This comes from Kazantzakis’s account of Jesus’ life and death, and I found the prayer he puts in Christ’s mind astonishing as he prepares for the coming crucifixion.

What an original and touching test of endurance: the capacity to undergo indescribable suffering and yet keep a tender flower unharmed.

‘May God give me strength, he prayed within his heart, may God give me strength to hold this tender flower between my teeth all through the great throes of crucifixion and not bite into it!’


Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation, trans. P.A. Bien (London: Faber and Faber, 1983), p. 430

Photo credit: Heidelbergerin at


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