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A Thomas Merton Birthday Reflection

January 31, 2020

With thanksgiving I remember the birth-day of Thomas Merton. In the past five years he has become an incredible mentor and inspiration to me. In the Antiphon from the Friday Dawn Prayer in Merton’s Book of Hours, I read the following from his poem, “The Biography.” It gave me goosebumps to realize I was reading this on his birth-day!

Christ, from my cradle,

I had known You everywhere,

And even thought I sinned,

I walked in You, and knew You were my world:

You were my life and air, yet I would not own You.

As a result I was inspired to write these words:

Christ in me always and everywhere

Christ leading me through the paths of life

Christ my light in darkness

Christ my hope in despair

Christ my joy in sorrow

Christ within and without me

Christ encouraging and guiding me

In the final paper which I wrote in the form of a letter to Merton for the Merton class I took at Columbia Presbyterian Theological Seminary, I wrote the following as a wrap up to my paper. The words are especially relevant today.

Father Louis (his monastic name), thank you for helping me… for walking with me (and continuing to walk with me) as I seek my way on God’s path. I do believe it is my calling to be a part of that which unites all humankind, and to be an advocate for those who have no voice. And thank you for encouraging me to see God’s incredible creation through the lens of my camera.

Grace and Peace, Michael

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