“On December 10, 1968, Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and perhaps the most popular American
Catholic writer in history, stepped out of a bathroom shower during a visit to Bangkok. Slipping on the wet floor, he grabbed a poorly wired fan for support and was electrocuted.” –James Martin, SJ, Busted Halo
You were clumsy, they say. For a monk
seems an unlikely way to be.
Singing the psalmody, doing work
to the rhythms of its poetry
would give you grace, I’d like to think.
But grace of any kind is hard
to come by, a truth you knew.
I’d like to think as you felt the shock
you saw what you were tumbling toward
and smiled. Your dream, at last, come true.
God waiting patient in the dark,
both arms open to cradle you,
to break your final, awful fall,
to lay you gently on your pall.