Scribbles, &c.

Merton prays

From The Sign of Jonas, a diary Thomas Merton kept during the first few years after making his perpetual vows at Gethsemani:

The way You have laid open before me is an easy way, compared with the hard way of my own will which leads back to Egypt, and to bricks without straw.

If You allow people to praise me, I shall not worry. If You let them blame me, I shall worry even less, but be glad. If You send me work I shall embrace it with joy and it will be rest to me, because it is Your will. And if You send me rest, I will rest in You. Only save me from myself. Save me from my own, private, poisonous urge to change everything, to act without reason, to move for movement's sake, to unsettle everything You have ordained.

Let me rest in Your will and be silent. Than the light of Your joy will warm my life. Its fire will burn in my heart and shine for Your glory. This is what I love for. Amen, amen.

I want to write about Steindl-Rast's Gratefulness but I'm not sure if I'm up to it. Pieces of it come back to me constantly which I take to be a good sign. It has opened doors to contemplative forms of prayer which were sort of on the periphery, just out of the corner of my eye. Close-by, but un-named and maybe unseen. Then you see them and the reaction is "Of course! It was there all along!" It seems strange that such a short book would be difficult to summarize, so universal as to defy simple categorization. It is, in short, a book about prayer and gratitude, and how each reflects and magnifies the other in the smallest of moments. These moments should catch us by surprise, which means we must - paradoxically - be prepared for surprise.

That will have to suffice for now. Maybe more later.