Ecce Homo – Antonio Ciseri

I repeat today my little story from the original Holy Week

What follows is fiction. I used the literary device of an archaeological find, but it is fiction entirely from my meditation on the Crowning of Thorns. This is NOT definitely what happened with Pilate, but merely my meditation on what MIGHT have happened with him. The historical events described prior to Pilate’s departure from Jerusalem are largely taken from the histories of Josephus, though I have used some less reliable ancient historians for sources, as well. Actually, Pilate vanished into the mists of history after his departure from Jerusalem. Most think he receded from view somewhere in Gaul, rather than in the tiny of town of Pyrgi, as I have set him here.

Please enjoy this little tale. Let it give you food for contemplation. If you comment to tell me that this mystic or that saint imagined it differently, you might be missing the point. There are a multitude of such speculations. We are called to enter in, to ponder the Mysteries of the Rosary. That is what I do with these little stories. I invite you to do the same – and I won’t be the least bit upset if your imaging differs from mine.-CJ)

By Charlie Johnston

The document that follows is a letter from a collection of parchments found sealed in an ancient vase. It was discovered in the modern-day Italian City of Velletri. The collection apparently dates to the reign of Claudius Caesar and was probably hidden during the tumultuous and destructive reign of Nero. It is written in Latin with a generous sprinkling of Aramaic phrases. If authenticated, its significance is obvious. From internal clues, we date it preliminarily to the spring of 39 A.D.


Dear Portia,

Pilate is dead.

I am sorry to tell you so bluntly but, in truth, it is a relief. He took ill with that awful consumptive disease when winter set in and has suffered grievously. These last three weeks he has been almost constantly delirious, wracked both by agonizing pain and unceasing night terrors. You cannot know what a trial it has been. Were it not for my brother’s wife and a friend we made here in Pyrgi, I do not think I could have borne it at all.

We were never happy in Judea. Oh, Pilate was proud when he was named procurator, to be sure. When we marched in with our cohort to take residence, he flew the imperial standards high and with pride. We had heard the Jews could be a contentious lot, so Pilate thought we would get off on a good footing by establishing residence among the people. But the trouble began immediately. The Jews went into an uproar, claiming that the image of the divine Caesar on our standards was a blasphemy to their God. They claimed that the fortress we occupied, Antonia, was part of their temple – and our residence there a desecration. Their behavior was so insolent and riotous Pilate asked his predecessor, Gratus, to delay his departure a few days to give us counsel.

Gratus warned Pilate that the Jews were zealous and ready to revolt on anything touching their religion, but were otherwise dutiful and productive subjects. He named some members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high council, with whom he had made useful alliances.

Antonia Fortress, Jerusalem

They would, he promised, be as zealous as we are in enforcing imperial law and extracting taxes if we gave them leave concerning their religion. Pilate suggested it might be time to demonstrate who was ruler and who was ruled here, but Gratus firmly discouraged such a course. We would find to our sorrow, he assured us, that the policy of Rome, itself, was to yield to the Jews on matters concerning their religion. It was the only issue that sparked rebellion and Judea was too important a holding to toy with when it was so easily appeased without detriment to genuine Roman interests.

So Pilate sent the standards off to Caesarea and we vacated the fortress. We moved into a castle on Mt. Zion that was more spacious, anyway. That became the source of yet another uproar. Pilate hung the golden shields in honor of our gods on the castle. Once again the Jews cried, “Desecration,” because the shields were engraved with the gods’ names. It set Pilate into a fury. He had respected their god, he reasoned, so they could return the favor and show a little respect for our gods. This was our castle and Pilate was the delegate in Judea of Imperial Rome. He refused to be moved. The Sanhedrin appealed to Rome. Gratus was right. The decree we received ordering the shields removed was signed by Tiberius, himself.

After his anger subsided, Pilate sought a means of improving his relations with the contentious Jews. He began to meet regularly with the Sanhedrin to seek their counsel. A common theme was the shortage of water in the city and the difficulty many had in transporting it and keeping their crops irrigated during the dry season. The council had heard of the excellent aqueducts we had in Rome and wondered if a similar project might be attempted in Jerusalem.

Pilate was delighted. He contacted Rome and obtained engineers for the project. Oh, what a wonderful time it seemed! Not only were we bringing water to our subjects; Pilate personally ordered that as many Jews as possible be hired to help in the construction. But this became the greatest source of controversy yet. Some priests complained that temple revenues were being used in the project. The Sanhedrin ruled that temple revenues could only be used for sacred purposes. Pilate was outraged. The bulk of the

Pont du Gard, ancient Roman aqueduct

project was being financed from his own treasury. He thought the Sanhedrin malicious, petty and ungrateful. He went before the high council and asked what could be more sacred than protecting the people from the effects of drought. He demanded to know on what grounds they could refuse to contribute to what would work primarily to their benefit. The council decided it would support a new levy on the people, but was adamant that its own revenues must remain untouched. Pilate cursed them and walked out. The Sanhedrin then inflamed the people into an uproar and the project was abandoned.

After that Pilate kept away from the Jews. He sought no further advice from the high council, nor did its members receive welcome when calling on him, even on matters solely devoted to the empire. He became very harsh in matters of imperial law and exacting the tribute. What else was he supposed to do? Every time he reached out to them, the Sanhedrin twisted it against him. He hated them.

The final straw came in the trial of the Jewish holy man, Jesus. It was right around this time nine years ago, when the Jews celebrate the Passover. People had been overjoyed when Jesus had come into the city the previous Sunday. He had gained much renown as a healer and miracle worker. Many of the common people had started calling him their king, the Messiah. This disturbed Pilate. But he also received reports that the Sanhedrin was enraged at the man, so decided to look further into the matter. Jesus had apparently beaten and chased many of the council’s revenue collectors away from the temple – and this at their most profitable time of year. That soothed Pilate. He figured any enemy of the Sanhedrin couldn’t be all bad. So he told his informants to keep him apprised of what was happening in the city.

Pilate learned a lot over the next few days. The Sanhedrin had once tried to recruit Jesus to their ranks, but he had spurned them, calling them hypocrites and snakes who bled the people rather than helping them. Shocked, the Sanhedrin returned his contempt in spades. They sent lackeys out to try to trick Jesus into saying something they could denounce him for. But his answers were too clever, always leaving the lackeys looking like fools. Even worse, some of the agents the council sent had defected and become adherents of the man. The more Pilate learned, the more he liked this Jesus, but tensions were getting so high he feared there might be an open confrontation before the festival was over.

Before dawn on Friday we were awoken by our attendant, who told us a group of Jewish officials was demanding to see Pilate immediately on a most urgent matter. I had had a terrible dream that night. I had seen this Jesus standing meekly on a hill, his face a mask of sorrow. All manner of furious people, their faces contorted in rage, were hurling themselves at him with swords and clubs. And all who reached him crumbled to dust as soon as their weapons touched him. He wept copiously, begging them to stop that he might help them, but they just kept on coming, destroying themselves in their rage. In my dream, Jesus looked deeply into my eyes, tears streaming down his sorrowful face. I shiver now at the memory of that gaze.

I was in tears, myself, as Pilate dressed to go downstairs. I told him please; please…if this had anything to do with that holy man, Jesus, have nothing to do with it. He must not harm Jesus. I told him of my dream. He told me not to worry; he would send the Jews away.

When Pilate got downstairs the whole Sanhedrin was waiting for him. They were in an uproar – and it was about Jesus. The council was making all manner of wild political charges against the man and demanding he be put to death. I’m sure my face paled when Pilate came up to tell me. He said he had to go or there would surely be a riot.

Jesus before the Sanhedrin

He knew the council hated Jesus and only sought to destroy him because of the following he had built, a following that threatened to topple their own authority. He said he would drag things out until midday when the people would begin to fill the square – and the weight of the people, themselves, would force the council to back down.

But he was home again in just a few hours, shaken and pale. He had spoken with Jesus. The man was not at all what Pilate had expected. He said he kept thinking of my dream as he spoke with him. Pilate said Jesus seemed incredibly sorrowful, but not at all afraid, so much so that Pilate thought it bordered on insolence. At first Jesus would not respond to his questions at all. Irritated, Pilate asked Jesus if he knew he had power to condemn or to spare him. Jesus looked deep into his eyes with a terrible pity and told my husband he had no power at all save that which was given from above. It stunned Pilate, so he asked Jesus if he was a king. The holy man did not answer directly, but said his kingdom was not of this world.

That was enough for Pilate. Clearly, this was no threat to the empire, just to the Sanhedrin. He decided on the spot to release Jesus immediately. But when he went into the courtyard to announce his decision it was already filled with people. To his horror, Pilate realized the Sanhedrin must have filled the square with its own people during the night. When the common people began to arrive at mid-morning they would be crowded out. He went to his seat before the judgment table and announced he had found no fault in Jesus and would release him. The crowd roared, demanding his crucifixion. All Pilate could do was play for time. So he claimed there were jurisdictional issues and sent Jesus to Herod for questioning. Herod questioned him and sent him back. Again Pilate went out and told the crowd that neither he nor Herod had found any fault in the man. But the crowd shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

Crucify Him!

Pilate feared another revolt might get him recalled to Rome in disgrace. Desperate to damp down the tension, he sent Jesus off to be scourged, hoping it would satiate the crowd’s bloodlust.

I told him I was going back to the square with him. His face went absolutely white and he said no, I must not go there. But I was adamant. Finally he said I could go as long as I stayed out of sight of the crowd in the side hall of the west entrance.

After I was seated, the guard brought Jesus in through the east entrance, directly across from me. Portia, I have never seen a sight as terrible and terrifying. His face was battered and swollen, so purple I didn’t at first notice the bright red blood trickling from his forehead. They had forced some sort of cap of thorns and briars onto his head. It was these which, forced into his forehead, caused fresh blood to trickle. They had adorned him with a robe of the royal color, which matched the color of his face. In his right hand they made him hold some sort of stick. I finally realized the horrible joke; they had made a mock king of him. Pilate staggered when he saw him. I thought my husband would faint. He turned back to me with a look of sick desperation and, with one hand, motioned firmly for me not to move from where I was at.

Pilate leaned forward and gripped the table of the judgment seat with both hands. After the stricken look he had given me, I was astonished at the calm command of his voice as he addressed the crowd. He told them firmly he had found no fault with the man and was going to release him. The mob’s cry hit us both like a fist. “Crucify him,” they screamed. Pilate looked at Jesus, then back at me. From where I sat I could see something the crowd could not. My husband’s knees were shaking uncontrollably. He sat down. After a moment, I could see an idea had occurred to him. He rose again and spoke.

“It is our custom to release a prisoner each year on the occasion of the Passover festival. Whom shall I release to you; Jesus, called the Christ, or Barabbas?” he asked the crowd.

Oh Portia, how I admired the cleverness of our Pilate at that moment! Barabbas was a murderous insurrectionist who cared little whether it was Jews or Romans; men, women or children that he murdered, as long as he was killing.

I find no fault in Him

Confronted with this choice the people would have to choose Jesus. The square was silent as the nature of the choice sank in. And then the cry began. “Free Barabbas!” It rose to an insane, rhythmic chant. Pilate staggered again and fell back into his seat. I looked across at Jesus. Bloody and battered as he was, he looked at my husband with such sorrowful pity you would have thought it was Pilate’s fate which hung in the balance. Then Jesus looked at me and, through the gore, I saw the man from my dream. I moaned in terror, sure we would all die there that day. Pilate looked over to me, his face sick with desperation and panic.

“Shall I crucify your king?” he pleaded with the crowd. Then I heard the voice of the high priest, shrill with malice and rage, cry triumphantly, “We have no king but Caesar.” I could not see the high priest from where I sat, but I knew where he must be; on the receiving end of the most smoldering gaze of murderous contempt I have ever seen on my dear husband’s face. The chant of the mob continued, “Crucify him, crucify him!”

Anger at the high priest galvanized my husband. He ordered silence in a voice that clearly threatened to do to the crowd what they would do to Jesus if they failed to obey. He told them he had found no fault in the man, then turned to the guard and ordered that a basin of water be brought before him. He stood waiting for the basin, his stare daring the crowd to say it, to go ahead and break this sulfurous silence with their murderous cry. The mob did not accept the invitation. When the basin arrived Pilate solemnly washed his hands. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he told the mob, “Upon you it shall be.” I heard the high priest’s voice respond with gleeful triumph. “Upon us, let it be,” he cried.

I was horrified by the rage and loathing that filled my husband’s eyes; even more so by the look of terrible pity Jesus gave Pilate as the guard took hold of him to lead him away. When he came back into the hall to me, Pilate ordered a guard to fashion a sign to be affixed to Jesus’ cross. He ordered that it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

After we got home and the guard had been dismissed, Pilate spoke to me. “When they brought him in I understood immediately the horrible joke,” he told me. “But as I looked in Jesus eyes, something happened. There was a brilliant radiance surrounding him. I saw power coming from him like rays of the sun. He was majestic and noble and his eyes were filled with compassion for me. For me! Can you believe it? Here the mob is crying for his head and he is looking at me with compassion. I could see he is a king.” Pilate shook his head briefly in confusion, then corrected himself. “No, he is not a king. He is the king.”

“How, then, could you condemn him?” I gently asked.

“I did not!” Pilate said to me with sudden fury, then caught himself. “He told me his kingdom is not of this world and I believe him. Whatever world he is from is more than this one. They will not be able to kill him. The joke is on them. The Sanhedrin has tormented us from the very day we arrived, and now they torment this king. But they have reached too far. This one they can’t contain. They will see. It will be just like your dream. Their malice against him will break them, not him.”

Pilate was so earnest and agitated, I left him alone. To speak at all was to trigger an intense outburst from him. So we waited in uneasy quiet for news. Late in the morning the high priest came in a rage, demanding to see Pilate. He complained that the sign Pilate had prepared should have read, “He claimed to be king of the Jews.” Pilate gazed at the high priest with savage joy and contempt as he said, “What I have written, I have written,” then had him thrown from the castle. He grinned at me in satisfaction. “Imagine their terror when they discover they really have set themselves against their king.”

But it was not to be. Late that afternoon we had a terrible earthquake, followed by a brief, furious storm. Both Pilate and I feared my dream was coming true. Just as the storm died, a messenger from the guard came to inform us that Jesus was dead. Pilate was thunderstruck. He thought sure that Jesus would somehow turn the tables on the council. Now he was terrified. After seeing the kingly radiance surrounding Jesus, Pilate thought the business of the basin was a clever and stately way of shifting all responsibility over to the Sanhedrin. He had actually used the basin as a message to Jesus: the message to the crowd was an afterthought. But now that his impossible hopes had been dashed, he knew the basin did not clean his hands of Jesus’ blood. He was terrified.

That evening, a man named Joseph, who Pilate thought was allied with the council, broke the paralysis that had settled on my husband. This Joseph asked permission to take the body of Jesus and remove it to his family tomb. Pilate was suspicious. He thought it a trick by the Sanhedrin to further desecrate Jesus. But several women had accompanied Joseph and awaited him in the outer court. When they were told Pilate would not release the body, they wailed with such intense and piteous grief that my husband was convinced they must have loved the man, Jesus, and so released him to their care.

The next morning a priest came to ask Pilate to set a guard at the tomb. He explained that Jesus had told crowds that he must be put to death, but would rise again on the third day. The council feared his disciples might steal the body and create an even bigger following for him in death than he had in life. Much to the priest’s surprise Pilate immediately, even eagerly, agreed. The priest slyly observed that the high priest would be very pleased to know that the procurator had thought better of the matter.

“You tell that viper if he ever ventures into my courtyard again he will meet the same fate he contrived for your king,” Pilate spat at him with such fury the priest did not dare argue that Jesus was not their king.

After the priest left, Pilate shook with emotion. What emotion, I could not tell. It could have been fury, joy, fear or some intense mixture of these and more. “I told you,” he said to me, “Death cannot hold that man. He is a king and I will not let the council get hold of his body to defile it before he has accomplished his purpose. The council wants the guard to keep his disciples out. I set the guard to keep the council out.”

His eyes blazed with such intensity I feared my husband might be taking leave of his senses. I took great care to soothe him. He took care to order the guards he had appointed to keep him apprised of any news, and to defend to the death any attempted intrusion into the tomb.

It was just after noon the next day when one of the guards came, shaking with terror, to report that somehow the body had been stolen right out from under them.

(Sleeping Guards – Piero Della Francesca)

Pilate looked at me and remarked that this was the third day. He ordered the guardsman be brought some refreshment, then kindly, but intensely questioned him. The guard swore the cohort had not been drinking or carousing, as they were fearful about incurring the procurator’s wrath. They knew how important this was. The messenger reported they had been standing guard when a brilliant light bloomed in the darkness, blinding them. It had seemed only a moment, he said, but when their sight returned they were all on their backs and it was dawn – and the rock had been moved from the tomb. Pilate asked why it had taken so long for them to come tell him. The guard responded that they had been frightened the procurator might have them executed and so had argued among themselves on whether to send one to tell him or to flee. Pilate asked if there was any other news he should know. The guard’s whole body seemed to wither in misery as he reported that some of the women who had been with Jesus claimed he had risen and even spoken to them.

Pilate was delighted. He assured the guard that none of them would be punished, that they should just keep quiet about what had happened, neither confirming nor contradicting any rumors that arose. The guard gloomily protested that already some of the council were spreading rumors that the guard had been drunk with carousing. This delighted Pilate even more, so much that he ordered three months wages be given as bonus to each of the four guardsmen, while re-iterating his order that they say nothing and completely ignore whatever rumors the Sanhedrin put out.

After the guard left I asked Pilate why he was so pleased.

“Don’t you see,” he asked me. “If the council is putting out such rumors it proves they do not have the body. They are trying to contain the damage. Their constant schemes have fanned the flames of public resentment against us since we arrived. Every effort we made to improve relations they used as kindling to fire the flames even hotter against us. But now they are caught in their own trap. Every rumor they spread, every lie they tell is another piece of wood they lay on the cairn that will consume them.”

I asked Pilate if he thought Jesus was really risen. He pondered for a moment, then smiled and said whether he was or whether he wasn’t, the Sanhedrin would have much more to worry about now than how to make our lives a misery.

Over the next few months rumors swirled throughout Jerusalem about where Jesus had been, who had seen him, who he had talked with and what he was doing. It was even reported, with witnesses attendant, that he had preached to a group of hundreds of people at a single time. The council was beside itself. I think Pilate was hoping Jesus might come to us and offer some words of comfort and hope. He certainly never tired of summoning witnesses to recount for him all the details of the latest sighting. Finally, word came that Jesus had stood amongst some of his followers and vanished into the heavens before their very eyes, and the rumors died down.

(The Ascension – Benjamin West)

That, however, was not the end of the matter. More like the beginning, if you want to know the truth. The followers of Jesus were bolder than ever. They took to calling themselves The Way and holding forth in synagogues throughout Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin was constantly bringing members of The Way up on charges. Nothing delighted Pilate more those last few years than to tell the furious priests to “…see to the matter, yourselves” and not to trouble him on matters pertaining to their religion.

Of course, our relations with the Sanhedrin were forever poisoned after that. Not that they had been much to speak about before, but after that Passover it became a constant struggle. The Sanhedrin was constantly trying to undermine Pilate with Rome and Pilate was constantly trying to undermine the Sanhedrin with the people. It was ironic that during those last few years Pilate achieved a rather popular following among the growing segment of Jews who identified themselves with The Way. Both made the Sanhedrin squirm, though I think Pilate enjoyed it more than members of The Way did. Eventually, though, we were summoned to Rome to answer charges that we were conspiring with the rebellious sect known as The Way to overthrow the Sanhedrin. It wasn’t true, but certainly Pilate did always rule in favor of anyone he knew – or even thought – to be connected with The Way any time the council brought them up on charges.

In many ways it was a relief. Our time in Jerusalem had not been pleasant. After proving his loyalty, Pilate hoped to receive another, more auspicious posting. He would even have been content with a return to the Legion with a favorable command, though we had grown very fond of each other over the course of our troubled encounter with Judea and did not want the separation that re-appointment to the Legion would inevitably bring. Unfortunately Tiberius died while we were en route to Rome and the new emperor, Caligula, did not consider hearing our case a priority. We went to stay with my brother and his wife in Pyrgi, just about a day north of Rome, to await the emperor’s pleasure. To our surprise, The Way had established a few footholds even here, in the heart of the empire. We met two adherents who said they had been in the courtyard on the day of the great drama. One, Joses by name, came to visit us quite regularly, occasionally bringing a friend or two. Joses and Pilate became fast friends and loved to talk at great length about Jesus. I thank God for it. When Pilate took ill a few months ago, Joses took it upon himself to stay with us and help me care for my husband.

You have to understand, Portia, that over the last few years Pilate was not the same man you knew from your childhood or his early days with the Legion. He never slept well anymore and his days were ever more listless. The only time he seemed his old self was when Joses came around. Truth is, Pilate had become consumed with thoughts of Jesus and what he could have done differently that day. He feared he had failed the only real king he had ever met. It ate at him. Joses swore that he had been among the crowd that Jesus had preached to after having risen. I think that, more than anything, sealed Pilate’s attachment to him. Pilate asked him why the members of The Way didn’t hate him, even seemed to enjoy coming up to visit him, when they both knew that whatever his protestations, without his approval there could have been no crucifixion. Pilate’s voice trembled as he once told me that Joses had explained that if Jesus was to conquer death and rise, he must first die. To some in The Way, Pilate was a curiosity. For others, even though he was a Roman, he had spoken with Jesus on that last day and that meant something. For those who had been there, Joses said, yes, Pilate had a hand in Jesus’ death. But his was the only hand that day that had seemed unwilling. And more, Joses told him, every friend he had brought said afterward that they could feel the grief of it still hanging on Pilate like a shroud.

Sometimes in the night, Portia, I would wake to hear Pilate muttering, “Your king is innocent,” or “I find no fault in him.” He would toss and turn throughout the night. Even on the good nights, the bedclothes would be soaking in the morning. One terrible night I woke to hear Pilate screaming, “I wash my hands of it. I tell you I wash my hands of it!” I had to wake him to keep him from disturbing the whole household. When I did he kept looking in all directions in frenzied panic. He shrank against the bedpost and didn’t recognize me. He kept begging, “Please, please…” and wouldn’t suffer me to touch him for some time. It took me hours to calm him. Finally he drifted back to sleep and did not awake until late the next afternoon.

Joses told me that Pilate constantly asked him if he thought Jesus could forgive him. Joses tried to reassure him that Jesus already had, but Pilate would always mist up in disconsolate grief, telling him, “I could have stopped it, but didn’t. I should have stopped it, but didn’t. Oh why, oh why, oh why didn’t I stop it? I’ve been lost ever since.” It grieved Joses that Pilate could not understand how forgiving of weakness Jesus is. It is malice that destroys a man, Joses said. He kept trying to tell Pilate he had more to fear from his hatred of the Sanhedrin than of the role he played in Jesus’ death. But Pilate would not hear any defense of the Sanhedrin – and could not accept that Jesus would ever forgive him for letting them take him to Golgotha.

When the sickness came, Pilate got worse. He laid in bed and kept begging Joses to ask Jesus to come and forgive him. He said he could not believe he could ever be forgiven unless Jesus came, himself, to tell him. Over and over, it was all he would talk about, then sob uncontrollably. In these last three weeks, he was in constant agony. He could neither sleep, nor stay awake. He was either quiet and labored or raving. “Jesus, forgive me,” he would plead, “Come tell me you forgive me,” and then great, wracking sobs that tore my heart out.

Joses would sit with him sometimes and send me away to give me a break, but I could tell it was hard on him, too. Four days ago, he had to go away for a week, but said he would try to get back early. Thank God he got back late yesterday afternoon. Ever since he had left, Pilate kept asking me, “Claudia, why are you doing me this way?” and groaning in agony. It was a constant accusation. When Joses arrived he found me crying in the garden. I collapsed onto his chest weeping as I told him what had happened. I told him I knew Pilate was not in his right mind anymore, but it hurt so bad that, even in his delirium, he should think I was doing this to him. I cried and cried and cried some more. I told him I had to go back up to Pilate; I couldn’t leave it like this, but I didn’t know if I could bear it.

Joses cradled my chin in his hands and wiped my tears off. “We’ll go up together, Claudia. You know he doesn’t mean it and he needs you so much now. We’ll see him together and you’ll be strong,” he told me. It was such a relief to have Joses with me as we went in. Pilate started stirring immediately and then woke, confused and feeble.

“Look,” I said. “Joses is here to see you. See, Pilate, your friend Joses is with us.”

As soon as we entered I saw that Joses had started silently mouthing prayers. It seemed to give me strength. Certainly, having Joses here gave me something to focus Pilate’s attention on other than me or his pain. I kept telling him that Joses was here, over and over. It felt silly to keep repeating it, but I couldn’t help myself. It had become a mantra against the darkness. Joses had his own mantra. He did not cease mouthing his silent, urgent prayers. To the astonishment of both of us, Pilate started struggling to sit up. He didn’t have the strength for it, but was determined. Joses did not cease his silent prayer, nor I my cheery announcements as we helped move Pilate into a sitting position. Joses put his arm behind Pilate to support him. When Pilate was up, his head slumped limply on his chest and his arms hung as limply at his sides. He took deep, struggling breaths, as if he had just finished some fearsome effort which, I guess, he had. After a few minutes, Joses interrupted his prayer long enough to say, “Claudia, he’s trying to tell you something.” I looked down and saw Pilate’s fingers twitching purposefully at me. My heart sank, but I leaned in to him. As I did, he grabbed my arm with a strength I would not have thought possible in that skeletal frame. “I…I love you, Claudia,” he whispered in a gasp. Tears flooded my eyes. It was all I could do to keep from bursting into sobs. Instead I replied, “I love you, too, Pilate.” But as I started to sit back up, his grip was all the stronger and more insistent. He had neither lifted his head from his chest nor opened his eyes during this effort. Again, he took deep, gasping breaths, gathering his strength for something more. Twice more, he told me he loved me. After the last, without lifting his head or opening his eyes, the faintest smile of contentment smoothed his face. I told Joses I thought he was ready to sleep again.

We gently laid him back down. Oh what a lovely sight he was! His breathing was deep and strong and quiet, and the faint smile of contentment remained on his face. I told Joses, with no little amazement, that it was the first peaceful sleep he had had in months. Joses smiled and said, “He needed to tell you how much he loves you.”66066

We went to the anteroom and had some tea sent up. We talked quietly into the wee hours of the night. Every time I went to look in on Pilate he was breathing deeply and peacefully. What a blessing! Sometime during the night, he slipped quietly away. I think Jesus must have come before Joses and I went up to him last evening.

Your brother is at peace, Portia. I know it with certainty. And how glad the knowing is!

Your sister-in-law,

Claudia Procula

84 thoughts on “Epitaph

  1. Love this one, Charlie. I also love your introduction. Enter into the mysteries we do.

    Oh how we, often, tend to cling to our favorite private revelations with our favorite interpretations and then hold them up as the true and only way something can be interpreted.

    May the graces of the day be not wasted.

    Liked by 8 people

      1. This is the first time I’ve seen this and it’s beautiful. I am in tears now, as Holy Week usually leaves me a bit emotional. Your story reminds us that Jesus’mercy is real, efficacious and necessary to live our lives. I’m finally getting it. Thank God. Happy Easter to all!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Charlie,
        I love this meditation, and your others on the Mysteries of the Rosary. One of the things I like about this is the smile at the end. Pilate is at peace anticipating his death. It gives me hope for those who are entrenched in the evils of our day, like politicians and planned parenthood and some of our friends and family. They can repent, and turn back to the Lord before it is too late. God’s blessings to everyone for the Easter Octave. He is Risen!


  2. The wood, the wood, the wood of the Cross….I can never make it through good Friday services without ending up in a hot mess of tears… I’m so sorry, Jesus, that I did/do this to you😢😢😢 can’t wait to read this again, Charlie🤗

    Liked by 6 people

  3. And has the angry demonic mob changed a bit since then, except that the degree of demonic infestation does ebb and wane at times?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Surely the fight between good and evil, with its commensurate choosing, has been the plight of humanity through the ages. Still, I think these times are incredibly consequential, particularly, in light of the prolific Marian activity of our times. Too, ever present in my pondering is this quote from Pope St. John Paul II:

      “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine Providence; it is trial which the whole Church, and the Polish Church in particular, must take up. It is a trial of not only our nation and the Church, but, in a sense, a test of 2,000 years of culture and Christian civilization with all of its consequences for human dignity, individual rights, human rights and the rights of nations.”

      Full article here.

      Liked by 8 people

  4. I attended the Good Friday services at my church today. It is always a very moving service for me, from beginning to end. One time today that got me particularly tearful was, after returning to my pew from venerating the Cross, I studied the people still venerating and watched their silent whispers of prayer, their meaningful touching and kissing of the cross. It all seemed so sincere and humble and lovely. The church was full too. I gave thanks to God for the gift of his people, deep in prayer today.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. And yesterday I was thinking “He hung for 3 hours to atone for MY sins” such a long time needed, but giving up my sins has taken a long time, I am soo slow to learn. Remember that today is the only day Mary did not have her Son alive and had to walk in total faith in His promise.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Asking for your input: Tomorrow is the holiest day of the year and yet, my family members do not celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior, but insist on getting together for brunch. It’s the same at Christmas. My heart breaks that they all have left Holy Mother Church for their own secular realities.
    I don’t want to be around non-believers on Christmas and Easter. Am I wrong to think this way?
    I’ve evangelized by sending each one a spiritual Easter card and have Masses said.
    Should I attend the faux easter brunch–grin and bear it-as I have during Easter’s past. Or can I stay home or be with others who rejoice as I do, the Resurrection of our Dear Lord?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. There’s gold in each one of them, San San. God sees that gold and has a plan for each of their lives. I’ve been looking in the Scriptures recently at how Jesus didn’t deal in exasperation with those who needed converting. Something in His very Presence, loving the sinners – just as they were – precipitated conversion. I wonder what would happen if each of us in a similar situation such as yours, at an Easter celebration, just tapped into Christ’s Eucharistic Presence in us – for we’ve received Him in all His Easter Glory – to simply be present, loving and affirming the good in those who may drive us crazy. I wonder how that would turn out. Blessed Easter be yours, San San.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Well, I attended the (biological) “family” event and did my best to be “present with Christ in me”. None of them drive me crazy, they pierce my heart with such sadness and fear for their souls. I gave them all to Christ and asked for Him to do anything it takes to bring them all back to Him. In His time.

        Then I went to “other” family event (my adoptive side) and received happy news that we have another baby on the way. God is so good!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I do understand, San San. I also have family far from the Lord and it is heartbreaking to me, yet, my hope is in the Lord Who has been SO patient with me throughout my lifetime. I heard Dennis Prager share an notable insight a few evenings ago. He remarked that so many on the left have told themselves lies for so long that it could well be that they blindly actually believe what they have professed for years. Only God knows what factors keep our dear ones stuck in the lies embedded in the culture of death. I also draw hope from knowing HE wants to reclaim every sinner even more than I want my friends and relatives to make a return to Him… and a return to Him is one of my daily, fervent heart cries in prayer.

          Luke 6:32-36 is an ever present challenge to me when considering how to relate to the ones I love who are far from the Lord:
          “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

          Congratulations on the conception of another New Life in your clan of adoption. God’s blessings on this pregnancy and delivery for Mom, Baby and the whole family.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Hear, hear Beckita. Just today I was treated in P.T. by my former young therapist, Andrew. The last time I worked with him was before the second surgery on my foot. At that appointment, I was watching the skies being polluted with geoengineering. I routinely begin my sessions with a 10 minute warm up on a stationary bike located in front of a vast picture window that oversees a panoramic view of the parking lots and fields surrounding this suburban Aurora, Illinois medical compound. In late January, I flippantly mentioned chemtrails and the fellow patient on the opposite side of the balance bars doing his drills and I got into a lively chatter about it. Both of our therapists were like deer in the headlights. Today, I joked with Andrew and asked if *they* are still painting the skies with toxins to which he surprised me by excitedly mentioning a large convention held during a weekend forum on the subject recently in a nearby Willowbrook, Illinois facility. He asked if I had heard about it. I had not, yet I was tickled to see him paying attention!

            On another note, I have not attended an Easter Vigil for many, many years. I decided to go this year and the experience gave me a multitude of blessings. One such blessing was to witness a Middle-Eastern family, a father, mother, and teenaged daughter and son, received the rites of initiation into our Catholic Faith/Church. Wow!! Years ago I was frustrated by our new pastor welcoming Middle-Easterners into our parish for an open house to make a case to the community for the village to approve zoning for a mosque. After much prayer and discernment, I let it go. God had allowed it and perhaps the pastor was an instrument for conversion was my resolve. The father embraced their sponsor after he was confirmed and gave him a long embrace and wiped away tears before returning to his seat in the pew.

            Even small and unpredictable measures, with God, can and do produce good fruits. Again I am reminded, I am not in charge and my life is not about me! ❤

            Liked by 4 people

    1. I devoutly adore you, O hidden God, Truly hidden beneath these appearances. My whole heart submits to you, And in contemplating you, It surrenders itself completely. Sight, touch, taste are all deceived In their judgment of you, But hearing suffices firmly to believe. I believe all that the Son of God has spoken; There is nothing truer than this word of truth. On the cross only the divinity was hidden, But here the humanity is also hidden. I believe and confess both, And ask for what the repentant thief asked. I do not see the wounds as Thomas did, But I confess that you are my God. Make me believe more and more in you, Hope in you, and love you. O memorial of our Lord’s death! Living bread that gives life to man, Grant my soul to live on you, And always to savor your sweetness. Lord Jesus, Good Pelican, wash me clean with your blood, One drop of which can free the entire world of all its sins. Jesus, whom now I see hidden, I ask you to fulfill what I so desire: That on seeing you face to face, I may be happy in seeing your glory. Amen

      Liked by 6 people

  7. 200+ Christians killed in Sri Lanka by the religion of piece. A piece of you here, a piece of you there.

    Not trying to be cute with the play on words. islam is not compatible with a civilized society and MUST be confronted and exterminated. Any attempt at co-existence is effeminate and suicidal. Nobody outside of that milieu is safe.

    Note: ‘islam’ is not capitalized above because I don’t confer that kind of respect and legitimacy on a satanic system, even at the beginning of a sentence.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Day 3
        “Today bring to Me ALL DEVOUT AND FAITHFUL SOULS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. The souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.” Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely. Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

        Read more at: https://www.praymorenovenas.com/divine-mercy-novena

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Lord, please welcome our deceased brothers and sisters in Christ into your Kingdom and console their family and community in their sorrow. Please take the hearts of stone and make them flesh so we may unite in love and service to Your Divine Plan and each to other.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. HeartLight Daily Verse – Happy Easter 😉

    John 10:28-30
    Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    “He’s got the whole world in his hand.” God holds his children of faith in his hand. As long as they place their lives in him, no one or nothing can steal them away.

    O Lord, thank you for your steadfast and secure love. Thank you for the assurance that my future rests in your hands. Thank you for holding me in your protective grace. May I live today with confidence and joy knowing that no matter where I find myself, you are there to uphold and sustain me. For this grace, I thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.
    Visit heartlight.org for more

    NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians
    He Is Risen


    Good Friday: Its Message for Christian Culture Warriors

    Christians re-enact cross procession worldwide to mark Good Friday

    Fire in the Church, Fire in the Heart

    How Jesus of Nazareth Transformed the World: Women and Children

    How Jesus of Nazareth Transformed the World: Charity, Education, and the Arts

    After San Antonio Blocks Chick-Fil-A, Texas Conservatives Reignite Fight for Religious Freedom

    The Holiest Week Began with a Tragedy, Ends With Miracles

    The World Still Needs to Hear the Good News of Resurrection Sunday

    He Is Risen: Darkness Is Defeated and Dawn Has Arrived

    Is the American Church Dying?

    GALLOP: U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades

    Global Civil War along political, religious and racial lines …. My God gives us Strength, Guidance and Protection!

    Explosions Rock Sri Lanka Churches: At Least 200 Killed in Easter Sunday Attacks

    Easter attacks on churches in Sri Lanka are tragic, but hardly surprising

    An Hour With VDH: Mueller Probe Could Backfire on Those Who Fabricated Russia-Collusion Narrative…

    Why Jesus on the Cross Is No Mere Symbol–Peter Wehner
    Dueling Popes? Maybe. Dueling Views in a Divided Church? Definitely.


    Liked by 5 people

      1. Thanks Audie and everyone. I took that photo on a favourite walk around the base of Mount Maunganui about 90 minutes from where I live here in New Zealand. If you look carefully you can see a tiny cross on the little rock at the foot of the light – a reminder for me that its better to do small things well and that all my crosses are tiny compared with His.

        Liked by 7 people

        1. The photo is beautiful, Joe. I see the tiny cross. It is a great reminder for all of us to do the small things well and realize our crosses are indeed tiny compared with His. Good to hear from you. God bless you, Joe.

          Liked by 4 people

    1. Gorgeous photo, Joe, an icon of the opening verses and the closing verse of the Exsultet:

      Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
      Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
      Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
      Sound the trumpet of salvation!

      Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
      radiant in the brightness of your King!
      Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
      Darkness vanishes for ever!

      Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
      The risen Savior shines upon you!
      Let this place resound with joy,
      echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!…

      May the morning Star which never sets find this flame
      still burning:
      Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead,
      and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
      your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

      R. Amen.

      Liked by 6 people

  9. Happy Easter✝️🎉🎉🎉

    Today our priest had everyone singing Hallelujah it was magnificent!

    A trumpet played and I thought of uou, Charlie!

    Thank you everyone in this community. A place of solace snd encouragement.


    Liked by 8 people

  10. Wishing everyone here in the ASOH community all the blessings of the Easter season. Love and prayers for all in Medjugorje in May.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. An interesting viewpoint from a canon lawyer about whether the Sri Lanka victims who died in church were indeed martyrs;

    (B, if possible could you allow his challenger’s comments and how he rebuts them; if not please inc. this link so they may read themselves…ty)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hmmmm… Interesting, Maggie. I have already been praying for the repose of these souls AND called them martyrs as I seek their intercession for conversion throughout the world. While it’s true that God alone knows the state of each soul at the moment of death, it is also true that these people had gone to Church to worship Him. They were murdered because of they are Christians. The canon lawyer here believes they are, indeed, martyrs. I guess, in the end, there will be divergent views and, ultimately, I don’t want to miss out on the powerful intercession of these holy ones.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. If you haven’t seen this image of the statue, stained with the blood of the martyrs…

        Surely praying for the repose of their souls, knowing, if not needed, these prayers go to the Treasury of Grace for someone in need. Praying, too, for the families who have been traumatized by this terror and whose hearts are surely broken.

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Prayers should be said. For just as in our country some go to church out of habit or out of family “Pressure” and if a church were bombed here those of little faith would still need our prayers, as well as for the healing of the trauma of the survivors. .

          Liked by 4 people

  12. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 22 April
    How Jesus of Nazareth Transformed the World: Science, Capitalism, and Slavery

    Sri Lanka attacks: Death toll soars to 290 after bombings hit churches and hotels

    At least 207 killed, 450 hurt in eight church, hotel bombings in Sri Lanka

    Two Brothers, Both Priests and Chaplains, to be Buried Together at Arlington

    United Methodists edge toward breakup over LGBT policies

    Pastor Beaten and Left for Dead for Bringing Muslims to Christ

    Remembering Father James V. Schall, an Old-School Jesuit–GEORGE WEIGEL

    James V. Schall, S.J.: The Embodied Catholic Mind at Work

    Obama, Clinton, Democrats Denounce Attacks on ‘Easter Worshippers,’ Not ‘Christians’


    Street Preaching ‘Should be Made Illegal’

    Recognizing False Apostles

    Physician-Assisted Suicide Comes to New Jersey. Here’s Why It’s Badly Misguided.

    Notre Dame was supposed to have two big spires on the front like most of the cathedrals of the time but they were never built… probably ran out of $$$….. If it was me, with all the $$$ pledged, I’d build the original “Plan” with two BIG Golden Crosses on top! 😉

    Notre Dame Traditionalists Are Appalled By This Potential New Design

    Easter 2019: Top 10 Worst TV Shows for Christians


    Nets Skip Pelosi on CNN Saying Dems Have ‘No Taint’ of Anti-Semitism

    Teaching Kids to Hate: Minnesota Children Instructed to Color Cards of Anti-Israel and Anti-American Ilhan Omar for Class Assignment

    TERRORIST LEADER Behind Sri Lanka Easter Bombings that Killed 290 Is Islamic Extremist Imam Named Moulvi Zahran Hashim

    Boom! President Trump Suggests John Kerry Violated Logan Act with Unprecedented Private Meetings with Iranian Regime

    Why Mueller’s report looks so bad for Obama…–DC Whispers

    Why the Effort to Demonize Attorney General Barr?–VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

    Things that can’t go on forever, don’t–Victor Davis Hanson

    I’m guessing that SteadyReady @ ( https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/04/21/sunday-talks-rep-john-ratcliffe-discusses-the-weissmann-mueller-report/ ) ….might well be Right. Let US Pray that there is a Big White Hat Guy Out-There with Multi-Megaton Dirt Bombs, collected by an army of White Hat Investigators, ready to be dumpted on any number of The Usual Suspects …. if so …. The Usual Suspects may become Really Angry/Dangerous …… and launch … a Long Hot Summer ….. ;-(

    Ready Steady Go says April 22, 2019 at 1:23 am:
    “Something is very very odd about the Mueller report. It is as if one person wrote the case, and another person wrote the conclusion. It choppy and the conclusion deviates from the case. Ie – it appears in the obstruction section Weissman lays out the lawfare case on obstruction. It takes issue with the dershowitz and turley view. But then the conclusion abruptly cuts off. Read it and then consider:
    1- SD mentions the Dems detailed planning for impeachment hearings and the chosen one. The Dems were planning impeachment as if it were a certainity not a possibility. How were they certain? Did they already know Weissman concluded obstruction occurred.
    2- why did the Dems react so shocked after Barr’s 1st press conference? They acted as if he was lying? Why did they think that?
    3- why did the MSM think Barr was lying after the 1st press conference? Did they have an advance copy from Weissman that did not jive with Barr’s summary?
    4 why was RR stunned and in shock during Barr’s 2nd press conference?
    5 why did Weissman abruptly resign?
    6 why didn’t Rudy publish his counter report?
    Folks. I have my tin foil hat on. The only explanation I have is this:
    Weissman s report concluded with obstruction being committed. This conclusion was then leaked to the Dems to plan and coordinate the planning SD outlined. The MSM was given the heads up too. Notice how they started the obstruction narrative leading up to the release. Everybody was on point and CERTAIN Of what was coming. Why were they certain? How were they so wrong? SOMEONE stepped in. Someone had enough to stop it and change the conclusion. Why would they spend 2 years trying to take down POTUS and then back down at the 11th hour. Weissman could have easily made the fake case. He’s done it before. Read the report folks. It is the lawfare blueprint. But something changed. And someone made them change it. Enough that they are too scared to talk about it. The leaks are real. The MSM and Dems are not this dumb and disorganized. It’s not what they do. They KNEW WHAT WAS IN THAT REPORT. SOMEONE CHANGED THE CONCLUSION. Go back and look at their reactions. Why were they calling Barr a liar with such confidence? The only way was if they were briefed on the conclusion and then got a different one. Someone on our side has something on a lot of people. Enough that they are scared and not talking. If I am off base, then look at RR….why is he so scared???
    …… remember Brennan predicting indictments on a Friday? And when it never happened, he said he got bad “information”.
    – why is the media tailing Mueller on Easter Sunday??? ” Hey Bob, WTF happened to the plan???
    – why is there a lack of unanimity from the Dems on impeachment??? Are they still trying to figure out wtf happened?
    Why do the Dems and MSM seem blind sided?
    Why aren’t they united on Mueller testimony?
    Someone has something on someone. Enough to shut this down.
    Why was Barr so damn comfortable with the word spying???
    This is bigger than Barr. He is a messenger boy.”

    Forget Trump, Here Are Five Reasons Why Obama Should Have Been Impeached

    Things that can’t go on forever, don’t–Victor Davis Hanson

    Philadelphia Flyers remove Kate Smith statue amid racism allegations

    Supreme Court Mulls Citizenship Question for Census–GEORGE WILL

    Paul Batura: The little-known reason why Ronald Reagan loved jelly beans

    France’s Yellow Vest protesters return to the streets enraged by billions pledged to rebuild Notre Dame

    Sri Lanka Suicide Bombings Targeting Christians Kill Hundreds
    The Tragic Familiarity of the Sri Lanka Bombings–Randy Boyagoda
    Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics


    Liked by 4 people

    1. “Easter Worshipers.” Aren’t they clever. If it wasn’t Easter, they’d call them “church-goers.” Anything to hide the real reason they were slaughtered and maimed by islamists. The enemies (satan’s beloved) are always – ALWAYS – twisting words to distort or hide truth.
      “Pro-Choice” “Undocumented Migrants” “Assault Weapon’ ‘Climate Change” “spending cut” ‘Progressive” etc
      And now misusing low-resolution words like “terrorist” ‘violence’ “bigot” “racist” etc. to attack without the inconvenience of having to use an argument.

      If you want to control the way a man thinks, you first have to control his language. A sentiment expressed by Canadian Jordan Peterson.

      Liked by 6 people

  13. Dear Charlie and ASOH family, I have followed your blog TNRS/ASOH for years. I never made any significant remarks because they are typically already said better by someone else. Every request made here I’ve prayed for. Now I am in desperate need of some prayer. My daughter Catherine has struggled with self harm and has been seeing a catholic therapist off and on as needed for a few years and my daughter seems to really like and trust her. Catherine is a natural athlete and also a beautiful artist. Due to a learning disability she struggles in the classroom. I have told her that she has more observable talent than anyone in our family and why would we all want to be the same but all she sees are her sisters achieving in school and her struggling (a cover for her self loathing I think) I started homeschooling 2years ago (we had actually homeschooled about 10 yrs prior also). After a really tough fall and early winter she seemed to be making headway. Her therapist said we could cut back her sessions to every other week. She has been painting again playing intramural sports and engaged with the family and not withdrawn. She was out of the house today so I did some snooping to see if she’s really ok (hoping so much) or an act. According to some writing I found it is the latter. Asking for prayer for the difficult discussions that we need to have now.
    Our youth are really strugging now.
    I know you have a prayer request section but I’m just sitting here at 1AM needing a little help

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Praying a PMT for your dear daughter, Robyn. Sending Our Lady to remain with Catherine, interceding for her every need. +Remember Catherine, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, for never was it known…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Robyn, will be fervently praying for you and your daughter as we are kindred spirits, only decades ago, ADD and other learning disabilities weren’t readily diagnosed. My mom was tired of teachers, (at P/T conferences), comparing me to my booksmart siblings and tried to encourage me with the left brain advantages. Freshman year, my history teacher stopped by the locker to show my test score, and had the audacity to inquire why I wasn’t smart like the rest of my family. Not wanting to be late for next class, (and ticked he was doing this within earshot of other kids walking by, yet knowing that he considered himself the cool teacher), I took my chances n blurted out, “Take it up with my Creator, but should Smart teachers really be comparing siblings?” He started to chuckle then caught himself and said, ‘we’ll discuss this later’. Just make sure your other kids are spending quality time with her, one on one and sincerely encouraging/praising her different talents. Perhaps, your city park programs for kids’ summer activities could use an assistant in their youth art classes etc. May she feel Mother Mary’s love, and St. Raphael bring her supportive friends. (and if possible, sneak in when she’s sleeping to make the sign of the cross on her forehead).

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Hi Robyn, My 16-year-old daughter also struggles with self-harm, not to mention suicide ideation, emotional dysregulation, unstable relationships, impulsive/risky behaviour, feelings of emptiness and dissociation. I will pray for your daughter. I know how it feels. I lose much sleep over my daughter. I fear suicide, but I also fear she will be harmed/killed by others due to her risky behaviour. She likely has borderline personality disorder (can’t be diagnosed till 18). She is what would be called a “quiet” borderline. She doesn’t have insane anger outbursts or rage. Her intense and painful emotions are manifested in other ways. I thank God that her psychiatrist recommended dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). This therapy has helped. She has only cut herself twice since she started the DBT program in November 2018. Maybe you can look into DBT for your daughter. God bless you and your family.


  14. Thank you all so much for your prayers and words of encouragement. I felt the need to cast the net wide and I am so glad I did. Deeply appreciative

    Liked by 2 people

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