Are you feeling lost? Alone? Disoriented? Without resources? Without even a plan a), much less a plan b)?The conditions are indescribable for so many of us; fear, loss, lockdown, anxiety, loneliness, desperation, the known and the unknown – all converging on us in flashing bursts of breaking news. It is enough to throw the strongest and surest off course. Thomas Merton, the 20thC contemplative priest and Trappist monk, walked his own journey of darkness and despair. He found his way through with this prayer of humility and surrender. It is most fitting for our moment in time. Let us pray:
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 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 I will 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. Amen
Merton prays with awareness, gratitude and willing obedience. His are words of hope, of faith, and of courage. Even as Easter people who rejoice in the risen Lord, we know in our hearts that we will die and rise with him again – and again – and that darkness does not overcome the light when we are open to God’s saving grace.