Friday, March 31, 2023

Beneath the House of Caiaphas


Until Resurrection Day

Hole to the dungeon beneath the House of Caiaphas.

Photo credit: Dr. Jeffrey & Angie Goh


Israel Pilgrimage—2006


There is a pit

that was beneath the House of Caiaphas

a once dark, dismal, terrifying hole

into which prisoners

were lowered by ropes

under their armpits


Our Lord Jesus likely

was brought here directly

from the Garden of Gethsemane

on the night He was betrayed by Judas


The scene seems less horrific today

than when I was here in 1986

Then, it was easier to imagine

a terrifying incarceration

of a prisoner, especially

an innocent prisoner, alone

amid ominous dampness and vermin

in the very bowels of the earth


The pit is located beneath a church now—

The Church of Saint Peter of Gallicantu

(of the cock’s crow)

named for where in the courtyard

Peter denied knowing Jesus three times


It’s been spiffed up—

It’s brighter. The descent, easier

It’s not nearly as dismal


but, back in eighty-six

as Wayne Monbleau read Psalm 22

in that detestable dungeon


…they pierced

my hands and my feet.

I can count all my bones…[1]


I closed my eyes, and literally


imagining how terribly Jesus suffered

to wash my sins away


Maude Carolan Pych

[1] Psalm 22:17-18 NASB

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

"A Poem for Lent"


Until Resurrection Day

Image credit:



I scan Google Images

looking for a depiction of the Crucifixion

to illustrate a Lenten poem on my blog

I’m unable to look squarely at the pictures—

Many are so heart-wrenching, so gruesome

I have to turn away


I think of the four Gospels

providing matter-of-fact statements

to tell us Jesus was crucified

sparing us details

of His suffering


Oh, I’m well aware

it is 2000 years later

and no holds are barred

when it comes to portrayals of violence

I go to the movies

I watch TV


I’ve squirmed through

The Passion of the Christ

with my heart beating fast

and eyes tightly closed

during the bloodiest sequences

I’ve read A Doctor at Calvary[1]

in which each and every stain

on the Shroud of Turin

is elaborated upon

in minute medical detail


I do not need

more graphic words and pictures

My mind’s eye sees

His thorn-crowned Head

His nail-pierced hands

My mind’s ear hears


Father, forgive them…


          …why hast Thou forsaken Me?


It is finished.


My mind’s heart

feels His agony


At last, I click on an image—

a crossbeam, a circle of thorns

and three nails


I post it on the blog

insert my poem


and shudder

a most grateful shudder

that Jesus, my beloved Savior

endured that terrible Cross

for me


Maude Carolan Pych

[1] A Doctor at Calvary by Pierre Barbet, M.D., published by Image Books, a division of Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City, NY

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"
by Maude Carolan Pych
is available online
at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

"He Refused"


Until Resurrection Day



They mocked

and struck and spat and stripped

and drove spikes

through His hands and feet.

One offered wine and myrrh

to take the pointed edge

off the Excruciation.


The Savior

peered down

through kind, hot eyes,

pursed His parched lips

and shook His bleeding head.


He chose...chose!

to bear the fullness

of the sin

that nailed Him

to those crude

crossed beams;


chose to drink

the brimming chalice dry,


chose to pay the full price,

without bargain or barter,

without wholesaling

or discounting

or quibbling

or niggling it

of its terrible,




Maude Carolan

Maude Carolan Pych

Here I am with a copy of my book,

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

It is available online

at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

"It Pleased the Lord to Crush Him"


Until Resurrection Day

Image credit:



When I applied stinging iodine

to the tender knees of my children

or a corrective spank

or a hug to assuage a broken heart

I remember that

their wounds, hurts

even the chastisements

probably wounded me more than them –

Why, I would've become a she-lion

poised to pounce and mangle

bruisers of my own –

yet the very God I know as Love

was pleased to crush

was delighted to bruise[2]

His Very Own


So, I shudder, convinced

God's ways are infinitely higher

than my finite mind can grasp –

for God stayed His almighty hand

held His almighty tongue

waited it out in His Heaven

pleased, even delighted

to give His Only Son

innocent, docile as a lamb

to be mocked, bruised, spat upon

crowned with thorn branches

stripped and nailed naked to a tree –


yes, pleased and delighted was He

as the Most Precious Blood

of His Only Son

rained like rubies

upon the ground


Pleased and delighted am I

that the God Who so loves

crushed and bruised

His Very Own

for me


Maude Carolan

[1] Isaiah 53:10 "New American Standard Bible"

[2] Isaiah 53:10, "Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible"

Here is a photo of Maude's book,

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

on a shelf at Barnes & Noble, Woodland Park, NJ.

It is also available online at

Barnes & Noble, Amazon, CBD, etc.

Monday, March 27, 2023

"Pilate's Irony"


Until Resurrection Day

Pontius Pilatus Inscription



During my first pilgrimage to Israel

archeologist and guide, Micha Ashkenazi

took us to Caesarea to view a replica

of a piece of limestone

partially inscribed with the name Pontius Pilatus


Micha had been a member of the team

that unearthed the stone there

during a dig in 1961


It is the only evidence

of the historical existence

of the Roman governor

outside the New Testament

and writings of Josephus Flavius


Interesting, Pilate, who may have given

a modicum of credence to his wife’s warning

to have nothing to do with Jesus

did make an abysmal effort

to prevent the crucifixion

by setting Barabbas

before the riled multitude


When the crowd shouted to free Barabbas

and called for death to Jesus

their chants of


Crucify Him! Crucify Him!


drummed in his ears


Pilate asked for a basin of water

He washed his hands in front of them—

as if water could possibly cleanse him

of responsibility for what would happen next


The irony is that even now

thousands of years hence

contempt for this man is as clear

as his name etched in stone—


for wherever believers gather

and proclaim their creed




suffered under Pontius Pilate

was crucified, dead, and buried…


Pilate’s guilt is an indelible stain

that can never be

washed from our minds


Maude Carolan Pych

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

By Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon,

Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

"The Giver and The Taker"


Until Resurrection Day

Today I have a brand new poem to share with you... 

Image credit:



Jesus gave Judas Iscariot the opportunity

or should I say the privilege

of becoming one of His twelve apostles


gave him an important responsibility

of being the treasurer of their group

and keeper of the moneybag

even though it was no secret

Judas helped himself to some coins

from time to time


Jesus gave Judas example—

Personifying love, Jesus

ministered to His followers

taught the Beatitudes and how to pray

He raised the dead and fed the multitudes

before the apostle’s very eyes


At the same time, Satan was wooing Judas

cunningly whispering in his ear

planting seeds of deception

so when the chief priests and elders

offered thirty pieces of gleaming silver

for Judas to turn Jesus over to them

his avarice was satisfied


At the Passover meal

Jesus humbly washed the apostle’s feet

and gave him a dipped morsel of bread

from His very own hand


Judas took it all

and took Satan into himself, as well

Their diabolical worst was wrought


That evening, in the Garden of Gethsemane

following Jesus’ great travail

Judas appeared with a Roman cohort

He directed them to seize

the person he would approach and kiss


then he stepped forward

called Jesus, Rabbi

and with a kiss, betrayed Him


Oh! It certainly would’ve been better for Judas

had he not been born


Maude Carolan Pych

Would you like to read more poems

by Maude Carolan Pych?

Her book, "Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

A Lamb to the Slaughter


Until Resurrection Day

Image credit:


"He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,

and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,

so he did not open his mouth." Isaiah 53:7 N.I.V.


Father Bob drained the cup

and replaced the cover

on the brass pyx of Hosts.

Communion over

the two old friends

settled back

in their kitchen chairs


A natural storyteller

Leo began to reminisce

about Mr. Sattel

his neighbor in Roselle Park

in the 1940s –

the best bologna maker

at the pork store nearby


Eventually the neighbor

purchased some farmland

and moved to Penn's Grove

where he built a slaughterhouse

Leo spent time there

the summer between grammar

and high school


He had watched Mr. Sattel subdue

fat squealing hogs

and tenacious bulls

Saw him and his helpers

pull resisting livestock

by a rope fed through a nose ring

to another ring on the floor

where struggling animals

were systematically


one at a time


Mr. Sattel grew hardened

even provoked to anger

by the tugging and digging in of hooves

amid the ominous odor of blood

which roused the desperate instinct

against death –


The grueling labor of slaughter

left him no energy for grief


but his steel eyes glazed over

one muggy afternoon

when he told Leo,


"I did a lamb once.

 It walked right alongside me

up the ramp.


I'll never

do it




An edgy silence followed –

silent as paces of a lamb



There they sat, two white-haired friends

washed by the shed blood

of One Docile Lamb

Who walked Calvary's ramp


two thousand years ago


Maude Carolan


"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

 by Maude Carolan Pych,

is a compilation of poems about the Birth, Death,

and Resurrection of Jesus,

written over a span of thirty years.

The book is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.


Friday, March 24, 2023

"A Better Idea"


Until Resurrection Day

Every year, during Lent, I order several chocolate lambs

from Bromilow's, our local chocolatier.

I give a lamb and a lamb poem to each of our family members

because Easter is not about the bunny...

It's About the Lamb.

Photo credit:



It's a better idea than spring baskets,

with jelly beans, mallows, and bows;

it's far better than flowery straw bonnets,

Mary Janes and brand new clothes,


a much better idea than bunnies and chicks,

eggs painted pink, purple, blue…

This time let us give our sweet children

an Easter gift that will ring true.


Let’s give a plush lamb, all spotless and pure

and tell them Jesus is its name…

Tell them Jesus is the Hope of the World

and Easter's the reason He came.


Tell them God's Son is sinless and meek

He's the unblemished Passover Lamb;

tell them He died on Calvary's Cross

to save sinners. He's the great I Am.


Tell them that on the first Easter morning

Lamb Jesus arose from the grave –

and that is why in their tiny hands

is the soft little lamb that you gave.


Tell them Lord Jesus loves them so much

that He wants to be their Best Friend.

Their little lamb will remind them of Him

after Resurrection Day ends.


Tell them chocolate bunnies, bonnets, and beans

are okay, but not the best part –

the best part of Easter is Jesus, the Lamb,

Who came to live in their hearts!


Maude Carolan

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

"The Heart-Wrenching Cry"


Until Resurrection Day

Image credit:



Oh, I am sure God heard it

as He sat with His head in His hands

on the edge of His great golden throne

moments away from Victory


This wasn’t the cry of physical pain

from crucifixion nails

pressing against Jesus’ pierced flesh


No, this was different—

This was the cry of…Abba, where are You?

the utterance that shot from Earth to Heaven

from the One He was One with

from all eternity—


Why hast Thou forsaken Me?


This was the wuthering wail

from despair’s deepest depth

as sin of all the world fell upon

the One who had never sinned


This echoed Satan’s final snarl before

Atonement’s Hallelujah!


and the Blood-washed expiation

of my sin and yours

of all sin past and present

sin of those yet unborn

those not yet conceived

sin of those who would not be born

for centuries and millenniums


This was the heart-wrenching cry before


It is finished!


the nod

of Jesus’ thorn-crowned head


and His Father’s most solemn




in Glory


Maude Carolan Pych

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.