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Thomas Merton: A Poem and Prayer On His Birthday

by Brian Nixon

Thomas Merton

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS)–Thomas Merton (1915-1968) would’ve turned 104 on January 31st, 2019.  As a poet, writer, activist, monk, and teacher, Merton touched the lives of many throughout the world.  I’ve written about him often through Assist News Service, found here, here, and here.   As author of over 70 books, his legacy remains in the written word.  Because my first attraction to his life was through his writings—first poetry, then prayers, I leave you one of each to ponder on his birthday.


Prayer: From Thoughts in Solitude

Thoughts in Solitude, 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. 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.”





Poem: Song For Nobody

A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)

In The Dark Before Dawn: Selected Poems, Thomas Merton

Sings by itself
For nobody.

A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)

Sings without a word
By itself.

Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.

(No light, no gold, no name, no color
and no thought:
O, wide awake!)

A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.

I’m nobody. I hope you are, too

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