By Thomas Merton (arranged in stanza and poetry form by Keith Jensen)
For it is God’s love that warms me in the sun
And God’s love that sends the cold rain.
It is God’s love that feeds me in the bread I eat
And God that feeds me also by hunger and fasting.
It is the love of God that sends the winter days
When I am cold and sick,
And the hot summer when I labor
And my clothes are full of sweat:
But it is God Who breathes on me
With light winds off the river
And in the breezes out of the wood.
His love spreads the shade of the sycamore over my head
And sends the water-boy along the edge of the wheat field
With a bucket from the spring,
While the laborers are resting and the mules stand under the tree.
It is God’s love that speaks to me in the birds and streams;
But also behind the clamor of the city
God speaks to me in His judgments,
And all these things are seeds sent to me from His will.
If these seeds would take root in my liberty,
And if His will would grow from my freedom,
I would become the love that He is,
And my harvest would be His glory and my own joy.
And I would grow together
With thousands and millions of other freedoms
Into the gold of one huge field praising God,
Loaded with increase, loaded with wheat.
If in all things I consider only the heat and the cold,
The food or the hunger, the sickness or labor,
The beauty of pleasure, the success and failure
Or the material good or evil my works have won for my own will,
I will find only emptiness and not happiness.
I shall not be fed, I shall not be full.
For my food is the will of Him Who made me
And Who made all things in order to give Himself to me through them.
My chief care should not be to find pleasure or success,
Health or life or money or rest or even things like virtue and wisdom—
Still less their opposites, pain, failure, sickness, death.
But in all that happens, my one desire and my one joy should be to know:
“Here is the thing that God has willed for me.
In this His love is found,
And in accepting this I can give back His love to Him
And give myself with it to Him
For in giving myself I shall find Him
And He is life everlasting.”
By consenting to His will with joy and doing it with gladness
I have His love in my heart,
Because my will is now the same as His love
And I am on the way to becoming what He is,
Who is love.
And by accepting all things from Him
I receive His joy into my soul,
Not because things are what they are
But because God is Who He is,
And His love has willed my joy in them all.
(New Seeds of Contemplation, pp. 16-18)