Thomas Merton Plus Isaiah 43

A number of years ago, I thought the much-loved passage from Isaiah made a nice match with Thomas Merton’s Prayer of Abandonment. On the day Thomas was received into eternal life, I thought it would be a timely reflection of both the monk and the season:

All: Fear not, for I am with you.

Men: But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, Jacob, and formed you, Israel:

Women: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.

Men: When you pass through waters, I will be with you; through rivers, you shall not be swept away.

Women: When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, nor will flames consume you.

Men: For I, the LORD, am your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior.

Women: I give Egypt as ransom for you, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.

Men: Because you are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you,

Women: I give people in return for you and nations in exchange for your life.

All: Fear not, for I am with you. (Isaiah 43:1-5a)

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 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
that 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)

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Saints, Scripture, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Thomas Merton Plus Isaiah 43

  1. Dustin says:

    Ashamed I’ve never seen that prayer before. It’s beautiful, and I caught myself reading it aloud. “[T]he fact I think that I am following your will
    does not mean that I am actually doing so.” How often I worry about that, how confused I often am about what to believe, how to act . . .

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