NIGHT PRAYER: Thursday 12/10

Today is the 52nd anniversary of the death of the great Trappist monk and spiritual writer, Thomas Merton. For tonight's prayer we have:
    - Merton's seasonal poem, Advent,
        entwining the season with the elements, the universe
    - followed by a beautiful instrumental piece, Winter Solitude
    - and finally a more familiar Merton piece beginning, 
        "I have no idea where I'm going..."
    Image source

Charm with your stainlessness these winter nights,
Skies, and be perfect! 

Fly, vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors,
And disappear.
You moon, be slow to go down,
This is your full!

The four white roads make off in silence
Towards the four parts of the starry universe.
Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintry earth.
We have become more humble than the rocks,
More wakeful than the patient hills.

Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent, holy spheres,
While minds, as meek as beasts,
Stay close at home in the sweet hay;
And intellects are quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.

Oh pour your darkness and your brightness over all our solemn valleys,
You skies: and travel like the gentle Virgin,
Toward the planets' stately setting,

Oh white full moon as quiet as Bethlehem!

- Thomas Merton

Winter Solitude by Ekaterina

Merton's Prayer

My Lord God, 
     I have no idea where I’m going. 
I don’t see the road ahead of me 
   and I can’t know for certain where it will end. 
Nor do I really know my own self. 
And the fact that I think I’m following your will 
   doesn’t mean that I’m actually doing so.
But I believe that even the desire to do what's right 
    does in fact please you. 
And I hope I have that desire in all that I’m doing.  
I hope I’ll never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
    you’ll lead me by the right road, 
        though I may know nothing about it. 
Therefore will I trust you always 
    even when I may seem to be lost 
        and in the shadow of death.
Even then I will not fear 
    for you are always with me, 
        and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.



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