Prayer to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

January 10, 2012

What is it that I said to you, in the mirror, at Havana? Were you not perhaps the last one I saw as the steamer left, you standing on your tower with your back to the sea, looking at the university?

I have never forgotten you. You are more to me now than then, when I walked through the streets reciting (which I had just learned) the Memorare. I have forgotten all the things I have prayed for to you. I think I have received them, but I do not remember. More important I have received you.

Whom I know and yet do not know. Whom I love, but not enough.
Prayer is what you bring—for prayer is your gift to us rather than what you ask of us.

If only I could pray—and yet I can and do pray.

Teach me to go to this country beyond words and beyond names. Teach me not to pray on this side of the frontier, here where the woods are.

I need to be led by you. I need my heart to be moved by you. I need my soul to be made clean by your prayer. I need my will to be made strong by you. I need the world to be saved and changed by you. I need you for all those who suffer, who are in prison, in danger, in sorrow. I need you for all the crazy people. I need your healing hands to work always in my life. I need you to take me, as your Son a healer, a comforter, a savior. I need you to name the dead. I need you to help the dying cross their particular river. I need you for myself whether I life or die. I need to be your monk and your son. It is necessary. Amen.

-Thomas Merton (found in Thoughts in Solitude and in The Intimate Merton)

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