Ecce Homo – Antonio Ciseri


(I repeat today what has become an Easter Tradition for me – my little story about Pontius Pilate and the Lord. Some, over the years, have commented on how real the death scene feels. I took it almost verbatim from an actual event I participated in.

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

159 thoughts on “Epitaph

      Be patient and tough, someday this pain will be useful to you.

      A latin quip sent to me by a very old school Philadelphia Catholic.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. That’s beautiful Beckita! I’ve been really meditating on the passion these days as we all are for sure. I think I heard it from Anne a lay apostle this past week that Jesus would go through the passion again and again for each person on earth! Now that’s 💕 love😫

      Liked by 5 people

        1. He just amazes me the more I get to know Him. Amaze isn’t even a big enough word for Him. Wonder. Love. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I dunno. Just not a strong enough adjective for Our God. 🥰✝️

          Liked by 3 people

  1. Thannks Beckita!

    This piece and the piece you wrote about St. Gabriel the Archangel preparing for the Annunciation are both so amazing to get our minds focused on HIM! Thanks Charlie, and you and all have a blessed Easter!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks Beckita!

    This piece and the piece you wrote about St. Gabriel the Archangel preparing for the Annunciation are both so amazing to get our minds focused on HIM! Thanks Charlie, and you and all have a blessed Easter!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Dear Charlie,
    Thanks for this. I am going to print it out and read it before the liturgy of Good Friday today, along with Ann Catherine Emmerich’s account of the Last Supper. As an Easter gift to you, here is my own story, which is really meant for children, but I think you’ll like it too! It’s called…

    The Story of Peck…
    An Easter Allegory

    Once upon a time, there was a tiny little bird named Peck. Well, he didn’t really have a name yet, but he would be called Peck someday.

    At first Peck was only aware of the warmth, and of the great throbbing feeling. It felt like, thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump. Peck couldn’t see or hear yet, but he could feel the warmth and the thumping. Sometimes the thumping would go away and he would start to get cold, but it would soon come back, and he got warm again. He could count on that.

    As Peck grew he began to see and hear, and he became aware of the light, and he began to hear the thumping, too, not just feel it. It was strange, because when he heard the thump-thumping and felt the warmth, the light always went away.

    He also noticed that the light would go away for a long time, just like clockwork. When that happened, the thump-thumping was always there and he was warm, and then he became very sleepy in his cozy world and went to sleep. He could count on this too.

    Soon, when Peck’s eyes got better, he could sometimes see shapes and shadows, which were very peculiar, but very interesting. What could they be, he wondered? He also heard other strange sounds now, which were familiar to him somehow.

    Sometimes, as Peck floated about in his soft, warm world, he came up against a place that was hard and that he could not float past. He called that the Edge, because that is where his world ended.

    Peck was quite contented, because there was nothing he needed. He was never hungry, never thirsty, and never tired. And the warmth and the thump-thump was very comforting. There was nothing to fear in Peck’s world.

    As Peck grew bigger though, he began to feel lonely. He did not really know what lonely was, but he began to yearn for something he did not know.

    Then there came a time when Peck could almost touch all the edges of his world at the same time, and he wondered what would happen when he could.

    Peck continued to get bigger and bigger and bigger and soon the edges of his world touched him all around, and he could barely move, and he knew there was no more room for him to grow. Peck became scared for the first time in his life.

    Then, Peck felt a funny urge, something he had never felt before – he felt like pecking. So he began pecking on the only thing he could – on the Edge. At first it felt very strange, because he had never pecked anything before. After awhile Peck became tired for the first time in his life, so he stopped. It also gave him a headache, the first ache he ever had. All Peck wanted to do was go to sleep, so he did.

    When Peck awoke, he began pecking again, even though his beak was still sore from the last time. This time it seemed easier though, and he noticed that the place he was pecking started to become lighter and brighter. He didn’t know what to expect, but he just couldn’t stop pecking. He became excited, and his little heart raced.

    Suddenly, a piercing beam of light shot through the edge of Peck’s world, and completely blinded him. Then he smelled a strange smell – the first smell he ever had – but it seemed like he knew that smell from somewhere, and he liked it.

    When Peck recovered from the blinding light, he began pecking on the edge even harder, and it was then that he realized he had pecked right through to Somewhere Else. What could that Somewhere be?

    Finally, Peck made a hole so big he could he could put his beak and his whole head right through, so he did. What in the world did he see, but two big eyes peering down at him and right in the middle of those two eyes was the biggest beak he had ever seen!

    Then, when Peck was able to take his eyes off that huge beak, he noticed that there were two other sets of eyes peering down at him, one with another even bigger beak in between and one with a much smaller beak. Those eyes and those beaks seemed to smile at him. What could this all mean?

    Finally, the middle sized beak said, “Good work, little Peck, we have been waiting for you! I am your Mother and this is your Father – “and I’m your Brother!”, chimed in the smallest beak excitedly. “We are your Family, Peck”, said his Father, “and now you have come to live with us – welcome to the Real World!”.

    So now that he was with his Family, Peck felt love and loved for the first time in his life, and his loneliness just disappeared. Peck knew then, that everything would be just fine. And so it was, because they all lived happily… forever after!

    Buona Pasqua!

    Liked by 10 people

  4. I love the story again, Charlie, and I’m crying again at the relationship between Pilate and Jesus.

    Robert, your little story is so sweet. It reminds me of one I made up for our children so many decades ago about the little caterpillar who had no friends. Of course the story goes through the process of the cocoon, etc. resulting in a beautiful butterfly who could fly all over making all the friends he needed or wanted.

    May we all have our butterfly moments this Easter!

    Liked by 7 people

  5. I really liked your easily believable version of Pilate and his connection with Christ. When reading it you would think it was real history.

    May you and all CORAC members have a joyful Easter.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. This fron an ancient homily takken from today’s office of readings shows us that the King was not being inactive this Holy Saturday when He seemed to be asleep:
    Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
    He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
    I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
    See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
    I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
    Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

    Liked by 9 people

  7. Always loved this meditation, Charlie. My brain doesn’t work this way, glad yours does.

    Off topic, just a little squirrel humor :-)) From facebook Jim McClintock
    The Presbyterian church called a meeting to discuss what to do about their squirrel infestation. After much prayer and consideration, they concluded that the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they should not interfere with God’s Divine Will.

    At the Baptist church, the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistry. The deacons met and decided to put a water-slide on the baptistry and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and, unfortunately, instinctively knew how to swim, so twice as many showed up the following week.

    The Lutheran church decided they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creatures. So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist church. Two weeks later the squirrels were back, when the Baptists took down the water slide.

    The Episcopalians tried a much more unique path by setting out pans of whiskey around the church in an effort to kill the squirrels with alcohol poisoning. They sadly learned how much damage a band of drunk squirrels can do.

    But the Catholic church came up with the more creative strategy! They baptized all the squirrels and made them members of the church. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.

    Not much was heard from the Jewish synagogue. They took the first squirrel and circumcised him. They haven’t seen a squirrel since.

    (still loving these blessed creatures)
    Happy, blessed Easter to all!

    Liked by 10 people

  8. Easter is CANCELLED in Ontario, Canada. Maximum societal lockdown starting Good Friday at midnight and to last 4 weeks, what a blasphemy & slap in God’s face to kill any good fruits Easter would of gave the population.

    I wonder what lame excuses evil is doing around world to attack & negate Christian Easter.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Amen! Jen and Al, St. Louis de Montfort once inspired his people to erect a HUGE Cross on a HIGH hill.Bbecause of misunderstandings, it was torn down. The people were heartbroken. St. Louis simply counseled his people to build the memorial in the hearts and, there, they will honor Jesus on the Cross AND His Victory over it.

        Liked by 7 people

  9. Happy Easter Everyone!🥳

    It’s been a busy winter. I lost my job in the autumn after working through most of 2020 as an essential worker after my major corporation jammed on the brakes and went into cost cutting mode so as not to reduce dividends to the shareholders. We put our South Jersey home on the market, which was red hot after a long period of doldrums thanks to that little financial hiccup in 2008. By New Years we sold our home, thank you folks fleeing the big city, and moved in with our daughter and son in law in the free state of Tennessee. Quite a change from our old Socialist Republic of New Jersey.

    We have found a lovely and inviting mission parish in the Diocese of Memphis. Our son and daughter in law are still back east, but we hope to have them moving out here in the near future. You have all been in my prayers.

    God Bless you all. Christ is risen!

    Liked by 14 people

  10. Happy Easter Sunday everyone!!! Love you all!!! Enjoy your day and your families! May we all be United in Our movement of acknowledging God, taking the next right step and trying to be that sign of hope for those whom God puts in our path 💕✝️🙏🐇🐶

    Liked by 4 people

    1. CREWDOG:
      Thank You for your comprehensive Celebration of Easter.
      From your the gregorian link:
      “The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night lapses into poetry to describe the re-Edenization of the world.

      “Glory floods the earth, dazzling the night,” says the Exultet. “O truly blessed night, when things of heaven are wed to those of earth, and divine to the human.”

      Poets down the ages have seen the power of this new reality.

      St. Augustine, in a poetic Easter sermon, saw Christ everywhere:

      “Question the beauty of the earth, the beauty of the sea, the beauty of the wide air around you, the beauty of the sky; question the order of the stars, the sun whose brightness lights the day, the moon whose splendor softens the gloom of night; question the living creatures that move in the waters, that roam upon the earth, that fly through the air … question all these. They will answer you: ‘Behold and see, we are beautiful.’ Their beauty is their confession of God.”

      Liked by 4 people

  11. Two of my fellows decided the blasphemous film premiering on Good Friday should not go unanswered. So they made signs for the glory of God and picketed two neighborhood theaters. They had to move to public property which turned out to be near the theater parking lot entrance. Many thumbs up, three turned down. Attendance at the movie was light.
    Blessed Easter!

    Liked by 8 people

  12. Happy Easter to all here.
    Below is a great email I just got from JMJ. (Patrick Henry)
    He doesn’t send them out very often.
    I especially loved the commentary on the “Folded napkin(cloth)”
    I’ve not heard that parallel before, and LOVE it.
    Blessings to you all and yours, -kevin

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Happy Easter, Kevin! You bring some great contributions here, but this one I deleted – while keeping your intro – for two reasons. It was a very, very long one. On such a lengthy post, it’s best to simply link people to it and add your thoughts on why you’re sharing it – just as you did in your intro above. Yet, even more than that, the JMJ site cannot be linked to from this forum because it’s loaded with schismatic stuff. It has writing from sedevacantists and most other authors cast aspersions on the Novus Ordo Mass and reject Vatican II. I noticed many of the authors are accusing and debating each other on what it really means to be Catholic when we have the Teaching Magisterium to guide us on this topic. Also, who exactly is Patrick Henry? There’s no “About” info and this person lacks in taking full responsibility for what he writes and says when he withholds his identity. I suspect it may be Patrick Henry Omlor based on what he writes and what I’ve read in brief bios about Omlor. If it is, he’s rejected all Popes since 1958. If it’s not, the man should really name himself and add some bio info on his site, otherwise we risk going to places that pull us out of the Barque of Peter at a time when all hands on deck are needed. 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Oops, sorry I didn’t realize the negative parts.
        I try hard to find good in things/positives in both people and in writings!… and when I read the reflection on the “napkin/facecloth, , I was impressed and thought I should share…
        And honestly, while forwarding it, wondered if it was too Long.(I should pay more attention to the whispers of the holy spirit)
        Should have just clipped out only my favorite part.

        Thanks for the background on jmj.
        I won’t “unsubscribe” the site because they DO have some great stuff, but will “read with more caution” in the future.
        I apologize profusely, for the error in forwarding the whole email.
        That was mostly due to my laziness and effort to share “where I got it from”.
        So… Maybe in hind sight, there was a small positive… in that now I can be more careful in reading their stuff. (But unfortunately at your cost of labor.) Again I especially appogiseise, blessings to you and ALL here-kevin-
        Also, (after I sent it) my Mom who I am here visiting with this weekend, told me that she’s (long ago) already heard the parallel of the folded napkin vs the rumpled/thrown napkin… So most of you all probably have as well, made me feel even more foolish. Hence I look up AGAIN and say to our lord “Humble me daily Lord” (and hourly if that’s what it takes)!!!
        Blessings to you, yours and your WORKS!!! -kevin-

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Honestly, Kevin, these things happen. Please don’t worry about it. I had my own blip moment yesterday by clearing some spam. As you say, it’s a good reminder for us all to link to long articles rather than posting them here. No worries about the repetition of a good story either. Many good stories deserve a rereading. 🙂 Happy Easter, Kevin. Glad you’re able to be with your mother. Please convey to her Easter Greetings from Father and me.

          Liked by 5 people

    1. Praise be to God. That is a step in the right direction! Our Diocese Cathedral website posted a Easter Mass explanation/instruction/restriction… that took up two full computer screens. At the very end of this (I am truly not sure what to refer to it as) it ended with: “Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.” I kid you not.
      Lord have mercy!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. So sorry. In St Paul cathedral we were asked to sit every other pew, most wore masks and please remember to be sure to have some folks sit on the side of the church away from the parking lot. No registration or counting. Easter resurrection! I thanked Abp. Hebda for opening up. He was greeting folks as we left. We have a gift in that Abp.

        Liked by 6 people

    2. The bowls are back in mine and wondered if that was a prelude to the blessed water returning sometime in the near future.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. My apology to those of you who receive all comments in your inbox. I just deleted a bunch of spam I inadvertently let through. 🙂 Oh Brother. There’s a new look from Word Press in the “moderation station” and I hit “approve all” rather than “delete all.” Joyful, if you could sprinkle some Holy Water my way each day to help me out, I’d be grateful. 🙂

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Those lil grouchy gremlins like to wreak havoc on our CORAC site too! Busy buggers they are.
      Happy Easter mischief makers!

      True story, my DH and I both ride motorcycles. When we got our rides, I learned that we had to secure a “gremlin bell” onto the chassis to ward off harm that would occur due to unexpected mechanical issues. A bit quirky I know, however there is a WWII historical reference to this tradition. We enjoyed ordering and gifting them to each other and installing them before our maiden voyages; (according to legend, for best results you should not purchase your own). 😉

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Hi Beckita,
      In my morning offering today, I noticed St. Isadore is honored. He is the patron Saint of computers and the internet. You might try invoking his intercession when you experience computer problems 😉
      I plan on using him when I’m tasked with troubleshooting computer issues for my 83 yr old father who lives in Texas. I’m here in Colorado and it is a challenge sometimes although every time he gives it up to God, we’re able to resolve the issues. Happy Easter everyone! He is Risen!

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Thanks, Pann. I’ve known of St. Isadore’s patronage. Actually, the computer was working well. It was I who inadvertently erred. 🙂 Happy Easter to you and yours.

        Liked by 3 people

  14. JESUS = GOOD NEWS!! .. 😉









    “Doctor”, BabyKiller and CNN/DNC Sock Puppet – Get de Jab or Else!!



    Sen. Cotton Challenges the Left’s Psy-War Assault on the U.S. Militaryhttps://www.strategypage.com/on_point/2021033195944.aspx

    Same Just-Us “Justice” coming soon to the late-great USA!



    Liked by 5 people

  15. Happy Easter to all here. He is Risen!

    I ran across an article published in the Economist last week which raises some significant issues going forward in the realm of Church -State relations and the role of religion in politics. It is available on the internet without paying for a subscription so I am quoting the article below.

    I don’t fully understand the implications of these trends. But I get an uneasy queasy feeling reading this and trying to understand what is ahead.

    I am thinking of poor Pilate here. Dragged into something he wasn’t expecting. An admixture of political expediency and religious fervor. I am thinking about Pilate’s dilemma. What is Truth and what do you do about it? Beyond that is Christ’s response to the situation. “My Kingdom is not of this world”.

    Politics was not Jesus’ gig. Political parties were not his gig. Even Social Justice Warrior advocacy was not his gig. Love and forgiveness was his gig.

    Politics and religious fervor mixing somehow strikes me as not a good situation for any nation. Politics pushing into religion is not good. Perhaps even worse, religion pushing into politics is a formula for perpetual division.

    I’ guessing the American Bishops aren’t thinking about any of this.

    I’d be interested in seeing what posters here think about the analysis described below and how it may or ought to effect CORAC activities even including the objectives of CORAC.

    America’s new religious war —
    Religious fervor is migrating into politics

    The evangelical culture warriors of the right take on the Democrats’ new Puritans

    March 27, 2021

    TO START THE holiest week in the Christian calendar, Joe Biden is expected to attend Palm Sunday mass at Holy Trinity in Georgetown. He is the most religiously observant president since Jimmy Carter. Considering how organized religion is collapsing, this is yet another way in which his presidency is a throwback.

    He presides over a country in which more people claim to have “no religion” than to be Catholic or evangelical Christian. Yet unlike European countries, America is not becoming clearly less devotional as its churches retreat. Even Americans who have abandoned churchgoing are likelier to say they pray and believe in God than German or British Christians. They have rejected the institutions of religion, in other words, but not the religious urge—including a yearning for moral certainty and communal identity—that churches and synagogues have traditionally catered to.

    This is giving rise to a lot of heterodox thinking even within America’s shrunken congregations. Nearly a third of self-described Christians say they believe in reincarnation. Wilder ideas are rising among the unaffiliated, as the theologian Tara Isabella Burton has described in “Strange Rites”, a tour through the “wellness” cult, the “brutal atavism” of Jordan Peterson and the weird world of Harry Potter fandom. Politics looks increasingly like another such pseudo-religion. Righteous, moralistic, unforgiving and fervently adhered to, America’s national debate has taken on a religious complexion in both parties. A new academic paper notes that since 2018 American Twitter users have been likelier to identify themselves by partisan affiliation than religion; on that platform especially, it has been a seamless switch.

    Some have hailed the displacement of religious fervor into the secular realm as proof of the “God-shaped hole”. This is a conviction, attributed to Blaise Pascal, a French polymath of the mid-17th century, that the religious impulse can never be quelled. Human history suggests he was on to something. But it also suggests outbursts of religiosity owe as much to their cultural, especially institutional, context as metaphysics. The contrasting ways in which Republicans and Democrats are practicing the new religious-style politics underlines the truth of that.

    The right might look more straightforwardly religious. Under Donald Trump, white evangelical Christians, a mainstay of the party for decades, became its most important group. But even if it includes some old-style values voters, this is no longer your father’s moral majority. Most white evangelicals backed Mr Trump—more zealously than they had any previous Republican—mainly for cultural reasons that had nothing to do with Christianity.

    They were motivated far more by his immigration policies and racially infused law-and-order rhetoric than his judicial nominees. They have since shown little interest in Mr Biden’s faith. Or in his efforts to restore the civic religion—an age-old idea of America as a nation blessed by God and united in moral purpose—that Mr Trump disdained. Around a third of white evangelicals subscribe to the QAnon cult. This was apparent in the prominence of man-sized crosses and other Christian paraphernalia among the cultists who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6th.

    This pseudo-religious makeover on the right was instigated by lapsed white evangelicals, who backed Mr Trump in the 2016 Republican primary when observant ones held back. Their continued self-identification as Christians, though they do not attend church, is often a proxy for ethno-nationalism. The same religious appropriation is evident, Tobias Cremer of Oxford University has shown, among Europe’s Christian nationalists, who often do not even believe in God. Yet on the American right, unlike Europe’s, it has received mainstream backing. Christian leaders, confusing the decline of their congregations with the cultural threat of liberalism, made common cause with Mr Trump and the pseudo-evangelicals. For partisan reasons, the rest of the Republican coalition followed them. The party has never been more avowedly Christian or more clearly out of line with gospel doctrines.

    The situation on the left is roughly the opposite. The most avowedly secular Democrats—well-educated “woke” liberals—are also the likeliest to moralize. Their Puritanical racial and gender politics sit in a long tradition of progressive Utopianism, rooted in mainstream Protestantism. Barack Obama’s Messianic first presidential campaign was also in that vein. Yet these new Puritans of the left, though (or perhaps because) they are more secular than earlier progressives, are far more extreme.

    Their view of social justice has no place for forgiveness or grace—as Alexi McCammond recently learned, when the 27-year-old’s editorship of Teen Vogue was cancelled because of some bigoted Tweets she sent as a teenager. It is also more focused on purity and atonement within the liberal tribe (as that example also suggests) than making society less discriminatory. A clue to that is the fact that the Democrats’ many African-American voters largely ignore such activism. They are more concerned to get better health care. Not coincidentally, many also still go to church.

    Never mix, never worry

    Woke liberalism is less prevalent than many conservatives claim. The Democrats would not have nominated the pious, grandfatherly Mr Biden otherwise. His pragmatic espousal of social justice is different in kind from the woke fringe. His appeals to America’s better angels therefore went down with white liberals almost as badly as they did with white evangelicals. Yet on the cultural questions that now define American politics the Puritanical left is often as influential as the zealous right.

    No wonder political compromise has become impossible. Not since the 1850s, when New England’s Puritans embraced the abolitionist case and southern Baptists preached a divine justification for
    slavery to thwart them, have politics and religion been so destructively confused. It is not a reassuring parallel. “

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Hey Charlie and everyone I just watched Charlie’s talk March 31 in Chicagoland!!! How heartening it is!!! I haven’t gotten to the Q & A party yet but will tomorrow!!! Really really great talk!!! First time I saw Charlie recite from scripture and it made me sort of cry cuz I don’t wanna love to be to 100 and not be with Jesus!!!😫 But hey… God’s will be done right?!?!?

    Hehehehe not gonna tell you what scripture passage it is!!! You’re just gonna have to join CoRaC and watch it for yourselves!!!🥰🥳🤪😂✝️🙏🥳

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was so good, Linda! Although I had front row seats, I was hobnobbing a bit and dealing with severe allergies a lot that evening. I am watching some of this presentation for the first time.
      Now, back to the show! 😀

      Liked by 4 people

        1. I am better today! Thanks for asking. It comes and goes. The temperature was in the mid-forties that day, and the pollen was blowing in the wind like snow. I thought my watery eyes were deceiving me! ❤

          Liked by 3 people

            1. For everything there is a season! Praise be to God the symptoms are only a minor annoyance and not debilitating. It would be interesting to see what SteveBC has to suggest about springtime allergies. ❤

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Ha, well, maybe. 🙂 I used to have a lot of inhalant allergies. Just this past winter here in FL I developed again a mild level of bronchial tightness, which for me is a sign of inhalant allergies. I started taking the following supplement to reduce mast cell activation as part of my preventive program for Covid (since some of its worst problems come from mast cell activation that is very inappropriate), and lo and behold, after a few weeks the symptom went away. You might like to try it for a month and see if it helps. On the linked-to page, click the “(A)” headline to go to the page.

                (A) Stuff I Like for A

                I had huge allergy issues in the early 1980s. I found that allergies are like the stack of dishes on springs at buffet restaurants. You can put plates on the spring and have the stack adjust, up until you put so many on that the spring is completely compressed. Every plate on at that point goes up one plate at a time. It’s the plates that are put on after the spring is fully compressed that are the problem. Same for allergies. When you have allergy symptoms, it’s often (not always) because you’ve loaded your body with too many stressors, like foods that you are sensitive to, or a lot of inflammatory foods like sugar and wheat, or you have a hidden infection like an infected cavitation in your jaw from a removed tooth, or untreated perio infections, whatever stresses your body adds up. If this is what a person is suffering from, then the answer is to go through the hard work of taking off the stack as many plates as you can, so the spring can return to resiliency. So the AllerAid linked to above, and Vitamin C and Quercetin and Vitamin D3 and Thiamine and so forth help address the mast cell issue directly and in some cases help the immune system gain better control of itself, but all that stuff fights an uphill battle if your body has a lot of inflammation from other sources.

                Getting rid of as many plates as possible will help most people return to resiliency and greatly reduce the inhalant problem, at which point this AllerAid can be even more effective. Likewise, in general, that hard work will make a person healthier overall. It certainly worked for me.

                Liked by 4 people

                1. I will look into this further. Thanks, SteveBC! ❤

                  When doctors ask me what meds I am on and I answer none. Next they ask me to repeat myself once or twice and then literally snarl at me. 😀

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. “So the AllerAid linked to above, and Vitamin C and Quercetin and Vitamin D3 and Thiamine and so forth help address the mast cell issue directly and in some cases help the immune system gain better control of itself,…” Good stuff here, SteveBC.
                  I take vitamin C & D with Zinc daily/routinely for homeostasis. I’ve been making my own quinine with filtered water with the rinds from my morning grapefruit added in. It makes a brilliant sparkling water.
                  We have a local Fresh Thyme Market with an excellent variety of holistic products at reasonable prices. I will look into adding Thiamine to my daily vitamin/mineral intake. Thanks! 😀


                  1. Please give more details on making your own quinine. How many rinds to how much water? etc. thank you . Can other rinds be used? In the northern climates where those aren’t available if the supply chain breaks down what could be used? Also, how do you store it and how long can it be stored?


                    1. Yes, of course, http. I have been adding fruits and herbal plants to water for years to add a hint of flavor. For overall good health it is recommended that we drink 1/2 of our body weight in ounces of water for proper health maintenance. As a body-worker and therapist I can easily and quickly assess if a body is well hydrated. After doing a little online research, from what I have found to be credible sources, I adapted my water + habits to create my own version. It looks and tastes almost identical to tonic water, which also has the beneficial ingredient of quinine. I am not a doctor and therefore am not prescribing any known treatments or remedies.
                      I fill a 90 ounce container with filtered water and add a hand full of frozen grapefruit rind/skins and let it sit overnight before beginning to drink it. I reuse the rinds and refill the water over the course of many days up to a full week. I sense by the color of the water, pulp, and the bitter aftertaste when the rinds should be replaced. I freeze the rinds/skin and use as needed.
                      I am not an expert, and there are many resources available, most of which will suggest boiling the rinds in water. Of course there are yet other sources that will argue its effectiveness. In any case I have healthy water with an added bite to quench my thirst. Cheers! ❤

                      Liked by 1 person

                  2. Sounds good, Jen. The Thiamine idea is good for if a person gets sick and needs to better control their immune system.

                    My thought on co-morbidities making people more susceptible to Covid infections and moving into Phase 2 is that it is not the co-morbidities themselves but the nutritional inadequacies that both help create those co-morbidities and are aggravated by those co-morbidities. If a person with co-morbidities fixes those nutritional inadequacies, their vulnerability to Covid will decline significantly whether they fix the co-morbidities or not.

                    Low levels of Vitamin D3 or Vitamin B1 and so many other nutritional elements make people far more susceptible to Covid (or many other diseases). So taking a general B complex supplement a few times a week when not ill could help everyone while emphasizing extra thiamine when ill can target better immune system control and help keep a person from going into Phase 2.

                    In many ways, Covid is a disease of nutritional insufficiency.


    2. I didn’t see a Q&A video.

      Is there one? I watched the whole Chicagoland and it looked like he ran out of time. Q&A is one of my favourite parts.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Did anyone else capture Q& A

          I was really interested in the vaccine info. He said someone he knew got the vaccine and died two days later.

          That happened to my next door neighbors mom 😥

          I collect experience to warn folks of possible consequences.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Littleone, my husband and I have a friend who’s mother died two days after getting the second dose of the vaccine; our friend was unsure whether it was the Pfizer or the Moderna shot.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Mick,

              My neighbor’s mom died two days after her first Pfizer shot. Heart attack.

              Not under a doctors care for any heart issues previously.


  17. JESUS = GOOD NEWS .. 😉 .. PM





    “Mutant Strain” Fear Mongering will be with US until The Democrat Voter Fraud Machine is well entrenched, US Middle Class Business, Churches and Schools decimated …… and Jack Booted Federal Vaccine Police are demanding to ‘See Your Papers” at your front door ;-(



    BO’s Sock-Puppet In-Charge? … HullyGee!!! I thought Mail Fraud was a Crime!?



    Anyone else remember that it was Geo. Bush’s Fault during the first 75% of BO’s Reign?



    Liked by 7 people

    1. “Mutant strain”…..Exactly, CD! I really get tired of yelling at the radio and TV! 😦 Every time progress is made, “they” come up with something else to use for the fear mongering! No way can we let people become at ease or peaceful. (And I don’t deliberately have TV or radio on.) Dear God please, come with your light of the Divine Will and Mama’s Triumph, we are growing tired!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks to CD for this link.


    This is like a dot that connects with the points made by the British author in my post earlier in this thread. (BTW, I am a little surprised that nobody here has yet objected to that author’s irksome bit
    of judgmental superiority typical of some Brits toward America and Americans that oozes from that

    This CD article deals with the issue of using an appeal to “morality” based on pseudo religious/ pseudo science flim flammery or outright lies to build a hegemonic argument to seize and maintain control over the State and its functions with the power to direct and control the development of society. A power that is dangerous in the wrong hands. Especially dangerous if that power is in
    the hands of minions of Satan. No joke.

    Kinda like a Mickey Finn cocktail. A date rape cocktail fed to the general public by the elites to
    confuse, disorient, drug and disarm them by the “American elites and the Globalist Billionaires and International Corporatists”. Think Raspberry Infused Vodka. A harmless infusion of ingredients.
    Then think of Religion Infused Politics. A desperately destructive combination of ingredients. A societal Mickey Finn.

    Truth. What is Truth?, asks Pilate.

    “What motivates members of the American elite, billionaires and corporate boards alike, to approve of these radical changes (in how average Americans are going to live under their hegemony) ?

    Unsustainable Prosperity for Me (The Elites), But Not for Thee (The American Middle Class)?

    One answer comes down to this: They believe the lifestyle of the American middle class is not sustainable, because the planet does not have the carrying capacity to extend an American level of consumption to everyone in the world. By dividing and confusing the American people, while wielding the moral bludgeons of saving the planet and eliminating racism, policies can be implemented that will break the American middle class and habituate them to expect less.”

    The Mickey Finn is a Religion of Anti-Racism, Anti-Environmental Pollution, Anti-Climate Change, Anti-Population pseudo morality infused into modern politics not just here in America but all over the world.

    Systemic Racism. Truth?

    Systemic Pollution of the Environment. Truth?

    Systemic Climate Degradation. Truth?

    Systemic Energy Limits. Truth?

    Unsustainable American Middle Class Lifestyle. Truth?

    Divide and Conquer. Alinsky style radicalism. The Evangelical Culture Warriors of the Right vs the Democrats New Puritans of Climate Crisis Orthodoxy.

    Spiritual, moralistic, preachy Pseudo Religion Without God humbug and flim flammery Mickey Finn cocktails served up by the Elites aimed at the rape and murder of the American Middle Class lifestyle and any aspiration to it worldwide in places like China, India and Nigeria.

    We are being played in the Republican vs Democrat game. The Right vs Left game. The minions of Satan, where the world’s wealth is concentrated, play this game for keeps. Why? —- because the hegemony in question is not a political economy game but a spiritual war for souls game.

    So those of us who are minions of God need to begin to better understand the real game being played
    in America and on the world stage. How is Satan’s game to be countered and defeated? What strategies, tactics, weapons and leadership need to be developed and implemented?

    What ought to be of solace and encouragement in this war for souls is this certain knowledge:

    God wins.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. The optic nerve is shrinking as of yesterday Dr. Visit. The symptoms are alower to remit however. the Dr admits that the vaccine is a prime suspect due to the acute nature of the symptoms and the autoimmune nature of the problems. I was surprised that most, even in my own family, hearing of my problem, were still mostly still choosing to get the vaccine, with little pause. May God grant that the side effect and problems for most will be few or none. A few who already didn;’t trust it were confirmed in their distrust, however.

    Liked by 11 people

        1. Right, Diane?! Hasn’t he just been something? He continually switches his given advice right and left. SO tired of the expertise imposters out there. This, too, shall pass. In the meantime, prayers going up for conversion of these pitiful ones who have been gaslighting and sewing fear even as I look forward to re-establishing the rule of law.

          Liked by 4 people

    1. Still praying for you Bob.

      I’m so sorry this happened to you. I use your experience to warn people away from these experimental vaccines.

      I think most people think either nothing bad will happen to them or the effect will be less than getting COVID itself. The folks i know who had COVID are not showing long term effects at this point, though are youngish and do not have cool-morbidities.

      Many of us may be called to help those who have adverse reactions from the vaccine in the future.

      Thank you Bob for the update! Please keep us informed!!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Many of the reported Covid cases up here in Canada are just the standard yearly flu to increase the reported Covid to keep the lockdowns going and force people to take the Vacvones, so I’m not expecting many adverse Covid effects.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Here, too, Al. In fact medical people were incentivized to name the cause of death as covid, no matter the co-morbidity which took someone to his/her death

          Liked by 3 people

  20. JESUS = GOOD NEWS .. 😉 .. PM






    PuppetVeep got ZERO VOTES when she ran for Prez in 20 ’cause she dropped out before 1st Primary …. ’cause she was polling in low single digits!
    But …… THEY that own the Democrat Party & Media wanted her to be Prez so THEY made her VP knowing, full well, that ChinaJoe’s WH Infestation would be short lived.


    Two captured … How many NOT captured? ;-(

    I just watched Guv Asa make an Assa out of himself on Tucker Carlson’s show.
    He tried to argue that Conservatives shouldn’t interfere in Parents & Doctors decisions! Oh! ..Really!! So it’s A-OK for some misguided PC parent and/or Dr. Frankenstein to turn children into freaks ’cause being Transgendered is Chic in Democrat Circles These-Days!!??


    Liked by 6 people

  21. Although late to the party, I finally got here. Loved your redux of “St.Pontus,” Charlie.

    You all are in my daily prayers along with prayers in support of the Auxilium Christianorum. This week, of course, also the prayers of the Divine Mercy novena.

    Good news for us here at our house, we have been welcomed back to daily mass at the Abbey – daily, Monday through Saturday, that is. Sunday is for those on retreat. We attend Sunday mass at our parish as is right and just.

    I hope to view the video of Chicagoland soon. Have been so busy and then the time change has made me so sleepy! But soon. Maybe by Saturday. When did we get so busy?!?

    Blessed & holy Easter week to all ~ and always ongoing prayers 🙏🏽
    Katey in Oregon 🎶🌷🙏🏽✝️🌿

    Liked by 5 people

  22. I’ve been wrestling with the dilemma of “why we have go through this nightmare?”

    The best answer I can come up with is “You can’t charge someone with a crime and throw them in jail for ego & attitude alone.”

    Before man was created, God had angels, and some of them were proud, disobedient, & disloyal troublemakers. Adam & Eve, the garden of Eden, and most of human history has been God’s “sting operation” to justify removing the devil & his followers from Heaven, by proving & recording the long list of their evil deeds. God could of been more harsher to Adam & Eve in the beginning, but instead gave a prophecy that a saviour would one day be born and he would crush the serpent’s head.

    It’s sad humanity had to get dragged into this mess and some people will be fooled into following evil into eternal suffering, but as in the Book of Job, those who prevail in righteousness until the end will be compensated for their sufferings.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. JESUS = GOOD NEWS!! .. 😉


    “Transformation Camps” … You can Bet the Farm that the US/EU Radical Left are taking notes!



    Near 24hrs on and NO photo of Perp .. Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet
    .. which tells US that he is NOT a White Supremacist Gun & Bible Clinging Oath Keeper wearing a MAGA Hat!


    Oh!! …. and three months on we still do not know, officially, the name of the Capitol Cop who gunned down Ashli Babbit?!?
    Divided Nation … Double Standards ;-(

    “Study” from LeftWing RAND “Think” Tank!
    NO mention of BLM, ANTIFA, Drug Cartels or Gangs of Color that, for decades, control & terrorize square miles of any Democrat controlled “Urban Area” you can name!!

    The CORAC Gang might find Prather’s PodCast about organizing & “Vet, Verify & Evaluate” personnel @ https://jeffreyprather.com/ ….. scroll down to PodCast section.
    He has his usual 4 min preamble and 5-10 min of current events before getting to the subject.
    He is organizing a group of like minded folks for what’s coming …. with God/Faith as a major component. We must ALL keep a Look-Out for Neighbors & Town Folk that may be allies in the future.





    Liked by 5 people

  24. With Easter completed, the words “I AM” are looked over with not a sevond thought. What does “I AM” mean? Other curious phrases like “One day is as a thousand years.” give pause to just how does God experience time & human history? Is it as experencing
    book all at once? Does being “I am” mean that Jesus is in his Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday every moment of every day, just as much as Jesus is in our now and tomorrows?

    Reading some Bible passages (concerning events, rules, and reality) have the “feel” of something more timeless reflecting a “age or epoch” or even something longer going into eternity…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Al2,
      As the great “I Am”, Jesus (God) experiences all things all the time- past, present and future so He always”experiences” His life death and resurrection before and for the rest of eternity AS GOD. This is not properly understood by us creatures nore will it ever be since He chose to create us despite knowing what would happen (but also knowing what He would do about it). He is experiencing everything all at once all the time, not just His life but ours, the angels, heaven, creation, etc so there is an amazing amount of things He is experiencing.
      As Jesus, the creature, He experienced His life and death just like you and I would haved since He had a body like you and I.
      So the confusion is whether He is still experiencing the pain and agony of the cross?
      That part, the “creature” (flesh) part of Jesus, experienced it once.
      But He is still “giving birth” through His church and spiritually is carrying this cross along with each of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s something most people overlook, so I figured I’d share the thought.

        Here’s some other thoughts:
        Jesus said “I AM the ressurection before raising Lazarus from the dead.”

        Could the stigmata phenomenon that some saints experienced in the past be more directly connected to the passion of Christ on Good Friday and not just a afterthought.

        Certainly things to consider.


        1. St Paul said that he carried “the wounds of Christ in my flesh”.
          Some theologians considered he may have been a stigmatist- potentially an invisible one ( Padre Pio carried an invisible crown of thorns).
          Since the wounds on a stigmatist are miraculous and many get them only on Fridays or only on Good Friday and they may emit a heavenly fragrance as well, some believe that they are the actual wounds of Jesus carried by “His body”. Since we are (the church) His mystical body, this is sometimes manifested in miraculous ways and the stigmata is one of these.
          If a priest becomes an “alter Christus” during the consecration, a stigmatist may manifest a similar phenomenon in a visual way as a “victim soul” physically carrying the wounds of Christ as St Paul did for both a reparatory and a conciliatory way.

          Liked by 1 person

  25. JESUS = GOOD NEWS .. 😉


    Yep! Difficult to argue otherwise.





    HullyGee! I wonder what % of Palestinian Humaitarian Aid, over past 60 years, has gone for weapons used against Isreal? There is already talk of Billion$ going to Iran for another phony Nuke Deal!

    WHO owned by CCP/PLA …. (ChinaJoe too.) ;-(




    Liked by 5 people

  26. New findings in Harvard and MIT studies show that vaccines using mRNA may have the potential to alter a person’s DNA.
    “According to Ph.D. biochemist and molecular biologist Dr. Doug Corrigan, these important findings (which run contrary to “current biological dogma”) belong to the category of “Things We Were Absolutely and Unequivocally Certain Couldn’t Happen Which Actually Happened.”

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Yes, our Blessed Mother is Co-Redemptrix, but the word has be be defined.
    …”As theologians Mark Miravalle and Robert Fastiggi write, in an article worth reading:
    The doctrine of Marian coredemption, which refers to Mary’s subordinate role though unique human role with Jesus in the historic work of Redemption, is deeply rooted in Scripture, the Fathers, the Liturgy, and Church doctors, and explicitly and consistently taught by the papal Magisterium for the last two centuries (5) ; and the Co-redemptrix title, which in a single term denotes Mary’s unique human role in the Redemption, has enjoyed an unbroken presence within the Church’s devotional and mystical Tradition since the 14th century (6). ..
    According to Fastiggi:
    Understood properly, what the Holy Father says is correct. The beautiful things said about Mary—including recognizing her as co-redemptrix—subtract nothing from Christ as the only divine Redeemer. He is the God-man, the Redeemer of the human race, He, though, chose to redeem us with our cooperation and in a special way through the cooperation of his Mother, the New Eve. The Marian title “co-redemptrix” can never mean placing Mary on equal footing with Christ, the Redeemer, and it certainly can never make her into a goddess. I think it’s best to understand the March 24th General Audience of Pope Francis as a warning against these false understandings of Mary as co-redemptrix.”

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.