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 Minnesota, 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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