Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, January 18

I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
—Psalm 116:9

One of the best books I have ever read, used for meditation, or prayed with is A Seven Day Journey with Thomas Merton by Esther de Waal. An oversized paperback book with only 94 pages of text, it is illustrated with black and white photographs, some taken by Merton himself and others by the author. It is filled with quotations from the Psalms and from Merton’s writings. 

The book is not a biography. The author writes, “This is not a book about Thomas Merton. The book is meant to become a prayer.”  Early in the book, Merton is quoted:

If we really want prayer, we’ll have to give it time.  We must slow down to a human tempo and we’ll begin to have time to listen.  And as soon as we listen to what’s going on, things will begin to take shape by themselves....

We live in the fullness of time. Every moment is God's own good time, His kairos. The whole thing boils down to giving ourselves in prayer a chance to realize that we have what we seek.  We don’t have to rush after it. It is there all the time, and if we give it time it will make itself known to us.

Thank you, God, for guides like Thomas Merton, who teach us what it means "to walk in your presence in the land of the living." Help us to make all of our life a prayer. Amen.