January 30, 2009

A Prayer for Uncertain Times


An Excerpt from Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton

Trappist monk Thomas Merton writes about some practices of the spiritual life in this classic volume. Here is a prayer in which he embraces uncertainty through the practice of trust, an essential element of faith.

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.