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