Psalm … with help from Thomas Merton

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.

You have placed within me a spirit capable
of soaring to the highest heavens like an eagle on wind currents
drunk with abandon in joy and pleasure beyond measure.
Yet mystery of mysteries, that same spirit plunges
as low as the ocean floor consumed by fear,
captive to despair and darkness.

While yearning burns deep within
for communion with you, O Holy Mystery,
my humanity and creatureliness
continuously pull me away from you.
Your precious and loving gift of free will
is both blessing and curse.
I praise and thank you yet.

But, O God, on days when darkness and despair
invade my soul like guests, unannounced,
unwelcome and unfriendly I cry to you in helpless hope
like a lamb trapped in a lion’s den.
Your most-feared absence in the abyss
holds the sweetest, most mysterious yet potent promise
of your most holy presence.
Truly, you did descend into hell,  transforming
its destructive fire into purifying flames,
redeeming the ultimate darkness, death, itself.

Help me, O God, to always err
on the side of excess of mercy
rather than excess of severity
both towards myself and towards others.
Thus your image and likeness
will shine forth more and more
through every fibre of my whole being.
My eternal home lies in this quest and you,
O Holy Source and Destiny of my life,
draw me thus irresistibly and always.

In my final days, as you will separate
the last intricate fibers of my earthly being,
grant me the grace to cling to you in my nothingness,
finding fullness and destiny in your eternal bosom
of love and mercy and compassion.

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.
I sing and shout for joy for each day death and pain
dance with eternal and holy life-giving light, mercy and love.
ALLELUIA

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One thought on “Psalm … with help from Thomas Merton”

  1. Hello, Marie-Louise,

    I was absolutely staggered at the depth of vision and feeling in your psalm and how completely it spoke to my current situation. In fact, it could have been written just for me. (Selfish idea, eh?)
    I’m writing to ask permission to copy, just to post on my bulletin board by my desk. And, of course, to say thank you.

    Joan Eyolfson Cadham

    Liked by 1 person

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