“For Cristes true love I do lyve and dye.
O true Valeyntyne is Oure Lord to me,
Al his body on the crosse he spredde,
And for that my soule his spouse shuld be.”
(John Lydgate, A Calendar, lines 56-59)
Passion” is a Greek word meaning “suffering.” Much
of its original meaning remains in our use of this word to speak
of physical suffering associated with the final days of Jesus' life
or the ardent quality of young love or the heat of harmful acts.
Love invites us to set aside our own self interest. Lovers long
to give themselves to the beloved, to do what they can for the
fulfillment of the beloved. Poets and philosophers alike say that
the most powerful human feeling is love, and its passion reveals
a landscape of human meaning encompassing the utmost vibrancy of
life as well as the poignant pain of death.
Triptych of the Lamentation of Christ
16th century. Jean Bellegambe the Elder (circa 1470–circa 1534).
Tempera on panel. Netherlandish. Muzeum Narodowe, Warsaw, Poland.