Thomas Merton continues to speak with a voice that is insightful, compelling, and prophetic. His extensive writings provide ample scope for any compiler who attempts to set before the reader a coherent introduction to his thought, his questions, his concerns, his passions. Words mattered: they were Merton’s stock-in-trade, his first and most characteristic art form. Few people have been the subject of so much scrutiny and interpretation, but an anthology enables Merton to speak for himself, and it allows the reader to engage directly with a man who—fifty years after his death—remains a surprisingly contemporary figure, addressing time and again the issues that matter to us and to our world. The following words are from Merton himself and can be found in my book The Art of Thomas Merton: A Divine Passion in Word and Vision. —John Moses
My Lord God
I have no idea where I am going.
I cannot see the road ahead of me
and I do not know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I 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
that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope 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 will never leave me
to face my perils alone.