Referred to often as "The Merton Prayer," this beautiful prayer, like so many of Merton's writings, have filled me with great love through the years. I have turned to it again and againIt has inspired countless men and women walking in the way of their lives. The prayer reads:
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 will I 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.
The photograph of the empty bench was taken on a walk I took during my stay at a peaceful retreat center not far from where Merton, the most famous American monk, lived and walked at Gethsemani Abbey. Each time I would make the long loop, realizing I indeed had no idea where I was going in my life at the time, I would recite Merton's prayer. It brought me great comfort then and continues to do so. This poem print makes a perfect gift for the open-hearted or spiritually-minded person or anyone facing challenges in their lives.
What is your essential story of life? What is alive in you?