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.
January 25, 1942, Feast of the Conversion of St Paul.
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.