Cup of Christ is the Holy Grail, that has never been found, in all
searches through the ages.
The quest to
find the Holy Grail, Cup of Jesus
Christ, is a search for the divine in all of us.
THE HOLY CHALICE
The Holy Chalice, also known as the Holy Grail, is in Christian tradition the vessel that Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve wine. The Synoptic Gospels refer to Jesus sharing a cup of wine with the Apostles, saying it was the covenant in his blood. The use of wine and chalice in the Eucharist in Christian churches is based on the Last Supper story. In the late 12th century, the author Robert de Boron associated the pre-existing story of the Holy Grail, a magical item from Arthurian literature, with the Holy Chalice. This association was continued in many subsequent Arthurian works, including the Lancelot-Grail (Vulgate) cycle, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. A cup kept in the Spanish Cathedral of Valencia has been identified since Medieval times as the purported Holy Chalice used at the Last Supper.
THE LAST SUPPER
The Gospel of Matthew (26:27-29) says:
And He took a cup and when He had given thanks He gave it to them saying "Drink this, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
This incident, traditionally known as the Last Supper, is also described by the gospel writers, Mark and Luke, and by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians. With the preceding description of the breaking of bread, it is the foundation for the Eucharist or Holy Communion, celebrated regularly in many Christian churches. The Bible makes no mention of the cup except within the context of the Last Supper and gives no significance whatsoever to the object itself.
St. John Chrysostom (347–407 AD) in his homily on Matthew asserted:
"The table was not of silver, the chalice was not of gold in which Christ gave His blood to His disciples to drink, and yet everything there was precious and truly fit to inspire awe."
The pilgrim Antoninus of Piacenza (AD 570) in his descriptions of the holy places of Jerusalem, said that he saw "the cup of onyx, which our Lord blessed at the last supper" among many relics displayed at the Basilica erected by Constantine near to Golgotha and the Tomb of Christ.
Herbert Thurston in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) concluded that:
"No reliable tradition has been preserved to us regarding the vessel used by Christ at the Last Supper. In the sixth and seventh centuries pilgrims to Jerusalem were led to believe that the actual chalice was still venerated in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, having within it the sponge which was presented to Our Saviour on Calvary."
According to one tradition, Saint Peter brought it to Rome, and passed it on to his successors (the Popes). In 258, when Christians were being persecuted by Emperor Valerian and the Romans demanded that relics be turned over to the government, Pope Sixtus II instead gave the cup to one of his deacons, Saint Lawrence, who passed it to a Spanish soldier, Proselius, with instructions to take it to safety in Lawrence's home country of Spain.
The iconic significance of the Chalice grew during the Early Middle Ages. Depictions of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, such as that in the fourteenth-century frescoes of the church at Öja, Gotland, show a prefigured apparition of the Holy Chalice that stands at the top of the mountain, illustrating the words "Let this cup be taken from me". Together with the halo-enveloped Hand of God and the haloed figure of Jesus, the halo image atop the chalice, as if of a consecrated Host, completes the Trinity by embodying the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Grail (French: Saint Graal, Breton: Graal Santel, Welsh: Greal Sanctaidd, Cornish: Gral) is a treasure that serves as an important motif in Arthurian literature. Various traditions describe the Holy Grail as a cup, dish, or stone with miraculous healing powers, sometimes providing eternal youth or sustenance in infinite abundance, often guarded in the custody of the Fisher King and located in the hidden Grail castle. By analogy, any elusive object or goal of great significance may be perceived as a "holy grail" by those seeking such.
A "grail" (Old French: graal or greal), wondrous but not unequivocally holy, first appears in Perceval, the Story of the Grail, an unfinished chivalric romance written by Chrétien de Troyes around 1190. Chrétien's story inspired many continuations, translators and interpreters in the later-12th and early-13th centuries, including Wolfram von Eschenbach, who perceived the Grail as a stone. The Christian, Celtic or possibly other origins of the Arthurian grail trope are uncertain and have been debated amongst literary scholars and historians.
In the late-12th century, Robert de Boron in Joseph d'Arimathie portrayed the Grail as
Jesus's vessel from the Last Supper, which Joseph of Arimathea used to catch Christ's blood at the crucifixion. Thereafter, the Holy Grail became interwoven with the legend of the Holy Chalice, the Last Supper cup, an idea continued in works such as the Lancelot-Grail cycle and consequently the 15th-century Le Morte d'Arthur. In this form, it is now a popular theme in modern culture and has become the subject of pseudohistorical writings and of conspiracy theories.
In the wake of the Arthurian romances, several artifacts came to be identified as the Holy Grail in medieval relic veneration. These artifacts are said to have been the vessel used at the Last Supper, but other details vary. Despite the prominence of the Grail literature, traditions about a Last Supper relic remained rare in contrast to other items associated with Jesus' last days, such as the True Cross and Holy Lance.
One tradition predates the Grail romances: in the 7th century, the pilgrim Arculf reported that the Last Supper chalice was displayed near
Jerusalem. In the wake of Robert de Boron's Grail works, several other items came to be claimed as the true Last Supper vessel. In the late 12th century, one was said to be in Byzantium; Albrecht von Scharfenberg's Grail romance Der Jüngere Titurel associated it explicitly with the Arthurian Grail, but claimed it was only a copy. This item was said to have been looted in the Fourth Crusade and brought to Troyes in France, but it was lost during the French Revolution.
In the account of Arculf, a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon pilgrim, mention is made of a chalice venerated as the one used in the Last Supper in a chapel near Jerusalem. This is the only mention of the veneration of such a relic in the Holy Land.
Two artifacts were claimed as the Holy Chalice in Western Christianity in the later medieval period. The first is the Santo Cáliz, an agate cup in the Cathedral of Valencia, purportedly from around the 1st century AD, and celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 as "this most famous chalice" (hunc praeclarum Calicem); Valencia's Holy Chalice is the object most commonly identified as a claimant to being the Holy Grail. The second is the Sacro Catino in Genoa Cathedral, a flat dish made of green glass; recovered from Caesarea in 1101, it was not identified as the Holy Chalice until much later, towards the end of the 13th century.
The Holy Chalice vessel, or Santo Cáliz, is an agate cup preserved in the Cathedral of Valencia. It is the object most commonly credited as being the actual Holy Grail used by Jesus during the Last Supper. It is preserved in a chapel consecrated to it, where it still attracts the faithful on pilgrimage. The artifact has seemingly never been accredited with supernatural powers.
The cup is made of dark red agate which is mounted by means of a knobbed stem and two curved handles onto a base made from an inverted cup of chalcedony. The agate cup is about 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) in diameter and the total height, including base, is about 17 centimetres (7 inches) high. The lower part has Arabic inscriptions. The base, stems and handles are posterior additions, but the red agate cup itself has been most likely produced in a Palestinian or
Egyptian workshop between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD.
It is kept together with an inventory list on vellum, said to have accompanied a lost letter which detailed state-sponsored Roman persecution of Christians that forced the church to split up its treasury and hide it with members, specifically the deacon Saint Lawrence.
The first explicit inventory reference to the present Chalice of Valencia is found in an inventory of the treasury of the monastery of San Juan de la Peña drawn up by Don Carreras Ramírez, Canon of Zaragoza, on the 14th of December 1134. The Chalice is described as the vessel in which "Christ Our Lord consecrated his blood" (En un arca de marfil está el Cáliz en que Cristo N. Señor consagró su sangre, el cual envió S. Lorenzo a su patria, Huesca).
Reference to the chalice is made again in 1399, when it was given by the monastery of San Juan de la Peña to king Martin I of Aragon in exchange for a gold
Pope John Paul II celebrated mass with the Holy Chalice in Valencia in November 1982, and in that occasion the Pope referred to it as "a witness to Christ's passage on earth". In July 2006, at the closing Mass of the 5th World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Pope Benedict XVI also celebrated mass with the Holy Chalice, on this occasion calling it "this most famous chalice" (hunc praeclarum Calicem), words in the Roman Canon said to have been used for the first popes to refer to the Holy Grail until the 4th century in Rome.
The Sacro Catino, kept in Genoa Cathedral, is a hexagonal dish of the Roman era made of green Egyptian glass, some 9 cm high and 33 cm across. It was taken to Genoa by Guglielmo Embriaco as part of the spoils from the conquest of Caesarea in 1101. William of Tyre (10.16) describes it as a "vessel of the most green colour, in the shape of a serving dish" (vas coloris viridissimi, in modum parapsidis formatum) which the Genoese thought to be made of emerald, and accepted as their share of the spoils. William states that the Genoese were still exhibiting the bowl, insisting on its miraculous properties due to its being made of
emerald, in his own day (Unde et usque hodie transeuntibus per eos magnatibus, vas idem quasi pro miraculo solent ostendere, persuadentes quod vere sit, id quod color esse indicat, smaragdus).
the implication being that emerald was thought to have miraculous properties of their own in medieval lore and not that the bowl was thought of as a holy relic. The Sacro Catino would later become identified as the Holy Grail. The first explicit claim to this effect is found in the Chronicon by Jacobus de Voragine, written in the 1290s. Pedro Tafur, who visited Genoa in 1436, reported that the Holy Grail, "made of a single emerald" is kept in Genoa Cathedral. The bowl was seized and taken to Paris by Napoleon in 1805, and it was damaged when it was returned to Genoa in 1816, in which occasion it was confirmed it is made of glass rather than emerald.
Aside from the Holy Chalice of the Cathedral of Valencia, believed to be the Holy Grail since the first centuries AD, and which has been used by popes to celebrate mass until nowadays, and from the Sacro Catino, in Genoa, a number of other artifacts of greater or lesser notability have come to be identified with the "Holy Grail" or "Holy Chalice" in recent times with the rising popularity of the Grail legend in 19th-century Romanticism.
The Chalice of Doña Urraca, for example, had not traditionally been associated with the Holy Chalice, and was only proposed as such in a 2014 publication. The "Antioch Chalice", on the other hand, is an artifact discovered in Antioch in 1910 which was briefly marketed as the "Holy Chalice", but it is most likely a lamp in a style of the 6th century.
CHALICE OF DOÑA URRACA
The Chalice of Doña Urraca is an artifact kept in the Basilica of San Isidoro in León, Spain. The connection of this artifact to the Holy Grail was made in the 2014 book Los Reyes del Grial, which develops the hypothesis that this artifact had been taken by Egyptian troops following the invasion of Jerusalem and the looting of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, then given by the Emir of Egypt to the Emir of Denia, who in the 11th century gave it to the Kings of Leon in order for them to spare his city in the Reconquista.
The silver-gilt object originally identified as an early Christian chalice is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It was apparently made at Antioch in the early 6th century and is of double-cup construction, with an outer shell of cast-metal open work enclosing a plain silver inner cup. When it was first recovered in Antioch in 1910, it was touted as the Holy Chalice, an identification the Metropolitan Museum characterizes as "ambitious". It is no longer identified as a chalice, having been identified by experts at Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, believed to be a standing lamp, of a style of the 6th century.
The Nanteos Cup is a medieval wood mazer bowl, held for many years at Nanteos Mansion, Rhydyfelin, near Aberystwyth in Wales. It is recorded as having been attributed miraculous powers of healing in the late 19th century, and tradition apparently held it had been made from a piece of the True Cross at the time, but it came to be identified as the Holy Chalice in the early 20th century.
Last Supper, a painting by Leonardo da Vinci
THE CUP OF CHRIST- ST. IGNATIUS OF THE CAUCASUS
Two beloved disciples asked the Lord for thrones of glory - He gave them His Cup (Matt. 20, 23).
The Cup of Christ is suffering.
To those who drink of it on earth, the Cup of Christ allows us to partake of Christ’s Kingdom of grace; it prepares thrones of everlasting glory in heaven for them.
We stand in silence before the Cup of Christ, nor can any complain about it or reject it; for He Who commanded us to taste of it first drank of it Himself.
O tree of the knowledge of good and evil! Thou hast slain our ancestors in Paradise; thou hast deceived them with the delusions of sensual pleasure and reason. Christ, the Redeemer of the fallen, brought His Cup of salvation into this world to the fallen and to those who are exiled from Paradise. The bitterness of this Cup cleanses the heart from forbidden, destructive and sinful pleasure; through the humility flowing from it in abundance, the pride of fleshly understanding is mortified. To him who drinks of the Cup with faith and patience, everlasting life, which was and still is, lost to him by his tasting of forbidden fruit, will be restored.
I will take the Cup of Christ, the cup of salvation (Ps. 115, 4).
The Cup is taken when a Christian bears earthly tribulation in the spirit of humility, learned from the Gospel.
The apostle Peter turned swiftly with an unsheathed sword to defend the God-man, Who was surrounded by evildoers, but the meek Jesus said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (Jn. 18, 11)
So when disaster compasses you about, you too should comfort and strengthen your soul, saying: The Cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
The Cup is bitter: at first sight all human reasoning is confounded. Overcome reason by faith and drink courageously of the bitter Cup: it is the Father who gives it to you, He who is all good and all wise.
It is neither the Pharisees, nor Caiaphas, nor Judas who prepared the Cup; it is neither Pilate, nor his soldiers who give it: The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
The Pharisees think evil, Judas betrays, Pilate orders the unlawful killing and the soldiers of the government execute his order. Through their evil deeds, all these prepared their own true perdition. Do not prepare for yourself just such a perdition by remembering evil, by longing for and dreaming of revenge, and by resentment against your enemies.
The heavenly Father is almighty and all-seeing: He sees your affliction and if He had found it necessary and profitable to take the Cup away from you, He would certainly have done so.
The Lord - as the Scriptures and Church history testify - has often allowed afflictions to befall His beloved and has often warded off afflictions from them, in accordance with the unfathomable ways of Providence.
When you are faced with the Cup, turn your gaze from the people who give it to you, lift your eyes to Heaven and say: The Cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
I will take the cup of salvation. I cannot reject the Cup, the promise of heavenly and eternal good. The apostle of Christ teaches me patience when he says, …we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God (Acts 14, 22). How can one reject the Cup, which is the means of attaining this Kingdom and growing within it? I will accept the Cup - the gift of God.
The Cup of Christ is the gift of God. The great Paul writes to the Philippians: For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for His sake (Phil. 1, 29).
You receive the Cup, which seems to come from the hand of man. What is it to you whether the bearer of the Cup acts righteously or unrighteously? As a follower of Jesus, your concern is to act righteously, to take the Cup with thanksgiving to God and a living faith, and to drain it with courage.
In taking the Cup from the hand of man, remember it is the Cup of Him Who is not only innocent but also all holy. Thinking of this, remind yourself and other suffering sinners of the words that the blessed and enlightened thief spoke when he was crucified on the right of the crucified God-man: We receive the due reward of our deeds…Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom (Luke 23, 41-42) .
And then, turning to the people, you will say to them: Blessed are you who are instruments of righteousness and of the mercy of God, blessed are you from henceforth and forever more! (If they are not in a fit state to understand and receive your words, do not cast your precious pearls of humility beneath the feet of those who cannot value them, but say these words in thought and heart).
By this alone will you fulfil the commandment of the Gospel which says: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you …(Matt. 5, 44).
Pray to the Lord for those who have offended you and outraged you, that what they have done for you should be repaid with a temporal blessing and the eternal reward of salvation, and that when they stand before Christ to be judged, it may be counted to them as if it had been an act of virtue.
Although your heart does not wish to act in this way, force it to do so, because only those who do violence to their own hearts in fulfilling the commandments of the Gospel can inherit Heaven.
If you do not have the willpower to act in this way, then you do not have the willpower to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Look deep within yourself and consider searchingly: have you not found another teacher, the teacher of hatred - the devil - and fallen under his power?
It is a terrible transgression to offend or oppress your neighbour; it is a most terrible transgression to commit murder. But whoever hates his oppressor, his slanderer, his betrayer, his murderer and whoever thinks ill of them and takes revenge on them, commits a sin very near to their sin. In vain he pretends to himself and to others that he is righteous. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer of man, proclaimed St John, the beloved disciple of Christ (I Jn. 3, 15).
A living faith in Christ teaches us to take the Cup of Christ, and the Cup of Christ inspires hope in the heart of him who takes it, and hope in Christ gives strength and consolation to the heart.
What torment - what torment of hell - to complain or murmur against the pre-destined Cup from above!
Murmuring, impatience, faint-heartedness and especially despair are sins before God - they are the ugly children of sinful disbelief.
It is sinful to complain of neighbours when they are the instruments of our suffering; still more sinful is it when we cry out against the Cup that comes down to us straight from Heaven, from the right hand of
He who drinks the Cup with thanksgiving to God and blessings on his neighbour attains holy serenity, the grace of the peace of Christ. It is as if he already enjoys God’s spiritual Paradise.
Temporal suffering has no importance in itself: we lend it significance because of our attachment to the earth and all corruptible things and through our coldness towards Christ and eternity.
You are prepared to bear the bitter and repellent taste of medicine, to bear the painful amputation and cauterisation of your limbs, to bear the long drawn-out suffering of hunger and prolonged seclusion in your room. You are prepared to bear all this to restore lost health to your body, which after it is healed will certainly fall ill again and die and rot. Bear then the bitterness of the Cup of Christ, which brings healing and eternal blessedness to your immortal soul.
If the Cup seems to you unbearable and deadly, then it reveals that although you bear Christ’s Name, you do not belong to Christ.
For the true disciples of Christ, the Cup of Christ is the Cup of joy. Thus, the holy apostles, after being beaten before the gathering of the elders of the Jews, went out from the presence of the Council rejoicing that they had been counted worthy to suffer shame for the Name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 5, 40-41).
The righteous Job heard bitter news. Tiding after tiding came to pierce his steadfast heart; the last of these was the hardest - all his sons and daughters had been struck down suddenly by a cruel and violent death. In his great sorrow, the righteous Job rent his clothes and sprinkled his head with ashes. And then in submissive faith he fell down upon the ground and worshipped the Lord saying: I myself came naked from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, the Lord has taken away, as it seemed good to the Lord, so has it come to pass; blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1, 21).
Entrust your heart in simplicity to Him by Whom all the hairs of your head are counted; He knows the measure of the healing Cup that you should be given.
Look often at Jesus standing before those who put Him to death - He was as the lamb dumb before His shearers; He was delivered to death, to be slain as a defenceless sheep. Do not take your eyes from Him and your suffering will be transformed into heavenly spiritual sweetness, the wounds of your heart are healed with the wounds of Jesus.
Suffer ye thus far, said the Lord to those who wished to defend Him in the garden of Gethsemane and He healed the ear that had been struck off (Lk. 22, 51).
Thinkest thou, replied the Lord to him who had tried to take the Cup from Him, that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matt. 26, 53)
In time of misfortune do not seek the help of man, do not lose precious time and do not waste the strength of your soul in seeking this powerless help. Await help from God: by His command and in His own time people will come and help you.
The Lord remained silent before Pilate and Herod; He made no attempt to justify Himself. You must imitate His holy and wise silence when you see that your enemies accuse you, with every intention of certain conviction; they accuse only with the purpose of hiding their own evil intention under the guise of judgement.
Whether the Cup comes to you as a gradual gathering of clouds or as suddenly as a furious whirlwind, say to God, Thy will be done .
You are a disciple, a follower and servant of Jesus. Now Jesus said, If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be (Jn. 12, 26). But Jesus spent His life on earth in sufferings; He was persecuted from His birth to the grave; from the time of His swaddling clothes malice was preparing a violent death for Him. Nor was malice satisfied by achieving such an aim, but it tried to uproot the very memory of Him from the earth.
In following Him, all the chosen of our Lord pass along the road of temporary suffering to blessed eternity. As long as bodily pleasures dominate us, it is impossible for a spiritual state to prevail in us.
That is why our Lord ceaselessly offers His Cup to those He loves, so as to keep them dead to the world and enable them to live the life of the Spirit. St Isaac the Syrian said, The man who is sent unceasing sorrow is known to be especially under God’s care. However, do not cast yourself boldly into the depths of sorrow, for that is proud self-confidence. Pray to God that He may turn every calamity and trial away from you; but when sorrows come of themselves, do not be afraid of them, do not think that they have come by chance, by force of circumstance. No, they are allowed by the inscrutable Providence of God. Filled with faith and the fortitude and magnanimity born of it, swim fearlessly amidst the darkness and howling storm into the peaceful harbour of eternity: the unseen hand of Jesus Himself will guide you.
With reverent and deep reflection, learn the prayer which our Lord offered His Father in the garden of Gethsemane during the heavy hours of suffering that came to Him before His Passion and death on the Cross. With this prayer, meet and conquer every sorrow. O my Father, prayed our Saviour, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt (Matt. 26, 39).
Pray to God to avert misfortunes and at the same time renounce your own will as sinful will, blind will; entrust yourself, your soul and body and your circumstances of today to the all-wise will of God.
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matt. 26, 41). When you are surrounded by afflictions, pray more often, so that you may draw the specia1 grace of God towards you. Only with the help of special grace can we overcome temporal misfortunes.
When you receive from Heaven the Gift of patience, be attentive and vigilant with yourself, in order to hold and keep within yourself the grace of God, in case sin should creep unnoticed into your soul or body and drive away this grace.
But if with carelessness and inattention you let sin enter within you, and particularly the one sin to which your weak flesh is specially addicted and which stains the body and soul, then grace will depart, leaving you stripped and lonely. Then sorrow, given to you for your salvation and perfection, will trample you down, crushing you with sadness, depression, despair, as one who holds the gift of God but without due reverence to the gift. Hasten to bring your heart back to purity in true and resolute repentance and, through purity, to the gift of patience, since this gift of the Holy Spirit reposes only in the pure.
The holy martyrs sang a song of joy in the midst of the fiery furnace, while walking on nails, on sharp swords, or sitting in cauldrons of boiling water or oil. So also your heart will rejoice when by prayer you have drawn to yourself the comfort of grace and kept it inside yourself by constantly watching over yourself. Then your heart will sing amidst misfortunes and terrible misery, with a joyful song of praise and thanksgiving to God.
The mind, purified by the Cup of Christ, is endowed with spiritual vision, it begins to see the all-embracing Providence of God, invisible to the fleshly mind, to see the law of corruption in all things mortal, to see near at hand the immensity of eternity, to see God in His great works, in His creation and re-creation of the universe. Then earthly life comes to seem like a swiftly-ending pilgrimage, whose events are dreams, whose blessings are but brief visual delusions, short-lived because of the perilous misconceptions of the mind and heart.
What fruit does temporary suffering bear for eternity? When Heaven was revealed to the Apostle John, with an innumerable gathering of bearers of light, dressed in white and celebrating their salvation and blessedness before the throne of God, one of the dwellers in Heaven asked him: What are these arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, says St John the Divine, my lord, thou knowest. Then the dweller in Heaven answered St John, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Rev. 7, 13-17).
Separation from God is everlasting torment in hell, everlasting contact with the devil and devilish people; with flames, bitter cold, the gloom of Gehenna; that is what may truly be described as suffering. That is torment, great, terrible and unbearable. Over-indulgence in the sweetness of earthly pleasures leads to great eternal suffering.
The Cup of Christ saves from this torment whomever drinks of it with thanksgiving and praise to the all-blessed God, Who through the bitter Cup of temporal suffering gives man His boundless and everlasting mercy.
(The above is translated from Vol. I, P. 544 of the Collected Works of St. Ignatius.)