Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - July 23

Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

What was it that I said to you, at Havana?

Were you not perhaps the last one I saw as the steamer left, you standing on your tower with your back to the sea, looking at the university?

I have never forgotten you. You are more to me now than then, when I walked through the streets reciting. I think I have received them, but I do not remember. More importantly, I have received you whom I know and do not know. Whom I love but not enough.

Prayer is what you bring—for prayer is your gift to us rather than what you ask of us. If only I could pray—and yet I can and do pray. Teach me to go to the country beyond words and beyond names. Teach me to pray on this side of the frontier, here where the woods are.

I need to be led by you. I need my heart to be moved by you. I need my soul to be made clean by your prayer. I need my will to be made strong by you. I need you for all those who suffer, who are in prison, in danger, in sorrow. I need you for all the crazy people. I need your healing hands to work always in my life. I need you to make me, as your Son, a healer, a comforter, a savior. I need you to name the dead. I need you to help the dying cross their particular river. I need you for myself, whether I live or die. I need to be your monk and your son. It is necessary. Amen.

July 17, 1956, III.46-47

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