Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And thus I saw the Voice that struck me dead! Merton on Paul

Athos posted on Merton and I admit that I have a very soft spot for Merton and it brought up a desire to post the following from a book which included many journal entries from his days at Gethsemani Abbey.

And lest the greatness of the revelations should puff me up, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing I thrice besought the Lord, that it might depart from me: And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-9, Merton adds, "Paul")!

St Paul ACTS IX: 1 - 22

When I was Saul, and walked among the blazing rocks,
My road was quiet as a trap.
I feared what Word would split high noon with light;
And lock my sight, and drive me mad:

And thus I saw the Voice that struck me dead!

Tie up my life and wind me in my sheets of fear
And lay my reason in a three days' sepulchre,
'Till Jesus shows me Easter in a dream!

When I was Saul, and sat among the cloaks,
My eyes were stones. I saw no sight of heaven
Open to take the spirit of the twisting Stephen.
When I was Saul, and sat among the rocks,
I locked my eyes, my mind I made a tomb,
Sealed with what boulders rolled across my reason!

O Jesus, show me Easter in a dream!
O Cross Damascus, where poor Ananias in some other room,
(Who knows my locks, to let me out!)
Waits for Your word to take his keys, and come!

-- Fr. Louis (Thomas) Merton; written on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, January 25, 1942, at Gethsemani Abbey, Trappist, Kentucky. Published in Entering the Silence, p. 6.

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