and other selections of his prayerful writing in the book Dialogues with Silence (HarperSanFrancisco, 2001), which is also a fine collection of some of Merton’s drawings.

A Selection from Merton’s Thoughts in Solitude

O great God, Father of all things, whose infinite light is darkness to me,
Whose immensity is to me as the Void, you have called me forth out of
Yourself because You love me in Yourself.

I am a transient expression of Your inexhaustible and eternal reality.
I could not know You, I would be lost in this darkness, I would fall
away from You into this Void, if You did not hold me to Yourself
in the Heart of Your only begotten Son.

Father, I love You Whom I do not know.
I embrace You Whom I do not see.
I abandon myself to You Whom I have offended.
You love in me Your only begotten Son.
You see Him in me.
You embrace Him in me, because He has willed to
identify Himself completely with me by that love which
brought Him to death, for me, on the cross.

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