Thursday, March 12, 2015

Saints in the Making

The sign on the Tavern gate says that this place is for Saints and Heroes. Oh, and sinners on the way back up the road away from Perdition. That, I hope, is most if not the many who come here, although we have had quite a few persistent sinners in the bar who get an education. The Tavern Keeper is one and not 'Holier than Thou'. 

So I often find myself in very mixed company where some, few, are Outstanding men and women. Future Saints. Saints in the making. And it is instructive to us all to spot them in the crowd and see just what makes them 'different'.

We are meant to be Saints. We CAN be saints. We are often heroic. We often put a huge amount of time and effort into 'perfecting' a skill here, a knowledge-base there, a sporting prowess etc. How much effort and time do we put into digging deep within to find that Pure gold? The deep stuff of Character and Holiness embedded in everyone, if only they would look for it.

Some of the side-bar (right side wall) recommendations point to men and women who can tell you far better than I.

The other day we spoke of the passing of an actor. Mr Nimoy. Today we have one who is very much alive and a far different character. He is popular on the TV in a series where he plays a killer. Actually more a human-heroic guardian angel who uses his (we wish!) skills to defeat wrongdoing and protect the innocent (and not so innocent). "A Person of Interest".

Mr Jim Caviezel  has the makings of a Saint. It is most unusual  to find such a Good man in the entertainment Industry, replete as it is with the spawn of Satan.

His most famous film, and most difficult, is "The Passion of the Christ".  He was the perfect man for the part, not only in his acting skill but in his Character. 

His Soul.

Since he dropped by for a pint or two I have had great difficulty writing about him. I have had to scurry down to the crypt and declare my shame. He is a far better man than I and I admit to being in awe of him. My mop has had a good work out.

We were fortunate to listen to an interview conducted by Scott Ross in the Spirits bar. It was scheduled for the USA Room, but we needed to put it in a more appropriate place. More of that soon. First a little background.

James Patrick "Jim" Caviezel (born September 26, 1968) is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for portraying Jesus Christ in the 2004 film 'The Passion of the Christ'. 

So says Wiki.

Caviezel began acting. He was offered a scholarship to study acting at New York's Juilliard School in 1993, but he turned it down to portray Warren Earp in the 1994 film 'Wyatt Earp'. 

He later appeared in episodes of Murder, She Wrote and The Wonder Years. After appearing in G.I. Jane (1997), he had a breakthrough performance in the 1998 Terence Malick-directed World War II film 'The Thin Red Line'. He played Black John, a Missouri bushwhacker in 'Ride with the Devil' (1999). The film was intended to be a summer blockbuster, but it fell flat at the box office.
Caviezel was originally cast to play Scott Summers / Cyclops in X-Men (2000), but dropped out because of a scheduling conflict with the film Frequency (2000). He starred in mainstream Hollywood films such as Pay It Forward (2000), Angel Eyes (2001), and The Count of Monte Cristo (2002). 

In 2000, he played the lead role in Madison, a film about hydroplane racing in Madison, Indiana. The film was completed in 2001, but it sat on the shelf for several years and did not appear in theaters until a limited release in 2005. Caviezel's work in High Crimes(2002) was highly praised by critics. In 2002, he played a pivotal role in the film I Am David. 
Caviezel portrayed Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's 2004 film The Passion of the Christ. 

During filming, he was struck by lightning

accidentally scourged, 

he dislocated his shoulder, 

and suffered from pneumonia and hypothermia. 
Prior to filming, Gibson reportedly warned Caviezel that playing Jesus would hurt his acting career. In 2011, he admitted that good roles had been hard to come by ever since. He had a leading role in Unknown(2006), and played the main antagonist, a "home-grown" terrorist, in the 2006 action film Déjà Vu. He played Kainan in Outlander (2008) and provided the voice of Jesus on the 2007 New Testament audio dramatization The Word of Promise. In 2008, he starred in Long Weekend.
In 2009, Caviezel played French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam in The Stoning of Soraya M., a drama set in 1986 Iran about the execution of a young mother. 

When asked about how his Roman Catholic faith was affected by this story, he said that "you don't have to go any further than the gospels to figure out what the right thing to do is, whether you should be more concerned helping someone regardless of their religion or where they're from".That same year, he reprised the role of Jesus in the latest installment of The Word of Promise. 
Caviezel starred in The Prisoner, a remake of the British science fiction series The Prisoner, in November 2009. BuddyTV ranked him at #92 on its list of "TV's Sexiest Men of 2011". 

Since 2011, he has starred in the CBS drama series 'Person of Interest', which received the highest rating in the past 15 years for a series pilot and has consistently garnered over 10 million weekly viewers.

That's a fine enough career to date. But let's look a little at the person. The family man.
In 1993, Caviezel went on a blind date with Kerri Browitt, an English teacher and flautist. They married on July 20, 1996, and adopted three Chinese children. 

They are both devout Catholics, and Caviezel has been a featured public speaker at religious venues since the release of The Passion of the Christ. On March 19, 2005, he was the spokesperson for the first Catholic Men's Conference in Boston. 
Caviezel's wife is the sister-in-law of Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. She and Linehan's wife, Kristen, are sisters.  
In 2006, Caviezel enrolled in at least one class as a part-time student at the University of Notre Dame. 
On October 24, 2006, Caviezel was featured with Patricia Heaton, Kurt Warner, and Mike Sweeney in an advertisement opposing embryonic stem-cell research. 

He began the advertisement by saying "Le-bar nash be-neshak" (Aramaic for "You betray the Son of Man with a kiss"), a reference to Judas' betrayal of Jesus Christ and a phrase used in the Greek version of the Gospel of Luke.The line, however, did not include a translation into English. 
Caviezel closed the commercial with the line,
 "You know now. Don't do it." 
A Man who stands FOR life, as we shall see later too.
In an interview with CBN's Scott Ross, Caviezel went to great depths to help people understand what it means to play the crucified Savior.

SCOTT ROSS: How old were you when you played in the film?

JIM CAVIEZEL: It is interesting. The day after I accepted the role, I got a phone call from Mel. He said, 'Hi, this is Mel.' 'Mel who?' For some reason, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise -- that's how I know them. I don't know them by just first name. He said, 'Hey, Jim, this is Mel.' He started talking about this movie and started talking me out of the role.

SCOTT ROSS: Talking you out of it? This is after he offered it to you?

JIM CAVIEZEL: The next day, he said, 'I want you to be aware of what you are going to go through. You may never work again.' He said that several times publicly. I told him, 'Mel, this is what I believe. We all have a cross to carry. I have to carry my own cross. If we don't carry our crosses, we are going to be crushed under the weight of it. So let's go and do it.' And we began with the film.
SCOTT ROSS: How old were you?

JIM CAVIEZEL: I told Mel, 'It is eerie. My initials are J.C. and I am 33 years old.' That was it.

SCOTT ROSS: What was your initial gut response to it?

JIM CAVIEZEL: I was half exhilarated and half terrified, honestly. I felt that the whole way through.

SCOTT ROSS: What did you bring to it, not just as an actor, but how do you prepare to play the Son of God?

JIM CAVIEZEL: It's a great question. How do you prepare? By fire. Looking back, there were two words, 'unquenchable fire.' 
What was hard was the physical, the suffering. 
Makeup time started from 2 a.m. and it went until 10 a.m. -- that alone right there, the boredom, not just the boredom, but the uncomfortable position. You're never sitting down. After day in and day out of this, plus the hypothermia, plus I had a separated shoulder. 
 It forced me to pray. 
I had to go to a place of something really deep because I was going crazy.

SCOTT ROSS: You said you went into prayer. Is that something you believed anyway prior to the part? You are a believer?

JIM CAVIEZEL: Well, there's no question that I believe. I think many of your viewers know what I'm talking about. Why would you subject yourself to persecution unless you know that that's the truth? And let me tell you, I was on that cross. 
Many people who looked up there, I may be playing Christ, but a lot of times I felt like Satan. I had obscenities wanting to come out of me. 
It was so cold it was like knives coming through me. I had hypothermia. I don't know whether you've dealt with that, but on one day of hypothermia I was so cold I could barely get the lines out. My mouth was shaking uncontrollably. My arms and legs went numb. 
I was suffocating on that cross. 
In the mean time, you watch people have coffee and laugh. They were very indifferent about what I was going through.

SCOTT ROSSS: Was that true across the board with the cast or with the crew?

JIM CAVIEZEL: No, we had very sympathetic people. Like in all humanity, we had sympathetic people, and indifferent people, and people who were repelled by it. Watching that I wanted to burst out in my own humanity and tell this guy to shut up or take off.

SCOTT ROSS: Which was very opposite of what Jesus did in forgiving His enemies.

JIM CAVIEZEL: Then at that point what do you do? I'm a craftsman. I'm an actor. Where does this place? Where does he go? 
So I had to seriously get into a prayer, not from here [the mind], but from the heart.

SCOTT ROSS: The whipping and the scourging are hard to watch because that goes on for so long. I was literally counting the lashes. I watched people in the theatre in front of me, a small viewing theatre, turn their faces away because they couldn't continue to look.

JIM CAVIEZEL: You said something very critical there: People turn their eyes away when they see it, and what they're seeing is their own sin. It is not wanting to deal, at times, with their own sin. It's that hard to look at. But this film forces you to see yourself, not the way you want to see yourself, but as God sees you. 
There are no passive onlookers here.

SCOTT ROSS: What part of this had the greatest affect on you? Is it possible to isolate a moment or time?

JIM CAVIEZEL: Oh boy, I'll be honest with you, there are things that I went through that I can't even talk about. 
I felt like a great presence came within me at times when we were filming. 
This prayer that came from me was, 'I don't want people to see me. I just want them to see Jesus. And through that conversions will happen.' That's what I wanted more than anything, that people would have a visceral effect to finally make a decision whether to follow Him or not.

SCOTT ROSS: And that's the only choice; either you do or you don't. You're either for Me, or you're against Me.

JIM CAVIEZEL: Throughout this, when people put on Christ when they go outside, that is all nonbelievers see. And we're going to have people reject it, but there are others who make a living at being Christian. 
This is serious because they know the Body of Christ. 
They know what that is. 
And for them, it's even more serious. Many of our Jewish brothers are terrified. I have people come up to me and say, 'Jim,' -- they're Jewish -- 'some of the e-mails, have you read these things? This is frightening. I didn't kill Christ.' I say, 'No, the people standing before Christ and Pilate during the judgment scene do not condemn an entire race for the death of Christ anymore than the actions of Mussolini condemn all Italians, or the heinous crimes of Stalin condemn all Russians. 
We are all culpable in the death of Christ. My sins, your sins put Him on that cross.' 
I bring this up because it's very important to address. I want my Jewish brothers to see this film. I want people in my own faith who think it's anti-Semitic to see this film. I want non-religious people to see this film. 
This film does not play the blame game at all. 
We're all culpable in the death of Christ.

At one point [during the filming of 'The Passion'] I remember yelling out, "You obviously don't care! Here we are breaking our backs for you." At that point this cross is swaying from one direction to the next, and I'm on a thousand foot cliff. If that thing snaps, I'm toast. 
And Mel didn't know what to do. We're in the middle of a shot and all of a sudden the wind started. It's like going to the Grand Canyon and sticking a cross at the edge of it. It's all cemented in and you think you're safe, but the winds blow, it's teetering back and forth, and hypothermia is horrendous. 
I'm itching all over the place. I have this shoulder separation. I don't know if you've ever gone through one of those.

But I thought, "Well, we got it." But the next day we watch the film, and it looked great, but Mel said, "We can't use it." And I said, "What do you mean we can't use it?" You know, literally, yelling at him. 
He said, "If they're focused on that cross, they're not focused on Jesus, they're looking at that thing going back and forth. Forget it, we're doing it again." 
And that went for another five weeks, just the crucifixion scenes alone.

SCOTT ROSS: Good grief.

JIM CAVIEZEL: Just for the crucifixion scenes.

SCOTT ROSS: In one part of the movie Isaiah the prophet is speaking. He said that Jesus was disfigured and he was beaten and bruised so much that he was hardly recognizable as a person.

JIM CAVIEZEL: We didn't even go there. We didn't even go to the full ... What we read, you're reading right there. And we wanted people to get a visceral reaction of he's human, you can still see him. Because there is something about how it can be so repulsive and so much that you kind of shut off, and we didn't want that. We wanted to take it to the point and keep people there.

SCOTT ROSS: It's been rumored, I don't know if this is true or not, but as you were filming you were hit with lightning? That's true?

JIM CAVIEZEL: I was lit up like a Christmas tree! I was doing the Sermon on the Mount. I knew it was going to hit me about four seconds before it happened. I thought, "I'm going to get hit." And when it happened, I saw the extras grab the ground.

What they saw was fire coming out the right and left side of my head. Illumination around the whole body. 
And during the shot they said, "Do you have it on camera?" What happened was Mel had said, "Action" and the cameras were panning to me and here is where this light just flashed. And by the time the cameras got to me, I hear Mel screaming out, "What the heck happened to his hair?" I looked like I went to see Don King's hair stylist.

Five minutes after I got hit, Jon Mikalini, an assistant, walks over and says are you okay? And then he got hit. The difference was that they saw the bolt come down and hit Jon; they didn't see that when I was standing there. All I felt was this giant tremendous slap on my ears and a few seconds of a pink, red static infront of my eyes.

SCOTT ROSS: You had a literal miracle on the set. What do you attribute it to? You could have died.

JIM CAVIEZEL: Yeah. Or I could have been incinerated. Jon, who came up to me, had already been hit. I mean three lightning strikes on one film, one guy getting hit twice, and me obviously getting hit one time. And there were a lot of miracles other than that kind of a miracle.

SCOTT ROSS: On the set?

JIM CAVIEZEL: Well, one of the guys working on the film was a Muslim. He was one of the guards who beat me, and he converted. He had a real big experience there, you know.

But what was going on is that we had so many prayers worldwide while we were going through it, I really believe this is important because when things started happening they were praying for us.

All the actors that worked on this film, some aren't going to accept it, but the opportunity will always be there for them. Here's the other thing, it will stay with them the rest of their lives. People will always come up to them, people will always ask them about the movie they were in, it will always be with them.

SCOTT ROSS: What do you think it's going to do to your career? And if it did blow it out of the water?
JIM CAVIEZEL: Right. This is what I feel. I believe I was called to play this role. When I look out to all my fellow Americans and people in the world, I say to them... 
...I want you to do this in the public and shamelessly express your faith in public. 
That's what I've done here, and I can rest as it is. I don't know where it's going, but if it doesn't turn out where I'm continually working, I'm still an actor. I'll always be one, whether I get another job or not. I fulfilled my mission right now. I felt what I was right now. That was my opportunity, and I would have done it again
Accidents and injuries have always been part of film-making, that's to be sure, but one could see in the way that he spoke, the expression on his face, that this was something quite significant. I leave it to customers listening to make their own minds up.

Does this make him a Saint, though?  Am I just an impressionable old Knight? 

Jim speaks widely to many groups of people. He does not simply sit at home enjoying the fruits of his acting success. 

Watch him here speaking. Listen to the Love. Hear a Saintly man.

Reasearch him yourselves, especially in regard to the little talked about issue of his children. He and his lovely wife adopted several children. 

Oh yeah ! Other actors do that and crow about it.

But his children have serious health problems. They had them when he adopted them. Brain injuries. To him it is not simply a duty to care but an expression of Direct Love.

"Will you Love Me? "Yes, I will".

He says, even to his children

 You are Perfect. There is no-one else like you.

Well the second is right; the first? 

We strive to be perfect. Some do. We CAN be. But most of us have a long road to walk. 

The Tavern is a rest-place.  Recharge.



May God be with you on your travels and through your travails.

Drink deep of Grace.

Now, I must go again to the Crypyt. I have a lot of perfecting to do and so little time.

It isn't a game.

Sainthood is a posthumous award. May Jim live long and prosper and continue living the Word. His reward is in the bag. He will join the Communion of Saints one day, I am pretty sure. I will check for his name written in light on the Grail stone.

And mine? Yours? Hmmmm.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. A beautiful post. Some of the words in the transcript of the interview gave me goose bumps.

    We all have the ability to be perfect as we are created in His image. However, reaching perfections needs to be worked at.

    As for me... "could do better" ;-)

  3. Jim's words in the interview really struck home to me when I was setting up my website called "Light Up the Darkness."

    He said, "You have to be that light," and looked straight at the camera. I felt he was talking to me.

    We all have a part to play in this evangelisation thing - it's our way to sanctity and our way to help others get there too. Jim's way - playing Christ Himself, is remarkable; singular. He has truly been measured, and not been found wanting, in his humility and his love for his family.

    I also hope to do better.

    1. Yes, we are to be that light. His 'way' by playing the part of Christ, it seems to me, was magnificent in its own right but more a part of an ongoing humility and humanity and holiness he exhibits in his private life.

      As I said, I am in awe. It is necessary to remind ourselves and provide role models, hence I was so pleased to have him feature in the Tavern.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..