To Know the Dark – by Wendell Berry
To Know the Dark
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
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Isaiah 11:1-10 (in part) The Voice
11 But on this humbled ground, a tiny shoot, hopeful and promising,
will sprout from Jesse’s stump;
A branch will emerge from his roots to bear fruit.
2 And on this child from David’s line, the Spirit of the Eternal One will alight and rest.
By the Spirit of wisdom and discernment
He will shine like the dew.
By the Spirit of counsel and strength
He will judge fairly and act courageously.
By the Spirit of knowledge and reverence of the Eternal One,
3 He will take pleasure in honoring the Eternal.
He will determine fairness and equity;
He will consider more than what meets the eye,
And weigh in more than what he’s told.
4 So that even those who can’t afford a good defense
will nevertheless get a fair and equitable judgment.
With just a word, He will end wickedness and abolish oppression.
With nothing more than the breath of His mouth, He will destroy evil.
5 He will clothe himself with righteousness and truth;
the impulse to right wrongs will be in his blood.
6 A day will come when the wolf will live peacefully beside the wobbly-kneed lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
The calf and yearling, newborn and slow, will rest secure with the lion;
and a little child will tend them all.
All my holy mountain will be free of anything hurtful or destructive,
for as the waters fill the sea,
The entire earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Eternal.
10 Then on that day, that root from Jesse’s line
will stand as a signal for the peoples of the world
Who will come to Him seeking guidance and direction;
and glory will be restored to the land where He resides.
Closing Prayer by Thomas Merton:
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen