By Catherine E. Shoichet and Nelson Quinones, CNN
(CNN) - An emotional Hugo Chavez discussed his struggle with cancer Thursday night, tearing up at times as he spoke at a Mass in western Venezuela.
"Christ ... give me life, because I still have things to do for the people and this country. Do not take me yet," the Venezuelan president said.
At a service in his home state of Barinas billed by state television as giving thanks for his health, Chavez described cancer as "a true threat that marks the end of the path for many people. The end of the physical path, that's the truth."
But Chavez stressed that he was recovering, saying he had "much faith, much hope, much willpower to defeat this threat, as many people have, with the help of God and medical science."
He ended his sometimes somber, sometimes jocular remarks at the Holy Thursday Mass with what he said was his message for God.
"Give me your crown, Christ, give it to me. Let me bleed. Give me your cross, 100 crosses, so I can carry them. But give me life, because I still have things to do for the people and this country," Chavez said. "Do not take me yet. Give me your cross, give me your thorns, give me your blood. I am prepared to carry it. But with life, Christ. Amen."
Pastor Kerry Shook and his wife, Chris, founded Woodlands Church near Houston. They are the authors of the New York Times bestseller "One Month to Live: Thirty Days To A No-Regrets Life," now available in paperback.
By Kerry Shook, Special to CNN
(CNN) - Jimmy Dowden, a church member, approached me after church one Sunday with some sad news. He said his cancer had returned, and the doctors told him he had only six to 10 weeks to live.
Though as a pastor, I’ve faced crises like this, it is always difficult and painful. Filled with compassion, I immediately told him that my wife, Chris, and I, along with our whole Woodlands Church, would be praying for him. His response might come as a surprise to some.
“That’s fine," he said, "but really I need to pray for you and the church. I’m praying for you that you won’t be distracted by life.”
(CNN)–Having grown up Catholic, photographer Jordi Cohen found an unfamiliar scene during Passover last spring. What had started as a vacation during Holy Week in Jerusalem, turned into a reportage project.
The seven-day holiday (eight days outside of Israel) marks the Israelites’ escape from slavery in Egypt thousands of years ago.
The festival, also called Pesach, falls in Jewish month of Nissan, and begins at sunset on April 6 this year.
See the full gallery at the CNN Photo blog.
(CNN)–Members of the Spanish Legion carry a statue of "Christ of the Good Death" to Santo Domingo de Guzman Church during a Holy Week procession.
Click here to see a high resolution gallery of Holy Week being celebrated around the world.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.