Via Dolorosa

Animal skull near wood pile
Animal skull near wood pile

“Right now, ‘religion,’ you say that word and everyone is up in arms because it’s failed in so many ways,” Scorsese told the newspaper. “But that doesn’t mean necessarily that the initial impulse was wrong. Let’s get back. Let’s just think about it. You may reject it. But it might make a difference in how you live your life – even in rejecting it.” That is a quote from Martin Scorsese talking about his series, “The Saints,” which will air in November, dramatizations of the stories of eight saints including Joan of Arc, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Francis of Assisi and Thomas Becket. What I particularly like about this quote is the “even in rejecting it” part. That was so much a part of my Catholic education.

And I believe thinking your way out of the box was the lesson. When we were young we were taught that Jesus died for our sins. I couldn’t figure out why he would do that but the mystery was part of the package. If he was willing to be crucified then the least we could do was give up candy during Lent. We spent a lot of time in church during Holy Week when the 14 stations of the cross took on special significance as they depicted the ritual killing of our so-called savior that happened this week a long time ago.

The whole story is so old it can’t be verified or fact checked. And it was clearly tailored toward increasing the flock. Still, the Passion story is a lot to chew on. I set out to do a modern day version and collected pictures from the front page of the newspaper on Good Fridays. As I understand it neither Ted Kaczynski nor OJ were beyond redemption. I turned the source material into collages. I posted the twelfth station from that 1998 series yesterday. Over time I simplified the whole matter with Passion Play.


2 Replies to “Via Dolorosa”

  1. The son of god was bum-rushed but after all the miracles, multiplication of the loaves and fishes, healing the leaper, raising Lazarus etc., he didn’t wiggle out of this one.

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