1-Minute Meditation: Faith


“You do not need to know precisely what is happening,
or exactly where it is all going.
What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges
offered by the present moment, and to embrace them
with courage, faith and hope.”
~ Thomas Merton ~

                                         © Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012.

Need more than a minute?
1-Minute Meditation: Everything
1-Minute Meditation: Choice
1-Minute Meditation: Jesus
1-Minute Meditation: Affirmation
1-Minute Meditation: Fear
1-Minute Meditation: Awareness
1-Minute Meditation: Merton Prayer
1-Minute Meditation:
1-Minute Meditation:

1-Minute Meditation: Merton Prayer

In Thoughts in Solitude, Part Two,
Chapter II consists of fifteen lines that have become known as
“the Merton Prayer.”

“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 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 I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that 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
you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”
© Abbey of Gethsemani
Thomas Merton
1915 ~ 1968

The Merton Prayer Translated Into Other Languages

Spanish Merton Prayer
Dios, Señor Mío, no tengo idea de adónde voy. No veo el camino ante mí. No puedo saber con certeza dónde terminará. Tampoco me conozco realmente, y el hecho de pensar que estoy siguiendo tu voluntad no significa que en realidad lo esté haciendo. Creo que el deseo de agradarte, de hecho te agrada. Y espero tener ese deseo en todo lo que hago. Espero que nunca haré algo apartado de ese deseo. Y sé que si hago esto me llevarás por el camino correcto, aunque yo no sepa nada al respecto. Por lo tanto, confiaré en ti aunque parezca estar perdido a la sombra de la muerte. No tendré temor porque estás siempre conmigo, y nunca dejarás que enfrente solo mis peligros. ···

– Thomas Merton, “Pensamientos en la Soledad”
© Abbey of Gethsemani

Portuguese Merton Prayer
SENHOR, MEU DEUS, não tenho idéia para onde estou indo. Não vejo o caminho adiante de mim. Não posso saber com certeza onde terminará. Nem sequer, em verdade, me conheço. E o fato de eu pensar que estou seguindo tua vontade, não significa que realmente o esteja. Mas acredito que o desejo de te agradar te agrada, de fato. E espero ter esse desejo em tudo que estiver fazendo. Espero jamais vir a fazer alguma coisa distante desse desejo. E sei que, se agir assim, tu hás de me levar pelo caminho certo, embora eu possa nada saber sobre o mesmo. Portanto, hei de confiar sempre em ti, ainda que eu possa parecer estar perdido e sob a sombra da morte. Não hei de temer, pois tu sempre estás comigo, e nunca hás de deixar que eu enfrente meus perigos sozinho.

– Thomas Merton Na liberdade da soli

French Merton Prayer
Seigneur mon Dieu, je ne comprends pas du tout où je vais. Je ne vois pas la route devant moi. Je ne puis savoir avec certitude où elle aboutira. Je ne me connais pas non plus en réalité, et le fait que je pense me conformer à Votre volonté ne produit ni ne signifie mon obéissance effective. Mais je crois que le désir de Vous plaire Vous plaît en effet. Et j’espère avoir ce désir en toutes mes actions. J’espère ne jamais rien faire sans ce désir. Je sais que si j’agis ainsi Vous me conduirez par le droit chemin, même si je n’en sais rien. Aussi mettrai-je toujours ma confiance en Vous, même si je me crois perdu et dans l’ombre de la mort. Je ne craindrai pas, car Vous êtes toujours avec moi, et Vous ne me laisserez jamais seul en face du danger. ···

– Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”
© Abbey of Gethsemani
© by Edition d’Histoire et d”Art por la traduction française

Swahili Merton Prayer
Bwana Munga Wangu, sijui niendako, nashindwa kuiona njia mbele yangu, wala siwezi kujua kwa hakika kwanba njia hiyo itakomea wapi. Kwa kweli hata mimi mwenyewe sijifahamu, na yale ambayo nafikiri nafanya kufuatana na mapenzi yako, inaonekana sina hakika nayo. Lakini naamini kwamba tamaa ya kukupendeza wewe kwa kweli ninayao. Natumaini kwamba ninayo tamaa hiyo katika yote nifanyayo. Naamini kwamba sitafanya lolote nje ya tamaa hiyo, na kamwe sitafanya hivyo. Wewe utaniongoza katika njia iliyo sawa ingawa sijui lo lote. Kwa hiyo nitnakuamini daima ingawa naweza kuonekana kupotea katika kivuli cha mauti. Sitaogopa kamwe kwa kuwa wewe upo pamoja nami daima, na wala hutaniacha katika hatari peke yangu. Amina.

Translated from English into Swahili by Sr. Christa Kimashi & Sr. Frieda Kisaka

For more translations click here

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Mountain or Molehill?

A little more than 24 hours ago, this was my mountain.

It was overwhelming…daunting…I was exhausted by the thought of it.
I mean, I can’t even get to the washer to start a load! Ughhhhh…”I would rather donate these clothes than have to separate, wash, dry, fold and put it all away!

I can sense you judging me.
Part of what you’re thinking is accurate.
I was behaving like a spoiled brat. I mean, who looks at their dirty laundry and prefers to give it away over washing it?! (Maybe I should stop wearing my tiara randomly around the house? Nah.)

What?! You don’t wear a tiara while doing laundry, the dishes, scrubbing toilets, or anything else of importance?! I highly recommend it!

Then it happened…it happens every time I start whining about my circumstances. The girl with no shoes and a tired expression comes into my mind. She walks 6 miles a day just to get water. I imagine what her face would look like if she had a washer and dryer and if she could walk to the refrigerator and fill a cup with water that comes straight from the door. You don’t even have to open the fridge!

One may argue that this is a reaction of guilt. Maybe it’s the product of growing up in an environment where, if I didn’t finish a meal I would hear, “Children in Africa don’t have anything to eat. They would gobble that cauliflower right up and be thankful!”

However, one would be wrong. Visualizing the young girl having to walk miles to get water all while hoping she isn’t ambushed and raped along the way is a very true reality for many. I am fortunate enough to be here, in my home, in the land of plenty.

There are few things I dislike more than “housework,” none of it compares to what others endure on a daily basis for simple survival. I do enjoy vacuuming because I get to see instant progress by the tracks being made in the carpet as the vacuum removes all of the dust and dirt. However, when I think about the fact that I have an entire room dedicated to removing the stains, washing and drying my clothes… well… I am overcome with the reality that I am either spoiled beyond entitlement, immensely blessed, or a little bit of both.

Now that things were coming back into perspective and I was feeling a little more rational, I formulated a plan. Eight loads of laundry later, tiara still shining, this is the new view…

This may be a silly example to some, but for me the mess, our dirty laundry, made everything else seem bigger.

We all have our mountains. Some are daily, some weekly, others monthly. There are those that will only be part of our story once in our lifetime.

Compared to cancer, my mountain looks like a speed bump. However, for me it represents what’s going on with my insides. Does it seem a little more valid when I put it that way? When my spiritual life is in comparable condition to my laundry room before overhaul it calls for drastic measures. It is also a telltale sign that no maintenance is being done. If I would do a little bit of laundry everyday, my floor would not be covered with dirty clothes. Isn’t it the same with my spiritual life?

If you are still wondering if I am comparing my insides to my dirty laundry and the avoidance to clean it all up, the answer is a resounding, “YES!” I’m a simple gal (for today anyway), meaning I  need simple illustrations that I can wrap my brain around. Jesus is for my soul what Tide is for my clothes. Shew! I am so thankful for grace!

A man much smarter than I, by the name of Thomas Merton wrote, “Once you have grace… you are free. Without it, you cannot help doing the things you know you should not do, and that you know you don’t really want to do. But once you have grace, you are free… there is no power in existence that can force you to commit a sin–nothing that will be able to drive you to it against your own conscience. And if you merely will it, you will be free forever, because the strength will be given you, as much as you need, and as often as you ask, and as soon as you ask, and generally long before you ask for it, too.” ~The Seven Storey Mountain

Walking past my clean laundry room gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride. Is that wrong? What’s your mountain today? Is victory attainable? Are you overwhelmed?