Thursday, July 19, 2012

rediscovered the night before visiting Gethsemani

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 that 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.

Thomas Merton

I was already familiar with this prayer but rediscovered it quite by accident tonight in one of my late mother's old computer folders. 


  1. I'm most familiar with the King James version of the 23rd Psalm and like how Merton has restored the conversational tone that I suspect it was written with. A rediscovery indeed.

  2. Cool. I like Merton's little book on the Psalms very much.

  3. Thanks. Although I have read a little Merton (his book on Contemplative prayer) I don't think I've seen this one.

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  5. You're welcome. A nice thing happened to me while I was at Gethsemani (one of many, actually)---I was walking around in the garden area below where Merton is buried and a huge yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly flew directly to me and perched for quite some time on my bare forearm. It was a sweet visitation.


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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or