Each Taste of Calvary

About AD 29, a place in Jerusalem was popularized because Jesus and two thieves were crucified there. It was called Calvary from a Latin translation calvaria, and from the Roman kranion and the Semithic golgotha. They all mean ‘skull’.*

The Encarta Dictionary mentions a literary meaning of ‘a time of great suffering’. Phrases like “he/she is my calvary” or “this may be the calvary that I have to bear” characterize the meaning very well. This is often heard in Filipino communities that share in the knowledge about the sufferings of Jesus Christ in the hands of the Romans.

But does each human being experiences a taste of calvary? Are those born with a golden spoon in their mouth spared of this? Are there really mortals who did not suffer? Are they protected from sorrow, safeguarded from grief, or sheltered from misery?

It has always been a question in mind why there are those who suffer. It has always been boggling me why others seem to catch all seemingly endless misfortunes while others seem to enjoy every bit of their human existence. It is painful to bear the thought that perhaps God had overlooked this aspect of equality – a fair share of ups and downs. Then we console ourselves with the possibility of reason for every situation and condition. After all, God is omnipotent and omniscient.

We see well-being as a state of being blessed. This is because we see things plainly according to fortune, security and comfort. We then conclude that people who experience these things are not introduced to any form of suffering, that is, not a taste of calvary in their lives. But I believe that this is not so. All human beings undergo a situation or condition that can be expressed as a taste of calvary. No one is spared. Not that I wanted each human being to have the contagion but because God is a just God.

*Calvary, Grolier Encyclopedia International 1963-1967, p. 520.

14 thoughts on “Each Taste of Calvary

  1. I agree that everyone goes through their own form of 'calvary' at one time or another. Unfortunately, some get it more than the other…. such is life I guess. 😦


  2. that is one of my questions, why some have more suffering than the others. it is okay if the person is worthy to be punished but why are there good and innocent people suffering from the hands of cruel oppressors? so many whys, it is not for me to fathom, i guess, single.


  3. No one is spared from his/own form or version of “calvary”. Suffering is life's default option. We are on on a survival trip and suffering is always in the background threatening our existence.
    The rich might be living in luxurious comfort and materially blessed but they are not exempt from “calvary” which can manifest in other forms such as illness, failed relationships, sudden bankruptcy. Belief that suffering or self-imposed mortification is pelasing to God I think is one of the main reasons why some people aren't so concerned about their economic misfortune. It is beyod me why people would think that a loving God would want them to suffer.


  4. self-mortification and suffering is not what God promised but being a believer i believe doesnt mean that one can be relieved from sufferings.

    self-mortification or mortification had earned negative feedback, i think. it sounds so uncivilized and silly, for me. if one kills then mortifies himself, that is way too ridiculous.


  5. Suffering has no boundaries. One can suffer in the comfort of a luxurious surrounding just as well as in a dark abyss of pitifull squalor.

    What of people who make others suffer? Throughout history, those who survive their evil deeds are deminished by their own folly. They shroud their guilt with tokens of repentance. They claim to be “born again,” now, champions of forgiveness, understanding and unity. Yet, behind this remade façade, they suffer unrelenting fear. They suffer the hounds of truth, the coming judgment, the unraveling of their false lives, that even when in their own domain they tremble and lay restless.

    How about those who suffer for the sake of others? Curiously, they are not to be easily discovered for they often suffer in quite sacrifice. Their deeds, albeit seemingly invisible, survive us from harm to triumph over that which is His cause for the suffering and sacrifice in Mount Calvary.


  6. hi, leno, good to read from you again!

    Suffering in silence is like goods deeds done in secret. Not publicizing, these people do things to glorify not to be popular. They accept consequences with humble demeanor.


  7. bingskee, the unsung heroes I refer to is more mundane, For example, good parents sacrifice for the well being of their children. Dedicated workers, teachers, etc. whose sacrifices make our lives easier and more enjoyable.

    It seems to me that the challenge we all face is to advance ourselves without taking away from others. That we prosper through our own labors and not at the expense of others.


  8. i agree very much with what you said. to go up the ladder without inflicting harm to anybody or stepping on other people requires a lot of discipline.

    as to the unsung heroes, yes, these simple people who makes a lot of sacrifices to make the world a better place to live in experience woe and torment that their role entail.


  9. “Are those born with a golden spoon in their mouth spared of [suffering]?…Are they protected from sorrow, safeguarded from grief, or sheltered from misery?”

    On a lighter side, sometimes these “lucky” people get into all kinds of trouble due to their prominent statures in society, as often portrayed in Greek dramas. And of course, should they fall into bad times, they suffer double humiliation — we know how many people like to entertain themselves with the miseries of erstwhile-fortunate beings.

    Speaking of kalbaryos, I think I just got the cross of college hardhips off my back. Which ultimately leaves me in a catatonic state called mid-life crisis (argh, it came way too early!).

    Tita Bing, congrats on the new WordPress installation (WP rocks — like you, i transferred my tech blog into WP). I'll just update my link to Warmstone. And before I forget — apologies for being away for too long. Thesis homestretch was fatal to my non-acad life, hehe.


  10. we all have to bear and carry our own crosses . . . others simply have heavier crosses.

    wishing you and your family a blessed easter, bing. god bless.


  11. hi, corsi! you are missed!

    yea, how true that people awaits for the misfortune of the lucky ones and it doesnt matter if they are good or bad citizens.

    hi, gayle! you, too! i missed your posts. bet you had an enjoyable vacation, huh? without the hazzles of bloghopping? 🙂

    wish you and your family a Blessed Easter, too, gayle!


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