Day 38. Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O.: Give it time

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Each day of Lent (minus Sundays) we'll bring you words of wisdom from spiritual guides.

38. Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O.: Give it time
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.

This is what the Zen people do. They give a great deal of time to doing whatever they need to do. That's what we have to learn when it comes to prayer. We have to give it time . . . The best way to pray is: Stop. Let prayer pray within you, whether you know it or not. (Seeds, edited by Robert Inchausti, Shambala)

Merton (1915 - 1968) was a Trappist monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. He was a peace and civil rights activist, spiritual writer, and one of the most influential contemplatives of the 20th century.

Find spiritual advice for Lent from other guides in 40 days to a new you.