Silence and solitude
October 5th, 2010 by Regina Brett
I just returned from a weekend at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky.
The silence and solitude attracted me, that, and the writing of Thomas Merton. He is the one person whose words touch me every time.
My favorite work of his is an excerpt from "Thoughts In Solitude." They form the prayer that I keep posted in my daily planner:
"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...."
Someone placed two rosaries on the small white simple cross that marks his grave. It looks like all the other white crosses outside of the abbey. Inside the men pray non-stop for the world, chanting ancient psalms that somehow still soothe me, along with Merton's words:
"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 will never leave me to face my perils alone."