I’ve been rereading Thomas Merton’s Thoughts in Solitude and even hiked over to Kinokuniya to find more of his works. I found nothing I wanted.
Yes, there is his acclaimed Seven Storey Mountain, but the Merton I read is not the Merton of his first novel. The Merton I found was a wiser, more knowing one, who saw the follies of his earlier notions in Seven Storey. And his writing speaks to me; his prose is powerful and beautiful. But it is not the craft which draws me in, but his earnestness and his open honesty.
His writing’s touched me enough to attempt to do a Merton, to put down my prayers in written prose and attempt to come to terms with all I want to say to Him.
My Lord my God,
I struggle to put aside my longings and instead set my sights on the path You have made for me. Every day I tell You, I am grateful. I tell You that I will trust, that I will not fear, that I will rest in Your love.
Then why, dear Father, do I run, and quake, and seek answers where there are none?
Just when I think I have put on the blinders of faith and courageously go forward, I bolt and hide. Why do I seek false solace and imperfect refuge in my hedonistic urges? I say I fear the darkness but more often than not, I hide from Your light when I know it can sustain me.
I trust mere men more than I trust You sometimes, listening to their empty promises, deluding myself by seeing what is not there. I fear being alone when I should know by now that You have never, and will never, abandon me. You have held my hand and listened to me weep in the silence of dark nights. But I listen not to You but the fervoured whimperings of my broken heart.
So do not abandon me, Lord, though I stray from Your side. Do not let me fall into the abyss of despair, do not allow me to stay drugged in the smoke of the opium of my desires. For I am weak, despite my pride and my insolent dependence on my skills and talents, none of which I would have without You. Remind me, when I forget, that You have never left me.