Thomas Merton

Today is 100 years since the birth of Thomas Merton. His writing and his thinking have been profoundly influential over a great many of us.

‘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 you 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 am 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.’

This famous prayer from his book ‘Thoughts in Solitude’ speak to me both of humility and faith. This willingness to step forward in uncertainty resonates with me.

Faith is not about certainty. It is not about knowing. And yet it is about trusting.

I have no idea where my own life is going, but I know that the only way to get anywhere is to continue to be discerning, continue to trust my discernment, and to continue to be aware that I may be wrong.

To take each step in humility and ultimately to trust not in anything I do, but in the grace of God.

2 thoughts on “Thomas Merton

  1. Margaret, this is a great reminder to trust in God’s grace and love and mercy. I need to remember this as we are launching a new ministry in our parish and God continually reminds me that this is God’s work, not mine! Thank you.

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