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Vicar's Musings for Pentecost

24 May, 2015

We were blessed on Thursday evening, at the Institute for Spiritual Studies, in having Fr Rob Whalley talk to us about Thomas Merton. After decades of reading and teaching on Merton, Fr Rob spoke without notes and inspired us all with his passion for and knowledge of this great twentieth-century mystic. Something particularly fitting to reflect on today as we prepare for worship is Merton's "Prayer to God the Father on the Vigil of Pentecost" from his book Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander.

Today, Father, this blue sky lauds you.
The delicate green and orange flowers of the tulip poplar tree
praise you. The
distant blue hills praise you, together with the sweet smelling air
that is full of brilliant light.
The bickering flycatchers praise you with the lowing cattle and
the quails that whistle over there. I too, Father, praise you,
with all these my brothers,
and they give voice to my own heart and to my own silence.
We are all one silence, and a diversity of voices.

You have made us together, you have made us one and many,
you have placed me here in the midst as witness, as awareness,
and as joy.
Here I am. In me the world is present, and you are present.
I am a link in the chain of light and presence.
You have made me a kind of centre, but a centre that is nowhere.
And yet I am also "here."

To be here with the silence of Sonship in my heart is to be a centre
in which all things converge upon you.
That is surely enough for the time being.
Therefore, Father, I beg you to keep me in this silence
so that I may learn from it the word of your peace and the word of
your mercy and the word of your gentleness to the world:
and that through me perhaps your word of peace
may make itself heard where it has not been possible for anyone
to hear it for a long time.

To study truth here and learn here to suffer for truth.
The Light itself, and the contentment and the Spirit,
These are enough. Amen.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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