Mandela and Merton

Below is a quote that was read out yesterday at a day I attended which was about exploring our future vocations. I found it incredibly powerful. It was used by Nelson Mandela in a speech he made, his inauguaration I think. I dont know who actually wrote it – do let me know if you do.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

also read out was the Thomas Merton prayer I have blogged once before, but will post again, because even through my unbelieving times and my ‘angry at God’ years, I have had this prayer on my wall for years and years.

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 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 that I have that desire in all that I am doing. 

And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it. 

Therefore will I 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

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One thought on “Mandela and Merton

  1. The “Mandela” quote is very meaningful to me, too – I found it thought-changing a number of years ago! the person who wrote it is Marianne Williamson – according to wikipaedia a spiritual activist, author, lecturer and founder of The Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation currently before Congress to establish a United States Department of Peace. She is also the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. She has also written a number of books. So there you go – it was written by a woman!
    Deb x

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