I always seem to run across this prayer by Thomas Merton just when I need to read it again.
I love the down-to-earth quality of it. I also love that Merton was a Trappist monk, someone whom it might be easy to assume has a little more figured out as far as where he’s going in life than the average person.
My Lord God, we have no idea where we are going. We do not see the road ahead of us. We cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do we really know ourselves, and the fact that we think that we are following your will does not mean that we are actually doing so. But we believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And we hope we have that desire in all that we are doing. We hope that we will never do anything apart from that desire. And we know that if we do this you will lead us by the right road though we may know nothing about it. Therefore we will trust you always though we may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. We will not fear, for you are ever with us, and you will never leave us to face our perils alone. Amen.
I’m about to celebrate both my third anniversary and my 25th birthday. In just a few weeks, I will welcome my second child into the world. I quit my job at the beginning of the summer to stay home full time with my 19-month-old son and new baby. My husband and I also started a business this summer. And by this Christmas, we will have had no fewer than four different family members and friends live with us for various periods of time over the course of the year.
Despite the fact that my husband and I do our very best to discern God’s will for our lives, we are living so much by faith this year! We can only trust that our desire to do God’s will and our earnest and prayerful discernment of each step we take is leading us in the direction of God’s plan for our marriage and family.
My favorite line of this prayer is this: “And we know that if we do this you will lead us by the right road though we may know nothing about it.” This line echoes a Bible verse I keep close to my heart when anxiety at all that I have going on in my life tries to take over.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
We are all in the same boat with seeking God’s will within our vocations, whether we’re mommies or monks.
Copyright 2011 Erin Franco