The chalice, the cup of life. I have found a more elegant version, a cup beneath a tree, and one that is almost luminous. This is the cup that at the Orthodox liturgy contains the body and blood of Christ, which we receive – a fire in our belly – and then kiss the base. It is the cup of truth. There is no hiding behind this cup, it will reveal all things. Until we turn to Christ, it is as if we are living in the shadow of a scrap of metal. The world’s illusion is no more than that, a scrap of metal that goes rusty. Once it is removed, all our misconceptions are burned away by the light. I have chosen this cup because it is roughly made, ceramic or pewter, like the cup in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Meanwhile, in language, we can see that the system that prevails in our society, one of buying and selling, is a mere illusion, a scrap of metal that pollutes. The word “sell” gives “less” in reverse, and we have all experienced this. “Capital”, what we are supposed to gain and build up, gives “plastic”, the throw-away end product that threatens our oceans. “Economy”, that factor that is supposed to indicate the well-being of our countries and lives, simply spells “Money & Co.” And “money” in reverse reads “venom”. It can be a source of long-standing resentment. We are called to love our neighbours as ourselves, not to make money out of them. This is how society should work. And for all the importance that we should give to the environment, ultimately it is the health of our souls that should come first. “Soul” spells “lose” in reverse; it is also close to “soil”, as we have seen. Interestingly enough, there is a verb “soil”, the first definition of which is “to pollute with sin”, but it has a second meaning – to absolve from sin, to “loose”, not “lose”. We must be careful with our language.

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