Pray * Study * Fast * Witness
"I am a modern centurion, a member of an organization whose members model themselves on one of the best disciplined, best trained armies in history, that of the Romans."
Centurions are leaders in battle.
Before the reign of the emperor Constantine, the Roman Army was a pagan force. Our order is Christian. Christ is our Leader, our Legate, and our General. As centurions in his service we aspire to be examples of the military virtues that have been and remain the same for all armies in history----of courage, of trustworthiness, of loyalty, of honesty, of fidelity and of endurance of hardship.
The enemy we fight in our lives and in our work is the Prince of Lies, the Satan in his many, varied forms in a world that in many ways has made him its leader. We must battle against Satan and all that he represents and do it by the examples we set to all with whom we come in contact, with members of our families, with co-workers, with those we interact with casually.
If a centurion is a leader, who then are we leading? We, as centurions, should lead others in this life---in our families, our neighborhoods, at work, when traveling…… by silent, effective example, looking to Jesus, our leader, the Author and Finisher of our faith…for guidance. We should lead by example---- of clean speech, hard work, thoughtful listening to others, patience with the faults of others, avoidance of anger. We should witness without hope of being recognized or rewarded for what it is our duty to do. But if someone remarks to us. "You seem different. Why are you sacrificing something for someone else? Why are you talking this way? What is the basis for your opinion? We can answer...and thereby witness…and tell that person that we belong to the Order of Centurions…what it means…what it requires of us…the nature of its goals.
Soldiers endure hardship. A centurion should consider fasting at least one day a week. He may wish to donate the money he saves by not eating that day to a worthy cause.
A soldier must be constantly training for combat. Our combat is against Satan and all his works. In our oath, taken for us at baptism, our mission is to combat Satan…for we "fight against powers and principalities". Satan’s work in these days is evident; it is secularism, the belief that "man, not God is the measure of all things" [or] the false statement that "Love always trumps truth." If we are to honor the name, we, as modern centurions should be in the fight against secularism that seeks the removal of the very idea of God from all public life, against the plague of pornography that debases God’s creative purposes, against efforts to debase and destroy the Christian virtues of manliness.
A Roman centurion had to have known his army’s tactics, strategy and regulations. We are Christian centurions have no less an obligation to study the Bible which is our field manual, our strategy document, our battle plan, our set of orders. We are fortunate that the leaders of our Order regularly send up homilies, studies of scripture. This makes our study an easy task for which we are most grateful.
A Centurion must certainly be an example of loyalty and support to his fellow soldiers. A soldier, a centurion setting the example is loyal to his troops, to his comrades in arms. We should, as centurions pray for each other…every day. Perhaps the prayer could be the following:.
"O Christ, our Leader in life’s battle; We pray you; love all fellow officers of the Order of Centurions and teach them to love Thee with all their hearts and minds that they may think and speak and do only such things as are well-pleasing to Thee. Give them ready grace always to be strong and good, faithful and brave soldiers. Give them the courage to boldly witness their faith in You by their thoughts, words and actions. Graciously assist them with Your heavenly help that they may ever diligently serve You and by no temptation be separated from You; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen"
A Centurion’s Fight Song
Am I a Soldier of the Cross?(http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/a/m/amiasold.htm)
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?
Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.
Thy saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faith’s discerning eye
When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through skies,
The glory shall be Thine.
A Centurion - Lent - 2005