Reflections for May 17, 2013
At the special session of the Administrative Board that focused on prayer, discernment and strategic planning, I was asked to offer the closing remarks and prayer. I decided to use the prayer of Thomas Merton. Merton was a Trappist monk, writer, peace and civil rights advocate, and spiritual writer. I was first introduced to him during my younger years when I read The Seven Storey Mountain. I can always find inspiration in his works, and this prayer is one I keep inside my journal—I use it often as I set out for the day.
Dear 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. I hope I have that desire in everything I do. I hope I never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that you will lead me on the right road. . . though I may know nothing of it at the time. Therefore, I will trust you always for though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not be afraid because I know you will never leave me to face my troubles all alone. Amen.
The honesty and confessional nature of the Merton prayer are refreshing. The words remind us that we are here to please God, not ourselves, and that we are here to follow God’s plan, not our own.