The Merton Prayer 4/3/2013   1 comment

While my interest in wordy prayer has fallen over the years, believing that silence is always better than words, even if  the words are not spoken aloud. I do this comfortably sitting, not in any unfriendly posture like a badly suffering earth worm or yoga enthusiast. I find that breathing in the first silence of dawn when the sun begins to make itself felt, when the preciously sonorous song of a very determined wren graces the earth with delight, I do at times come back to the prayer with which I have always felt  mostly comfortable. Merton’s famous creation is from  the early version of SEEDS Of CONTEMPLATION I believe. It has been around for well over 50 years but includes some words which I can no longer favor.

How about LORD? If you look up this sadly overused word,  you will find that most of its definitions tend to an unflattering description  of the individual described thereby. The word for me leads to visions of criminally insane masters of cruelly treated peasants and affords no visions of an Entity whose whole Being is love. I eschew this word and borrow a description from our Native Americans: Great Spirit. There are a few other changes. I feel much better with them and can use the prayer well. Sorry Fr. Louis but things have changed and I’ve had to also.



Great Spirit, we have no idea where we are going. We do not see the road ahead of us.

We cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do we really know ourselves, and the

fact that we think we are following  your will does not mean that we are actually doing so.

But we believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And we hope we have

that desire in all that we are doing. We hope that we will never do anything apart from

that desire. And we know that if we do this you will lead us by the right road though we

may know nothing about it. Therefore we will trust you always though we may seem to

be lost and in the shadow of death, we will try not to fear, for you are ever with us and

you will never leave us to face out perils alone.

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Posted April 2, 2013 by 72randy in Uncategorized

One response to “The Merton Prayer 4/3/2013

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  1. Another note has been struck? Not being as mentally astute as my dear friend Randy (although being described as “mental” many times in my life) this Merton prayer (unedited version) which I discovered years ago (in “Thoughts in Solitude”) has been my favorite for years. Great commentary on it! I still start out with: “My Lord, God”……I guess I am waiting for my next beating!

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