Wednesday, May 25, 2016


I returned from my usual Tuesday vigil yesterday to find the Southern Gal mopping the floor in the Crypt.  That is a task, a penance, I usually do myself, but as she does have the run of the place and she knows more about cleaning floors than anyone needs to know, I let her do it.

She was, as I do, musing over matters of deep importance. The crypt is the right place for it, in the glow of the light from the Grail. It is a place to consider Love. And Penance. I sat and listened to her. 
- selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love 
The Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament. How is “agape love” different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. 
Unlike our English word love, agape is not used in the New Testament to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. 
Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13. 
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” 
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves 
Love is one of the things that is most needed and misunderstood in our society.  We seek out love not realizing that along with the quest there comes great sacrifice.  Many people encounter the love of Christ through different ways, many through pain.
Tell me about it ! A knight follows his profession of arms which entails pain. Others follow their different, often prosaic paths and the pain of Love cannot be avoided. It is what we learn that counts: as a very tough man tells.

 I am Second : Vitor Belfort
Christ‘s love came in the form of a cross, where he was brutally crucified.  The only wrongdoing that could be found by the Jewish leaders was loving people.  He came to save the lost, to bring internal peace to the soul, to heal the hurting.  To separate peace from Christ is impossible.  We cannot disconnect His love from the sacrifice he paid for us over 2,000 years ago.

I am Second, Ms. Kay

To understand the pain......  It is difficult to paint the tale of the physical pain that Christ had to endure.  I am going to do the best I can to describe what Christ endured from beginning to end.  It is best to watch the videos to get a better understanding as to how we have to go through hurt to get to the healing and the peace that Christ offers us.
It would be safe to say that at the age of 33, Christ was most likely in good shape at the time of his crucifixion; after all, he was a carpenter’s son, ate a Mediterranean diet -one of the healthiest in the world some say - and during his ministry he was constantly walking from place to place. 
Nothing could prepare Him for what He was about to endure…the immense pain of beating and crucifixion.  And he knew this, Matthew 26:39 says, “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.’”  It’s important to understand why Christ prayed that prayer, but we can only illustrate a small picture of it here.
The Flagrum is a short whip with small balls of lead tied near the end of each thong.  It was brought down with full force again and again across Christ’s shoulders, back and legs.  At first, the heavy thongs cut through the skin only.  The succeeding blows cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues producing the first oozing of blood from the capillaries and the veins of the skin and finally, spurting arterial bleeding from the vessels in the underlying muscles.  The whip tears into the deep skeletal muscles to produce ribbons of bleeding flesh. 
As the crowd cheered and mocked Christ during his suffering, a crown of thorns was driven into his scalp, causing more bleeding as the scalp is among the most venous parts of the human body. They returned his robe, only to tear it off again, ripping off the dried blood from the wounds that had adhered to the cloth. 

The walk to Calvary began………………..
   The heavy the crossbar weighing 75 to 125 pounds was put across his back and shoulders. Today, men can swing sacks of rice weighing over 100 pounds on their backs. But remember that Jesus was already very weak, had lost a great amount of blood, was in excruciating pain, and was under emotional strain. He stumbled and fell repeatedly so Simon of Cyrene was ordered to carry the cross part of the way.  But Christ continued to Calvary, where he knew he would die…for you and for me. 
More pain is came.  In preparation for his nailing to the cross, Jesus was violently thrown backward, grinding his continuously bleeding wounds onto the wood and possibly allowing dirt to enter them. 
Iron spikes measuring 5 t o 7 inches were driven through Jesus' hands (some accounts say the wrists would be more accurate location. Medically speaking, the wrists are part of the hands). Because the hand is full of sensory nerves, any stimulation would cause agonizing shots of pain in both arms, and maybe throughout the body. 
The feet were nailed next, and Jesus was then crucified. The nailed hands carried the weight of Jesus' whole body and tore at the wounds. Meanwhile, the stimulation of the nerves in feet also caused Jesus much pain. 
  He slowly began to sag down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shot along the fingers and up the arms - the nails in the wrists were putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushed Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He placed His full weight on the nail through His feet.  Again, there was the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.
In another study of the medical aspects of the crucifixion, it is said that the procedure is relatively bloodless because no major arteries are hit. However, the pain, coupled with the incessant bleeding of the back wounds, led to the deterioration of Jesus' condition. 
Excluding the pain, the major effect of crucifixion is the hindrance to normal breathing because the body pulls down on the outstretched arms and shoulders. After being in this position for quite a while, exhalation becomes shallow and labored. 
The upper body starts to cramp, making it even more difficult to breath. 
Jesus tried to breathe more freely and ease the cramping on his upper body by pushing himself up by the feet. But that offered little comfort due to the piercing pain in the feet. 
The mere act of breathing had never been so agonizing for a single human being. 
He was in hours of this pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rendering cramps, Jesus slipped into unconsciousness due to asphyxia, a lack of oxygen in the body usually caused by interruption of breathing. 
According to studies, the exact cause of Jesus' death, only six hours after he was nailed, was hastened by a combination of loss of strength, loss of blood and loss of oxygen. 
The piercing of the spear on his side, which likely ruptured his lungs and heart, was done to ensure death...
Some of this was read out from a small tome the Southern Gal carried.  You can find it at  The Physical Suffering of Jesus, by Jeremy Myers :

John 19:30 
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. 
I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. 
If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”
-C.S.  Lewis 

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. 

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. 

You must make your choice. 

Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, 

but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. 

He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” 

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Now, back up to the throng awaiting their pints.



  1. Love (in the true meaning of the word) leads us to the 'key' that will allow us to enter the house.

    We should try to follow faithfully with love in our hearts :-)

    If we try hard enough we may be granted with a cup of grace or two, along the way...

  2. PS:



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..