In this life there are many things to prepare for, but the most important is for our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. I will take you with me, should you want to come along, on my personal journey to the door which will lead to eternity, through which every soul must pass. Where the angel of death waits to ask the all important question, "Are you prepared for the Kingdom?"

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Location: Anacortes, Washington, United States

Two years ago I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was one of the fortunate ones who survived surgery along with chemo/radiation treatments. Recently, it was discovered that the cancer had returned and although I am again on chemotherapy, in all probability I have perhaps one more year to live. During these last months I would like to share what I have learned about the most important thing we'll ever do in this life and that is, prepare for the kingdom of God.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Heartfelt Prayer

The following is from Thomas Merton’s book, "New Seeds of Contemplation." It’s a little lengthy, but I found it very beautiful and well worth sharing.

"Justify my soul, O God, but also from Your fountains fill my will with fire. Shine in my mind, although perhaps this means, "be darkness to my experience," but occupy my heart with Your tremendous Life. Let my eyes see nothing in the world but Your glory, and let my hands touch nothing that is not for Your service. Let my tongue taste no bread that does not strengthen me to praise Your great mercy. I will hear Your voice and I will hear all harmonies You have created, singing Your hymns. Sheep’s wool and cotton from the field shall warm me enough that I may live in Your service; I will give the rest to Your poor. Let me use all things for one sole reason: to find my joy in giving You glory.

Therefore keep me, above all things, from sin. Keep me from the death of deadly sin which puts hell in my soul. Keep me from the murder of lust that blinds and poisons my heart. Keep me from the sins that eat a man’s flesh with irresistible fire until he is devoured. Keep me from loving money in which is hatred, from avarice and ambition that suffocate my life. Keep me from the dead works of vanity and the thankless labor in which artists destroy themselves for pride and money and reputation, and saints are smothered under the avalanche of their own importunate zeal. Stanch in me the rank wound of covetousness and the hungers that exhaust my nature with their bleeding. Stamp out the serpent envy that stings love with poison and kills all joy.

Untie my hands and deliver my heart from sloth. Set me free from the laziness that goes about disguised as activity when activity is not required of me, and from the cowardice that does what is not demanded, in order to escape sacrifice.

But give me the strength that waits upon You in silence and peace. Give me humility in which alone is rest, and deliver me from pride which is the heaviest of burdens. And possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of love. Occupy my whole life with the one thought and the one desire of love, that I may love not for the sake of merit, not for the sake of perfection, not for the sake of virtue, not for the sake of sanctity, but for You alone.

For there is only one thing that can satisfy love and reward it, and that is You alone."

Today I began praying this prayer. I think it covers just about everything we could possibly ask for. I invite you to join me and may the Lord be pleased and grant us the love that we desire in this heartfelt prayer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, and amen.

4:27 PM  
Blogger forget me not said...

This prayer does say it all, and Thomas Merton was truly a conoisseur of human frailty. We all need every word you are willing to share, Laura. Thank you for your generosity.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Gabrielle said...

Laura, what a privilege to read your posts throughout this time of preparation. Thank you for this beautiful prayer from Merton. I love the line, "I will hear Your voice and I will hear all harmonies You have created..."

8:02 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you all for your beautiful words of encouragement. My heart is with you. Keep praying, I would love a healing.

But if this is not the Divine Will, then let us go victoriously into the shadow of death where Christ awaits with his everlasting love to bring us into the Kingdom that God has prepared for those who love Him.

Many blessings to you.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura, cam you show us some of your iconography work? Can you upload some photos?

6:52 PM  

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