" I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running �round my brain
I guess I�m always hoping that you�ll end this reign
But it�s my destiny to be the king of pain " (Sting/The Police)

How deeply has the ethos of suffering crept into us? Today we see its spiritual leader, god-man Jesus, nailed to a cross.

All that suffering, but no catharsis. There the Jews were expecting the Romans to be swept aside with the brush of a hand, for their people to be delivered, their politics renewed. Here was someone who would go meekly to his death and wash the feet of others. Even if he had not blasphemed, said "I am He", my word, what a tragic insult to the grand tradition of the Old Testament. And this is the God you would give me? I had a God who sent me out of Egypt, smote down their firstborn, parted the Red Sea and gave strength to David & wisdom to Solomon. And this is the God you give me? Some runt of a God.

Without irony then, here was someone who preached suffering as the new commandment. He started a church, which preached penitence and ascetism. Throw everything down and pick up the cross. Throw down your nature, hungry, sensual, lasting, and look for eternal happiness through this via purifico, this suffering.

My life is not this suffering. But at times I like to fool myself that I am. That I am suffering & selfless... some sort of twisted beauty, like a painting by Caravaggio. I like to think that when the choirs are singing Pange lingua, Adoremus Te, all hymns of praise sang with the saddest tunes ever. And I know there's a dark side in me, someone who pities myself, someone who believes he lives by the beatitudes when he doesn't really.

Someone who knows that he can actually be motivated by envy, who, when not thinking, takes the happiness of other people, turns it into a puree and eats it for sustenance. Yet he is inept, he can't really destroy it all, so he rises above it all. O, the happy and foolish masses! O selfish love! And i know deep down that this is the Church that I love, self-indulgent, swathed in pity but strong, sanctus et fortis in it's tradition and denial. For it understands faith, on a good day, is delusion, and how sweet the fruit of that tree! For it gives us bouts of madness on nights of enforced lucidity. Pardon the style.

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