Prayer Pledge 2017: Day 21


While writing yesterday’s prayer pledge post, I kept thinking of one of my favorite quotations from Thomas Merton. And today, I want to leave it with you. (I’ve bolded some of my most favorite passages.)

In his book Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Merton writes:

“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world…

This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud… I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.

Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed… But this cannot be seen, only believed and ‘understood’ by a peculiar gift.”

Comment below with your thoughts:

Is there a quote that you carry in your heart as you pray? Does the Holy Spirit speak to you through someone’s words over and over again?

or, simply answer:

Did you pray today?

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  • Reply
    Jordan Marie
    January 21, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    My thoughts and prayers have been filled with all the women I know and the women I don’t know that march today. I pray their hearts be touched and filled with love for all, those democrat or republican and born or in the womb. It seems so much of today’s news is filled with hate and separation amongst people who claim to be “so different” when like Merton said we all have a soul created by God and in his image.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    I love those quotes! Thank you! I never heard them before.

  • Reply
    Karen Gately
    January 21, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This happens to me frequently, and of all places when I’m driving on the highway. It brings me to tears every time for the sheer beauty of it. It gives me such joy to know that I am not alone. The BIS community is amazing!

  • Reply
    Megan Cahill-Assenza
    January 24, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    I currently do not have a quote that I carry in my heart as I pray, but I pray to find one, one day. I hope the more I read scripture passages or other faith base books, a quote will stand out and resonate with me.

    Every night I read the devotional of the day from the book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. When I read the devotional, depending on what type of day I had, I truly feel the Holy Spirit speaks to me through the words. What I also love to do is open to any random page, in the book, His Princess Love Letters from Your King, by Sheri Rose Shepherd, or the book, God’s Words of Life for Catholic Women, and read exactly what you needed. It’s a gift from the Holy Spirit.

    As someone who loves to write, I pray that one day, the Holy Spirit will use my words to speak to someone.

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