Deficient pueri et laborabunt, et iuvenes in infirmitate cadent;
qui autem sperant in Domino mutabunt fortitudinem, adsument pennas
sicut aquilae, current et non laborabunt, ambulabunt et non deficient.
Youths shall faint and
labor, and young men shall fall by
infirmity. But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they
shall walk and not faint.
Et exspectabo Dominum qui abscondit faciem suam a domo Jacob et
And I will wait for
the Lord, who hath hid his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for
That Isaias be included in the
"office of hermits" is not accidental. Isaias as an important source
for Merton in understanding his monastic and hermit aspirations has
had a long history in Merton's writing. In 1951 Merton writes:
The Sign of Jonas
Do you suppose I have a spiritual life? I have none, I am indigence, I
am silence, I am poverty, I am solitude, for I have renounced
spirituality to find God, and He it is Who preaches loud in the depths
of my indigence, saying:
I will pour out my spirit upon thy
children and they shall spring up among the herbs as willows beside
the running waters
The children of thy
barrenness shall say in thy ears: The place is too strait for me, make
me room to dwell in
49:20). I die of love for you,
Compassion: I take you for my Lady, as Francis married poverty I marry
you, the Queen of hermits and the Mother of the poor.
. New York:
Image Books edition,
1956. pp. 323-324.