Filipinos celebrate Easter – level 3
Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday is marked uniquely by some male catholic devotees in the Philippines.
They participate in a painful ritual of self-flagellation to honor the suffering that Jesus felt on the cross. Worshipers walk through the streets while beating themselves with chains and whips. As they lay on the ground in prayer, other participants hit them with wooden paddles. They believe that this painful practice will help them atone for their sins and allow them to ask for favors from God.
However, some people criticize this practice as an outdated and harmful tradition. The Church itself discourages it, viewing the act of self-inflicted pain as unnecessary, since Christ has already paid for our sins. Moreover, self-harm could be a sign of deeper psychological issues and may perpetuate a cycle of trauma. Despite this, for many Filipino Catholics, it remains an integral part of their religious identity.
Difficult words: devotee (a strong believer in a particular religion), self-flagellation (hitting yourself with a whip as a way to punishment), atone (to do something that shows that you are sorry for something bad that you did), self-inflicted (an injury or problem caused by your own actions).
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What are the physical and psychological implications of self-flagellation on those who participate in this ritual?
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