#CCLent17 / Day 39 / April 14 / Jesus’ Prayer at Gethsemane

Geth 0407005The More Earnest Prayer of Christ ~ Scott Cairns

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 is an Orthodox Christian poet and teacher, author of Slow Pilgrim, The Collected Poems.

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