Aging is inevitable, and for many, it signals the beginning of a new chapter - one where you cross off bucket list items and live life to the fullest, on your own terms. However, for some men, aging is a horrible prospect, filled with chronic fatigue, irritability, and inability to perform in the bedroom. If you're concerned about life in middle age and beyond, we've got great news: there are easy, proven steps that you can take to help stop the negative effect of aging.
Global Life Rejuvenation was founded to give men a new lease on life - one that includes less body fat, fewer mood swings, and more energy as you age. If you're ready to look and feel younger, it's time to consider TRT (testosterone replacement therapy), and growth hormone peptides. These therapies for men are effective, safe, and customized to fit your goals, so you can keep loving life as you get older.
TRT, and growth hormone peptide therapies bridge the gap between your old life and the more vibrant, happier version of you. With a simple click or call, you can be well on your way to a brighter future. After all, you deserve to be the one in charge of your wellness and health. Now, you have the tools to do so - backed by science and applied by our team of TRT and HRT experts with more than 13 years of experience.
For men, getting older comes with its perks, like living life on their own terms and not having to "sweat the small stuff" day in and day out. At the same time, there are aspects of aging that men dread, like hormonal changes. Yes, you read that right â men, not just women, go through hormonal changes as they age. For men, the biggest change involves a drop in testosterone.
Lower levels of testosterone can wreak havoc on a male's mind and body and when left untreated, can result in symptoms like:
Those symptoms are concerning, but with testosterone replacement therapy and anti-aging medicine, many males improve their quality of life with age. The good news is that TRT and anti-aging meds aren't only reserved for "old guys." In fact, there's no magic age at which men should start thinking about hormone replacement therapy. Everyone's body is different, so if you're experiencing the above conditions in your mid-30s, TRT could be a viable solution when you consult with a doctor.
Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.
When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:
As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.
Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.
Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes â especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.
When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.
For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.
When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.
For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.
Are you used to blasting through a productive day and accomplishing all your daily goals? Do you find yourself losing muscle mass and the craving to be intimate with your partner? Does your partner complain about how irritable you have become? If you're not usually a curmudgeon, your body could be giving you a sign. It could be time to speak with a doctor about TRT and anti-aging medicine for men in Hope, NJ.
If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might be battling against low testosterone:
One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.
The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.
Weak erections â it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.
Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.
Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?
Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.
Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Hope, NJ, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.
Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.
If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.
Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Hope, NJ, is now available to address hair loss for good.
While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.
Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.
If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.
Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.
If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.
Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.
A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels â as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.
The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.
TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.
You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed â and it may stem from low testosterone.
A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.
Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age â these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.
However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.
Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.
Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.
Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.
The benefits of hormone replacement therapy for men are numerous. TRT not only grants relief from low-T symptoms but can help give protection against age-related diseases. Additionally, doctors now recognize male testosterone as an important role in alleviating depression.
Some of the most exciting benefits of TRT can include:
Because men do not go through a specific period of hormonal changes like women do (called menopause), many doctors refer to "male menopause" as androgen decline. This is just another term for low testosterone, but like female menopause, the symptoms can be serious and affect your quality of life.
The best way to fight back against male menopause is with male HRT treatment from Global Life Rejuvenation. We provide the following HRT treatments for men:
Our treatment options are personalized for your body and are available as creams, gels, injectables, and implantable pellets. To find out if testosterone replacement therapy is safe for you, contact Global Life Rejuvenation today to schedule your comprehensive testing and anti-aging treatment consultation.
Growth hormone peptides are an innovative therapy that boosts the natural human growth hormone production in a person's body. These exciting treatment options help slow down the aging process and give you a chance at restoring your youth.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Benefits of Sermorelin include:
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.
Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!866-793-9933
The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to present Housing with Hope, an exhibit of artworks by the residents of Springfield Senior Citizen Housing in Springfield, New Jersey at the Commissioner’s Gallery, located on the 6th floor of the Union County Administration Building, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth.The gallery is open during regular weekday business hours and on alternate Thursday evenings when the Commissioner Board is in session.“On behalf of the Commissioner Board, I would like to th...
The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to present Housing with Hope, an exhibit of artworks by the residents of Springfield Senior Citizen Housing in Springfield, New Jersey at the Commissioner’s Gallery, located on the 6th floor of the Union County Administration Building, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth.
The gallery is open during regular weekday business hours and on alternate Thursday evenings when the Commissioner Board is in session.
“On behalf of the Commissioner Board, I would like to thank our seniors for sharing their artwork with the Union County community. Their paintings form a colorful, vibrant exhibit that shines with beauty and grace,” said Union County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados. “I would also like to thank Housing with Hope for their dedication to connecting seniors with new friends and activities.”
All of the artworks for the exhibit were created by Springfield Senior Citizen Housing residents during a group “Golden Arts” art class organized by the nonprofit organization Housing with Hope, as part of its Seniors Day Out series. The instructor for the class was Danielle Corso of Art Chick Designs, LLC.
The artists on exhibit are Lan Tian Fan, Joanne Hodges, Yulan Jim, Runnian Li, Isabel Lusolo, Vanda Milovc, Christopher Ortiz, Lanying Qin, Maureen Thomas, Ma Xiu Ying, Yuqin Wang, Dora Yaynberg, Esperanza Zambrano and Yufeng Zhuang.
Housing with Hope cultivates community partnerships to enrich the lives of seniors through engaging events, activities, supportive services, and housing that is affordable for those on a fixed income. Seniors Day Out programs are offered free of charge. For more information visit housingwithhope.org.
For more information about Art Chick Designs visit facebook.com/artchickdesignsllc.
The Seniors Day Out art class was made possible by funds from the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
The Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs is a division of the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information about all activities and programs of the Office, email [email protected], call 908-558-2550 (relay users dial 711), or visit ucnj.org/cultural.
For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email [email protected] or use the online Contact Form.
Connect with Union County on social media.
A small cluster of tiny homes is offering a measure of hope and a fresh start for formerly incarcerated men in New Jersey.The half-dozen 100-square-foot homes are part of the Village of Hope transitional housing program in Bridgeton, which opened in November. Each individual unit is heated and cooled and contains a bed, storage space and desk. A shared kitchen, communal bathroom and community room are located on the property.“Approximately 10 to 15 percent of parolees are homeless or become homeless upon release from pris...
A small cluster of tiny homes is offering a measure of hope and a fresh start for formerly incarcerated men in New Jersey.
The half-dozen 100-square-foot homes are part of the Village of Hope transitional housing program in Bridgeton, which opened in November. Each individual unit is heated and cooled and contains a bed, storage space and desk. A shared kitchen, communal bathroom and community room are located on the property.
“Approximately 10 to 15 percent of parolees are homeless or become homeless upon release from prison,” says Kevin McHugh, executive director of the Reentry Coalition of New Jersey. “Without stable housing, it is not possible to help address the challenges that these individuals face.”
[RELATED: How a Chocolate-Making Program Helps Formerly Incarcerated]
The program’s goal is to provide free, temporary housing to formerly incarcerated people for up to six months.
As well as a place to live, Village of Hope helps residents secure employment and permanent housing and offers services such as help getting a driver’s licence and gaining access to health and wellness resources.
Village of Hope is a collaboration between the Kintock Group, the Gateway Community Action Partnership and the Reentry Coalition of New Jersey, with significant backing from Bridgeton mayor Albert Kelly, who has been pushing to get these homes built. He has said that he’d like to see the Cumberland County program expand statewide.
“The coalition is looking at this as a demonstration project,” McHugh says. “I see this as an opportunity to try an alternative approach to address what has been an intractable situation.”
Find more information and an application at kintock.org/village-of-hope or by calling 856-459-2701.
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Actor and outspoken Christian Kirk Cameron said he cried "tears of gratitude and hope" following a recent New Jersey library event promoting his faith-based children's book.Cameron, who has recently been hosting story hour events, hosted his 10th event at a Cherry Hill, New Jersey library on Saturday, April 29.Camron released his book As You Grow, which aims to teach children about the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, with Brave Books publishing.In an email to...
Actor and outspoken Christian Kirk Cameron said he cried "tears of gratitude and hope" following a recent New Jersey library event promoting his faith-based children's book.
Cameron, who has recently been hosting story hour events, hosted his 10th event at a Cherry Hill, New Jersey library on Saturday, April 29.
Camron released his book As You Grow, which aims to teach children about the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, with Brave Books publishing.
In an email to Fox News, Cameron shared that parents and children began singing and worshiping God while they waited their turn to enter the library. In response, the "Growing Pains" actor" began to cry "tears of gratitude and hope."
"When the overflow group of families … started their own worship service – think beautiful voices of children and strong declarations from moms and dads, hands raised, singing sacred songs of thankfulness and praises to God – filling the lobby, the staircase and expanding into the upper room [of the two-story library], I got emotional and began to cry," Cameron told the outlet.
"Tears of gratitude and hope. Songs of courage and resolve," he continued.
Cameron also told the families present at the library, "God's not finished with America."
According to Brave, at least 700 people came out to the library on Saturday.
"When [library] staff saw how many people were eagerly waiting outside, they decided to open up the room divider halfway through the first story hour group," Brave told Fox News Digital.
"This allowed Brave to host three separate story hours and not have to turn anyone away."
The publisher also noted that the library staff was "very accommodating and welcomed" Kirk Cameron alongside journalist John Solomon and worship leader Sean Feucht "with excellent customer service."
"What was most notable was how wonderfully Cherry Hill Public Library served their community and how thankful in return event patrons were that the library allowed Kirk to have the story hour and get everyone in."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Paul Morigi/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.
Christian actor and author Kirk Cameron said the crowd at a recent New Jersey library event promoting his faith-based children’s book brought him to tears, but not because of sadness; the “Growing Pains” star said the crowd made him cry tears of hope.Cameron and his publishing company, Brave Books, have been hosting story hour events at various libraries throughout the ...
Christian actor and author Kirk Cameron said the crowd at a recent New Jersey library event promoting his faith-based children’s book brought him to tears, but not because of sadness; the “Growing Pains” star said the crowd made him cry tears of hope.
Cameron and his publishing company, Brave Books, have been hosting story hour events at various libraries throughout the country, inviting people to attend and hear the actor read his new children’s book, As You Grow. The Christian-themed book teaches children about the biblical concept of the Fruits of the Spirit.
On Saturday, the actor hosted his 10th story hour event at the Cherry Hill Library in New Jersey, which allowed Cameron to rent out a space for the private gathering.
Fox News reported that a large crowd showed up to meet Cameron, and due to the overflow, many families were forced to wait in line until more space became available. The actor’s publishing company told the cable news outlet that around 700 people attended the event on Saturday.
While parents and children waited in line, they began to sing and lift up their praises to God, which the 52-year-old celebrity said made him emotional, according to Fox News. The children’s book author said he cried "tears of gratitude and hope.”
"When the overflow group of families … started their own worship service — think beautiful voices of children and strong declarations from moms and dads, hands raised, singing sacred songs of thankfulness and praises to God — filling the lobby, the staircase and expanding into the upper room [of the two-story library], I got emotional and began to cry," Cameron told the outlet via email.
The publishing company Brave Books told Fox News that due to the high volume of attendees, the library staff opened up a room divider, which allowed them to hold three separate story hours and not have to turn anyone away.
In a Saturday tweet, the publishing company shared a video of people worshiping at the event, writing, “God is on the move.”
Worship erupted at a BRAVE story hour in a public library in New Jersey today. God is on the move ???? @jsolomonReports@KirkCameronpic.twitter.com/qaUdmXgQ96
Brave Books also complimented how accommodating the library staff was to Cameron, along with John Solomon, editor-in-chief of Just the News, who's a frequent guest on Fox News, and musician Sean Feucht.
Feucht is a former worship leader at Bethel Church who recently said the nation should be ruled by people of faith. Feucht, who is also the founder of Let Us Worship, led the audience in singing worship songs, the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.
"I leave the New Jersey public library full of hope and expectation that if parents are standing up here in the Northeast, then parents are going to stand up anywhere all across America,” the Christian singer told Fox News Digital via email.
As The Christian Post previously reported, a Tennessee library board fired the director of the Hendersonville library back in March after the actor alleged that then-Director Allan Morales and his staff were not accommodating during a February story hour event. In addition to Cameron, the event featured University of Kentucky swimmer and women's sports advocate Riley Gaines and reality star Missy Robertson of "Duck Dynasty.”
In a Feb. 28 Facebook post, Cameron reflected fondly on the event, with the exception of the “unkind pushback” from what he described as a “disgruntled librarian.” Missy Robertson also said during a podcast interview with BlazeTV's "Unashamed with Phil & Jase Robertson” that the library staff kept talking loudly and making other disruptive noises when she and Cameron attempted to film a promotional video of the event.
According to the “Duck Dynasty” star, a Brave Books team member then asked someone in charge if they could ask their staff to keep it down for a few minutes. While she didn’t mention anyone by name, Robertson said that the person the team member spoke to replied, “You’re not even supposed to be here anyway.”
In a series of email messages between the library and a Brave Books representative obtained by CP, the former library director appeared concerned about the event's size and that it would be political.
Tim Jones, county commissioner for Tennessee's 23rd district, who was present at the event, addressed the allegations against the Hendersonville Library and its staff in a March 16 Facebook post. The county commissioner stated at the time that he didn't believe Morales was a bad man but believed the director made some questionable decisions.
Jones clarified that Brave Books had a contract with the library permitting them to use the facility's community room for the event. When Cameron and his group decided to use the library foyer to film a promotional video, Morales “reluctantly agreed, as Jones noted.
Despite the mayor’s expressed support for the event, the county commissioner noted that Morales had a negative attitude throughout the day, and he did not correct his staff when they became disruptive.
"We had an opportunity to be, as the Bible and Ronald Reagan referred to, 'a city on the hill,' a beacon for the nation to see why so many have moved here. Instead, we are an embarrassment," Jones wrote.
The occurrences at the Tennessee library are not the first time that Cameron has claimed that he has faced challenges hosting a story hour. The actor and his publishing company said in December 2022 that over 50 public libraries declined to run a story hour program for the actor to read his book despite having hosted controversial drag queen story hour events. However, some told the actor that he could fill out a form and reserve a spot for himself.
By Jim McGreeveyIt was about 15 years ago on Good Friday in the Hudson County Jail on the women’s tier when the women decided to play the roles interpreting Luke’s Passion of Christ. It’s a weighted passage, we had persons of other faiths and no faith, yet all the women wanted to participate. The passages were to be read in English, except the role of Jesus, which was to be read in Spanish, then English.I remember it as if it were yesterday. The two women who played the part of Jesus were standing on th...
By Jim McGreevey
It was about 15 years ago on Good Friday in the Hudson County Jail on the women’s tier when the women decided to play the roles interpreting Luke’s Passion of Christ. It’s a weighted passage, we had persons of other faiths and no faith, yet all the women wanted to participate. The passages were to be read in English, except the role of Jesus, which was to be read in Spanish, then English.
I remember it as if it were yesterday. The two women who played the part of Jesus were standing on the gray institutional chairs on opposite sides of our circled gathering. The passage is narrated from the Passover dinner through the surrender of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus says, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.”
As Gabriella read the passage in Spanish, tears start flowing, then muffled sobs. I got up and asked her if she wanted to stop, she turned aside, and politely, but firmly said, “no, let’s keep going.” The women read the entirety of the passage until the crucifixion.
At that point, we are quiet, humbled and emotionally exhausted. For me and Gabriella, our understanding was that the acquiescence of Jesus was a profoundly transformational decision. For Christians, Jesus knowingly and willingly entered the Passion — his arrest, trial and suffering. For Gabriella, who is grappling with Illness, depression and estrangement, Luke’s passage offered respite, solace and perhaps even a healthy direction to yield to her better angels, rather than abandon hope.
We had re-enacted the Passion, as it has been done millions of times, in different languages, in many places, to find ourselves more exposed, yet strangely comforted, even strengthened by the response of Jesus to the brutality of Rome.
These sacred myths were for professor Joseph Campbell, as they were for psychiatrist Carl Jung, archetypal stories that are embedded in the human psyche. These stories, understood as reality or metaphor for the believer or agnostic, provide guidance to interpret and navigate the world. For Campbell, we are each on “The Hero’s Journey” in our own lives. For Romanian historian Mercia Eliade, it is the phenomena of religion, the experience of the sacred and religious texts — from The Book of the Dead to the Rig Veda to the Bhagavad Gita to the Quran — that offer intrinsic value in the expression of universal truths.
From the chaos to order in the Creation story of Genesis, from escape and the delivery from slavery to the Promised Land in Exodus, from the loving sacrifice of Jesus in Luke, from the obedience of Ibrahim and the willing sacrifice of Ishmael in Surah 37, the sacred myths provide us in the eternal now with a passageway to virtuous living, wisdom and transcendence.
This year we are blessed with a temporal overlay of Islam’s Ramadan, Christian Holy Week and Judaism’s Passover. The holidays coincide about every 33 years, according to Lees-McCrae College, principally due to their adherence to different calendar cycles.
The three holidays have unique narratives: Passover commemorates God’s deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt; Lent and Easter narrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Ramadan commemorates when Mohammed was commanded by Gabriel to receive the words of the Quran.
Each carries unique religious rituals, whose acts may inspire the faithful, through engagement with the sacred event, and the memories invoked by the traditions of our family, our community. As Rabbi Michael Berk of San Diego’s Congregation Beth Israel said, “We are meant to take that inspiration and those memories into our lives and try to cleave more closely to the way we ought to be living in order to be a good Jew, a good Muslim, a good Christian — really, a good person.”
For the men and women with whom I have the privilege of working, these sacred myths, narratives, are among the few stories they know. And, it is in grafting their story of brokenness, my story of brokenness, with sacred scripture that we may be among the Elect.
For me, the deliverance from slavery, the deliverance from death and the grace of divine revelation offer a message of transcendent hope that the chaos and misery of the human condition may be offered respite, that fear, evil and malice, while not eviscerated, may be overcome through faith, hope and charity.
And while the psalmist offers precious hope to the aggrieved, it is the prophet Isaiah who calls in righteousness “to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness” (Isaiah 42:6-7). Indeed, Sister Anthony instructed me in fourth grade to be intentional about two realities: that God is love and that we are actors in the mystery of Creation. We are called to serve, to act, to be “the arms and legs of God on earth.”
Thus, we are each called to be servants. That we, as well as the “prisoner,” may bring freedom and deliverance from our embattled human nature in the faithfulness of following “not my will, but yours be done.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey is the chair of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation.
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