The State of Virginity

The State of Virginity
I should like you to be free of all worries. The unmarried man is busy with the Lord's affairs, concerned with pleasing the Lord; but the married man is busy with this world's demands and occupied with pleasing his wife. This means he is divided. The virgin - indeed, any unmarried woman - is concerned with things of the Lord, in pursuit of holiness in body and spirit. The married woman, on the other hand, has the cares of this world to absorb her and concerned with pleasing her husband. I am going into this with you for your own good. I have no desire to place restrictions on you, but I do want to promote what is good, what will help you to devote yourselves entirely to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Saturday, September 19, 2009


In Lourdes, I followed the Way of the Cross on Calvary Hill almost everyday to relive in spirit every step along Christ's path to Golgotha. Each time I went through the Way of the Cross I couldn't help feeling that I was going up Calvary with Jesus - accompanying Him on His last journey. There are altogether 15 monumental stations with larger than life bronze statues illustrating the various scenes of the Passion on Calvary Hill and this is something which is really unique to Lourdes. This 1500 metre Way of the Cross starts from the side of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and winds its way up the wooded hill with its highest point at the Twelfth Station (The Crucifixion) and then slopes downwards to the last station (The Resurrection) and back to the Basilica.

If I could go back in time and live in a different era than the present, I would choose to live during the time of Jesus so that I could accompany Jesus on His way to Calvary. That's why Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has become my favourite movie. I watch this movie to get the feel of Calvary. I prefer the Aramaic Version of this movie because Jesus' everyday language was Aramaic. (Nazareth and Capernaum, the towns where Jesus lived, were Aramaic speaking communities). I have watched this movie over and over again so many times that I have learnt quite a number of Aramaic words. This is the only movie which really depicts the emotion, pain and passion of the crucifixion of Jesus. Many commented that it was too bloody. This is because they failed to see the trauma that Jesus actually went through.

Jesus' sufferings actually began in the Garden of Gethsemane. According to Luke 22:44, "In his anguish he prayed with all the greater intensity, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground." This is a condition known as hemathidrosis where the tiny capillaries in the sweat glands break thus mixing blood with sweat. This could happen under great emotional stress like what Jesus experienced in Gethsemane. Therefore Jesus had already started bleeding in Gethsemane and the bleeding continued up to Calvary. Here I would like to list out the traumatic experiences that Jesus went through after the agony in the garden.

1. He was being struck repeatedly across the face.
2. He was flogged with the flagrum which tore into the flesh of his back. This could shred the skin and cause massive bleeding.
3. A crown of thorns was pressed on his scalp.
4. He was struck across the head driving the thorns deeper and deeper into the scalp.
5. The wooden beam (between 110-125 pounds) crushed on Him and His bleeding wounds during his walk to crucifixion.
6. Jesus was nailed to the cross.
7. The legionnaire drove his lance between the ribs, through the pericardium and into the heart of Jesus.

Just look at the wounds on the body of Jesus. How much blood do you think would gush out from these wounds? Do you think that Jesus is as bloodless as you see in the paintings? The depictions of Christ's sufferings and crucifixion in these paintings have somewhat become too decorative and bloodless that we tend to forget the real emotion and pain that Jesus had gone through. We know that Jesus was crucified but we don't see the horror of the crucifixion. Mel Gibson had therefore done a good job for it is in "The Passion of the Christ" that we can really see the actual sufferings of Christ and the horror of the crucifixion.


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