“The name Saul means ‘great one.’ The name Paul means ‘little one,'” actor Jim Caviezel said slowly as he began addressing a gathering of students in Chicago.
Jim Caviezel, an outspoken Christian and actor who played Jesus in Mel Gibson‘s The Passion of the Christ, admonished students not to live out a shallow version of Christianity that employs “happy talk.” Rather, Caviezel pointed to the example of suffering we are given in the life of Christ.
Jim Caviezel: Embrace Your Cross
It is the suffering of Christ that Jim Caviezel knows on a very practical level. While playing the Christ in The Passion, Caviezel suffered injuries on the set. Some of which were excruciatingly painful and potentially have long-term effects. Caviezel recalls sustaining a shoulder injury while carrying the cross. Finding out that Jesus must also have suffered a shoulder injury, the actor said, “I now know what that felt like.” Caviezel says carrying the crushing weight of the cross during filming was “like a penance” for him.
“The suffering made my performance, just as it makes our lives,” Caviezel concludes.
“Embrace your cross and race toward your goal. I want you to go out to this pagan world…and shamelessly express your faith in public. The world needs proud warriors animated by their faith. Warriors like Saint Paul and Saint Luke who risked their lives and reputations…”
Be Strong. Be Courageous. Be Saints.
Caviezel also addressed the decline he feels our culture is facing. “We are…a people in danger of succumbing to our excesses,” he warns the crowd.
The actor admonished the students to combat the decline by praying, fasting, meditating on the Holy Scriptures and taking the Holy Sacrament seriously. The only thing Caviezel believes that will save us from becoming like the rest of culture is practicing “our faith and the wisdom of Christ.”
“Set yourself apart from this corrupt generation. Be saints,” he tells the students, again emphasizing the need to go against the excesses of culture.
“Freedom exists not to do what you like, but to do what you ought,” Caviezel says, which is a conviction he has expressed before.
Caveziel wraps up his stirring speech with the iconic quote from the movie Braveheart about freedom (“they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”), but then puts its sentiment in context for the Christian audience: “With the Holy Spirit as your shield and Christ as your sword, may you join Saint Michael and all the angels in sending Lucifer and his henchmen straight right back to hell where they belong!” The crowd gave a hearty cheer at this point.
Circling back to his first point, about the difference between Saul and Paul, Jim Caviezel implies the best way to fight and be a warrior for Christ is to humble yourself and go about the calling God has given you.
The entirety of his message was captured (providentially) by Father Brian Buettner, Vocations Director at Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and an attendee of the conference. You can watch it below:
Jim Caviezel!!! Jim is the actor who played Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ”. He surprised us at #SLS18 with an awesome speech and a call to stand up and be prepared to die for our faith. Outstanding!!!
Posted by Brian Buettner on Wednesday, January 3, 2018