The Centurion's Prayer. An Ignatian Remembrance

Vincent Di Stefano

This short personal reflection is offered on Good Friday 2012 as a response to the crass commercialisation and diversionary spirit that has overtaken the time of Easter throughout much of the Western world. It offers an Ignatian remembrance - an act of conscious imagining and visualisation - of the events that took place in Palestine some 2,000 years ago when the rebel Jesus of Nazareth (to use Jackson Browne's term) suffered the fate of a common criminal in the act of execution by crucifixion ordered by the Roman governors at that time. Yet the time of Easter bespeaks more than a Paschal sacrifice. It heralds the regeneration and renewal that emanates endlessly through the heart of love.

The Centurion's Prayer. An Ignatian Remembrance

The thorny crown thrust hard
The cheering, the jeering,
Hot gushes from the lashes
And the gashes in torn flesh
But this was not enough.

Seamless garment rent and sundered
Golden skin now flayed and open
Rubies glisten in the desert
Water drying in the dust
And this was not enough.

The beam that tore your bloodied shoulder
The nails that fixed your earthly fate
Your mercy call on those before you
Mercy call on those to come
And these were not enough.

The well run dry, the sap drawn thin
The bitter gall, the final call
The trembling and the darkening
Your greater garment rent again
Beyond the pillars of the temple.

Empty now of blood and water
Empty now of fire and air
Descend again to she who formed you
To scent of earth, to breath of wind
Renew again our ground of being.


This poem first appeared here: The Healing Project. "The Centurion's Prayer" can be streamed using the media player embedded in Another World Is Possible/News. The music that accompanies this piece is composed and performed by Nico Di Stefano. Vincent Di Stefano in Another World Is Possible/Articles. Information about Saint Ignatius of Antioch here and here. The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola may deepen our readers' appreciation of this poem. - Editor


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