Simon of Cyrene’s Untold Story Brought to Life
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., March 12 /PRNewswire/ — For Simon of Cyrene, being in the wrong place at the wrong time may have caused his own salvation. In biblical Gospels, Simon of Cyrene is forced by Roman soldiers to carry the heavy burden of Jesus’ cross as he is taken to his crucifixion. His task is perhaps among the most important and symbolic acts of the Bible – yet Simon remains a little-known biblical figure. “Simon’s Crossing: A Novel” (published by iUniverse), written by Charles William Asher and Dennis Patrick Slattery, attempts to paint a picture of Simon of Cyrene’s intriguing life and the redemptive twist of fate caused by accepting Christ’s simple, wooden cross.
Enter the historic world of Simon of Cyrene, where grief, revenge and tender devotion await. Families are torn apart and citizens face marauding soldiers as well as random acts of violence and desperation. Simon, visiting Jerusalem for Passover, is suddenly pulled from the crowd in the streets and demanded to carry the cross of Jesus Christ up to Mt. Golgotha. Compelled to carry the cross and full of hatred and revenge over the death of his wife at the hands of Roman soldiers, Simon reluctantly yields to the task. He struggles with personal loss and a fiery desire for revenge, suffering alongside Christ on their fated mountain journey. Along the way, Simon encounters Pontius Pilate, Veronica, Mary and the sons of Simon (Rufus and Alexander) as they seek to grasp the mystery of a compassionate Nazarene, serenely representing the kingdom of God.
In “Simon’s Crossing” this ordinary man from Cyrene steps boldly out of the pages of the Bible, sensing that his own life depends on the Nazarene staggering just ahead of him. Pressed into service by a Roman soldier, persuaded by sacrificial love and thrust into a terrifying drama of brutality, vengeance and tender devotion, Simon heroically bears Christ’s transforming cross. Asher and Slattery write:
Pricilla said nothing and walked hurriedly ahead of me. I looked at the slight swaying of her hips and simply tried to assure myself that of course they would see her subtle beauty. I thought these soldiers were on a small-time mission. They could, along the way, carry out their random pleasurable escapades and ride on toward some elusive glory for Rome. They wouldn’t attack, not with my neighbors so near. And it wouldn’t be just four against three. No, four against four. You couldn’t count Pricilla out. Our neighbors would help. Alexander and Rufus happened to be home with us. Wrong time. Wrong place. … They would see us safely to Jerusalem, our most holy city. Or so they thought.
Simon’s vulnerability mirrors our own, compelling us to carry our own crosses and transcend in presence of grace.
About the Authors:
Charles William Asher, D.Min., is an Episcopal priest, author and practicing Jungian analyst. He is a research psychoanalyst under the Medical Board of California as well as a licensed marriage family therapist in California. As a former United Methodist minister Asher served congregations in Texas, Michigan and Wisconsin. He lectures, preaches and offers workshops on Jungian psychology, dream work, and the relationship between Christian theology and Jungian psychology. Asher lives with his family in Encinitas, Calif.
Dennis Patrick Slattery, Ph.D., teaches in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California. He has taught for 40 years at elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels; Slattery is also author, co-author and co-editor of 16 books and several essays related to literature and psychology. He is currently co-authoring a fourth volume of poetry and revising a manuscript, and offers workshops on Joseph Campbell and writing personal mythology to Jungian groups and organizations in the U.S. and Europe.
“Simon’s Crossing: A Novel”
ISBN: 9781450202497 – 6 x 9 – Paperback – 172 pages – $14.95
EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact: Sandra Dunwoody, Publicist Tel: 1-800-AUTHORS ext. 5507 Fax: 812-961-3133 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)
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