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.

~ Thomas Merton


kontrabanda said...

That IS such a good prayer. I remember telling you that in times like you and I are going through right now, I have observed that God really molds people. From my own experience, I think I am becoming more compassionate and empathetic. I wonder if we zoom out of our immediate problems and zoom into eternity, if that is the reason for this whole thing. Because it's not like God can't do these things we are so desperately praying for. He can and He will but in the mean time He's shaping a masterpiece out of hearts that are feeling lost and lonely and broken and confused. That's when we truly can look to Him, I think that's what He really wants.

Inside My Shell said...

This is such a wonderful prayer and I couldn't have said it better than Agnese in the comment above me.
I love praying for you, dear friend, and I love how connected we are through prayer in times like this.

Aaron said...

Curious prayer. Admittedly, I find it strange how someone like Merton could be so confused about God's will and about how to please God. I'm not nearly as intelligent as he, but isn't trusting God the only way to please God? And isn't it God Who accomplishes His will in us? Instead, Merton suggests that we should be in the dark about God's will (or, at the very least, worry about whether we are in harmony with His will), going on to suggest that the desire to please God is what in fact pleases God (which I don't think is a biblically sound assertion). Only a radical trust in the Lord is pleasing to Him, according to the Word; and it is God Who works to will and to do of His good pleasure in us, if I'm not mistaken. It seems to me that the Lord doesn't leave any room for confusion on this issue, i.e. concerning His will and exactly what pleases Him. By the end of the prayer Merton touches briefly upon the matter of trust, but the trust he speaks of is contingent upon his desire to please God. But shouldn't our trust be contingent upon the faithfulness of God alone, rather than any desirousness (or lack thereof) in ourselves?

Anyway, just a thought.