Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - December 8

The Old Man in a Thousand Wrappings

Evening: The heart is deceitful above all things
The heart is deep and full of windings
The old man is covered up in a thousand wrappings
(Lancelot Andrewes, Preces)

True sad words, and I would not have felt the truth of them so much if I had not had so much solitude these days, with rain coming down on the roof and hiding the valley. Rain in the night, the nuisance of water in the buckets. Or cutting wood behind the house, and a faint smell of hickory smoke from the chimney--while I taste and see that I am deceitful and that most of my troubles are rooted in my own bitterness. Is this what solitude is for? Then it is good, but I must pray for the strength to bear it! (The heart is deceitful and does not want this--but God is greater than my heart!)

I will acknowledge my faults, O Lord.
O who will give scourges to my mind
That they spare not my sins?

December 3, 1964, V.173

1 comment:

  1. Psalm 141

    I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me; give ear to my voice when I call to you.

    2Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

    3Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.

    4Do not turn my heart to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with those who work iniquity; do not let me eat of their delicacies.

    5Let the righteous strike me; let the faithful correct me. Never let the oil of the wicked anoint my head, for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.

    6When they are given over to those who shall condemn them, then they shall learn that my words were pleasant.

    7Like a rock that one breaks apart and shatters on the land, so shall their bones be strewn at the mouth of Sheol.

    8But my eyes are turned toward you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenseless.

    9Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me, and from the snares of evildoers.

    10Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I alone escape.