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The personal blog of Michael Ashby

Category / religion

What’s All The Fuss About “The Passion Of The Christ”?

Christ The Redeemer statue in Rio de JaneiroI never really understood just what “The Passion” meant until just a few years ago. I’m not a “cradle Catholic” and the Protestant churches I went to never performed Passion plays, so the term was a little lost on me. I knew the story about Jesus being crucified, but I just didn’t know that there was a term for it that encompassed that period of time. It wasn’t until we moved to Nashville and began attending St. Edwards that I was even exposed to it. For me it was like an ambush. It was Palm Sunday and as I sat in the pew, ready to participate in the Mass, a drama unfolded right before my eyes. In this little play, Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and his eventual crucifixion was played out. It was shocking, horrifying and gut wrenching and this was just a little community drama done in church. What Mel Gibson has done with his movie, The Passion Of The Christ is take it to a whole new level.

The “Passion” existed before Mel Gibson decided to make a movie about it. It is a staple of the Catholic faith and of many other Christian faiths. But why? Because it’s easy to forget, that’s why. As we go through out daily lives and deal with all the issues that face us, it’s easy to lose sight of why we believe what we believe. Every faith has some form of “refocusing” where you’re supposed to turn your attention to your faith for a period of time. For Catholics, this time of year is called Lent and it’s the time of year where you’re supposed to remember why you’re a Christian and what being a Christian means. On Palm Sunday the Passion is the focus of attention and forms the cornerstone of the Christian faith – Jesus was the son of God and he died for our sins. He died to absolve us of Original Sin and to provide us with everlasting life.

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Catholicism Is Cool

Buddy ChristYesterday at Mass, I was reminded why I decided to become a Catholic – the discord.

I was born Baptist and then migrated to Methodist when I was in my teens. I was baptized Methodist but I never felt like I had found a home. Throughout my high school and college years, I explored other churches and even took a few religion classes that explored Eastern religions as well. Throughout my little journey, I kept an open mind and enjoyed the process immensely.

As an example, I met with Jehovah’s Witnesses every Tuesday afternoon for a year and a half. I never went to their church and I never believed their beliefs, but I did enjoy discussing it with them and trying to figure out why they believed what they believed. I think I wore them out, but it was fun!

Then I met Holly. She was a “cradle Catholic,” also the Music Director at Christ The King and she invited me to hear something that her Choir had worked on. Up until then, I bought into a lot of the stereotypes. You know, that Catholics have a lot of kids, don’t practice birth control, belonged an antiquated church structure and everyone does whatever the Pope says. I hadn’t really been to many Catholic churches and didn’t know much about them, so I went to learn more.

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