Prayer #100: Cento

Photo by jude_hill

I always thought cento was just a numeric prefix or a canned tomato brand. Turns out that cento in poet circles means something else entirely -- patchwork poetry.

The concept is simple: You write a new poem comprised entirely of lines from other sources. You can pull from one poet or several. You can be serious, clever, ironic, or obsequious. In any event, the theft is sanctioned -- plagiarism, with flair!

So, in honor of my 100th prayer here on Italian Mother Syndrome, I'd like to pay homage to some of the prayers and pray-ers -- of all shapes, styles, and backgrounds -- that inspire me to focus inward and upward.

And for all of you who read and pray and question with me ... can't wait to write the next 100 with you.

Prayer #100: Cento

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. [1]

[For] all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God. [2]

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident. [3]

[This is] not idolatry, but identity,
for love and God are one
when love longs to be Forever. [4]

[And] a story without love is not worth telling. [5]