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Good Friday: Breath and Bones


Good Friday always finds me lacking, or running, or desperate to “catch up.”  So, in an effort to dial things back a notch and at the same time, dig in to the quiet moments of a crazy life, I’ll just offer this today. I offer it because poetry has the ability to reach those deep places in me no matter what the circumstances of my life. And I want to connect with the deep today, the transient dark of Good Friday and my own, most earnest prayer before Pascha. I can feel it in my breath. I can feel it in my bones, but only if I’m willing to make the descent and if I’m willing to pay attention.

The More Earnest Prayer of Christ

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly… —Luke 22:44

His last prayer in the garden began, as most as his prayers began—in earnest, certainly, but not without distraction, an habitual…what?

Distance? Well, yes, a sort of distance, or a mute remove from the genuine distress he witnessed in the endlessly grasping hands of multitudes

and, often enough, in his own embarrassing circle of intimates. Even now, he could see these where they slept, sprawled upon their robes or wrapped

among the arching olive trees. Still, something new, unlikely, uncanny was commencing as he spoke. As the divine in him contracted to an ache,

a throbbing in the throat, his vision blurred, his voice grew thick and unfamiliar; his prayer — just before it fell to silence — became uniquely earnest.

And in that moment — perhaps because it was so new — he saw something, had his first taste of what he would become, first pure taste of the body, and the blood.

-Scott Cairns, Recovered Body

#cairns #pascha #dark #Lent #poetry #GoodFriday