Saturday, 22 March 2008


I watched 3 minutes of the awful Mel Gibson Passion yesterday.
I don't dispute that there is a point to be made about the violence, but there is somethingbizarre about watching the Lord having his skin ripped off with a cat of nine tails.
Though in the last few months I came across the Coptic (Egyptian) Christian forms of Daily prayers the Agpeya (here)One of the things that each hour contains is the repetition of the Kyria 41 times (Kyrie eleison=Lord have mercy). This is to remind us that Jesus (and many others) was whipped this 39 was the limit that could be undertaken without having to get a judicial order.
So why 41 times....After he is whipped within an inch of his life he is then crowned with the thorns, and then speared in the side. Punishment on punishment.
As I practised this seemingly innocuous prayer trying to pray for victims of violence. I became aware over a number of weeks of how awful it is to just try and imagine the terrific violence of 39 skin ripping whips. And then the two final acts.....40 a head pierced with thorns....41 a side speared.
God what a world we live in still

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