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RADICAL MERTON



"Thoughts in Solitude"


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.

This prayer from Thomas Merton who died tragically on the 10th December 1968 in Thailand, electrocuted through a faulty appliance.



He was a Trappist monk, much sort-after for his spiritual writings and insight.

Will he be canonised? Probably not - he was a bit too "human", a radical pacifist,

and a soul searching Eastern as well as Western traditions to find God.

The more-conservative Catholics view Merton as heretical, but it is interesting

the Pope Francis declared Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day as two of the four most-influential Christian Americans. Merton and Day were Catholic, Martin Luther-King and Abraham Lincoln were not!



“It is true, political problems are not solved by love and mercy.

But the world of politics is not the only world,

and unless political decisions rest on a foundation of something better and higher than politics, they can never do any real good for men.


When a country has to be rebuilt after war,

the passions and energies of war are no longer enough.

There must be a new force, the power of love,

the power of understanding and human compassion,

the strength of selflessness and cooperation,

and the creative dynamism of the will to live and to build,

and the will to forgive.

The will for reconciliation.” –

Introductions East & West. The Foreign Prefaces of Thomas Merton



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