Monk in Auschwitz 17

Guilty Bystander

Merton's sentence was:
To have to stand there watching.
Guilty Bystander, abandoned,
Condemned to being there in our stead,
Bearing the weight they laid on him
Without seeking a way out
Or an answer — other than the Father,
Who was asking him now
To allow what faith he still had
To be destroyed on that pagan altar
And brought to Him, burnt:
A sacrifice Abraham even
Had been spared
From offering.

Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander was the title of a book by Merton . . .