Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" (Mat. 27:54)
"Truly, this was the Son of God," is a punctuation mark on everything that went before it; it is the Great Amen, prayed by all sinners celebrating the Liturgy.
And so I speak to those sinners, like me, tempted to despair, especially when the best in the Church turn out to be the worst, and when the worst in the world have better hearts than many Christians do. Our enemies - whether inside or outside of the Church (see Mat. 12:30 & Mark 9:40) - are not of the Father; but we are of the Father, and we are called to love our enemies all the same - indeed to die for them as Christ did when we were His enemies. Blind and brutal though our enemies be - including the enemy each of us harbors in our hearts - when confronted with Truth that is faithful to the end, when standing at the foot of the cross after the earthquake and the eclipse and the end of the world, they must exclaim, "Truly this was the son of God. And we've just killed the One who made us."
And no prayer for mercy can ring so true. No prayer of crushing guilt can be prayed from a anyplace more awful and full-of-awe than that.
It will be a moment when even lovers of torture, even liars, even false prophets, even self-centered apologists, even Jew haters, even idolators of lust, even friends who have betrayed us, even those who conspired not to kill us but to kill the silent God living in their hearts - if we (by His grace) give true witness even unto death, they all will hang their heads in shame and say a silent prayer from that unbearable moment at the End of Time when what has hidden has been revealed.
He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. (1 Cor. 4:5)
At some point every man who crucifies Jesus knows it; that's the ripple of the Final Judgment playing out even before the End arrives.
Fellow Christian - give up your rationalizations for torture, lying, lust, adultery, greed and so forth: look to your conscience and repent.