Jerusalem, Andrew Bullen SJ

Jerusalem, Andrew Bullen SJ


Imagine Ignatius there:
he follows his Master’s path.

Towers, walls, a sudden dome:
everywhere is holy.

The golden muffled sound of bells:
he lives inside the stories.

Grace and footsteps: his whole life
brings him to this holy place.

Resinous heat in dusty pines;
sunlight spiced with silence.

Sion, Cenacle, Sepulchre:
His body is his prayer.

Imagine Ignatius here
at night watch: “Guards were set”.

The tomb, holy of holies,
Is empty: another cave.

His hear t insists: “First: Christ appeared
to the Virgin Mary”.
Stillness is spiced with sunlight.

Remember Ignatius then:
his dream of being nowhere else
obedience crucifies.

Your pilgrim footfall
shows the way to die into life.

You cannot be an apostle
unless you are sent away
from your desire to remain.

At the Mount of Olives see
the Lord’s footprint in the rock:
he too quit Jerusalem.

“Man of Loyola,
Men of Galilee,
why stand you looking to heaven?”

With nothing for the journey
but your own unreadiness,
you are ready for anything –

even the threat of blows
from infidel and believer:
Christ is above you the whole way.

Your heart, your spirit, your book,
take Jerusalem everywhere.

From the holiest of places
turned away, departing,
imagine Ignatius then.



Andrew Bullen SJ
Ignatius the Pilgrim – Poems for Prayer, 2013