Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Quotations: the Wisdom of the Heart. (14 Quotes).

Can you walk on water? You have done no better than a piece of straw. Can you fly in the air? You have done no better than a bluebottle. Conquer your heart; then you may become somebody. Abdullah Ansari of Herat (1006-1088), quoted in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy, 1945.

A spiritual master and the “Sage of Herat,” Abdullah Ansari of Herat was a Muslim Sufi saint.

The awakening of the spirit is accomplished because the heart has first died. When a human being can let his or her heart die, then the primordial spirit wakes to life. To kill the heart does not mean to let it dry and wither away, but it means that it is undivided and gathered into one. The Secret of the Golden Flower, a Chinese Book of Life.

The Secret of the Golden Flower is a Chinese Taoist book about Neiden, or inner alchemy. It provides an array of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that Taoist initiates use to prolong life.

The text is attributed to Chinese scholar and poet Lü Dongbin (796 CE-1016 CE) of the late Tang dynasty which ruled from 618 to 907.  

I was sleeping, but my heart was awake./The sound of my lover knocking!/“Open to me, my sister, my friend,/my dove, my perfect one!/For my head is wet with dew,/my hair, with the moisture of the night.” Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) 5:2.

The Song of Songs, also known as Song of Solomon, or Canticle of Canticles, is a book of the Old Testament. The Song of Songs is unique within the Hebrew Bible: it shows no interest in Law or Covenant or the God of Israel, nor does it teach or explore wisdom but celebrates sexual love, giving “the voices of two lovers, praising each other, yearning for each other, proffering invitations to enjoy.” The two are in harmony, each desiring the other and rejoicing in sexual intimacy. The women of Jerusalem form a chorus to the lovers, functioning as an audience whose participation in the lovers’ erotic encounters facilitates the participation of the reader.

Jewish tradition reads it at Passover as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel. Christianity interprets it as an allegory of Christ and his bride, the Church.

The entire Universe is condensed in the body, and the entire body in the Heart. Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the whole Universe. Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950).

Ramana Maharshi was an Indian Hindu sage and jivanmukta (liberated being).

As I stood there it seems to me that the gentle lady seemed to be coming towards me to open my breast and write within, there in my heart, placed so as to suffer, her beautiful name, in letters of gold, so that it might never escape. Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), Amorosa visione, 1343.

Giovanni Boccaccio together with Dante Alighieri (c. 1265–1321) and Petrarch (1304- 1374) is part of the so-called “Three Crowns” of Italian literature of the fourteenth century. He was a versatile writer who put together different literary genres and trends and making them into original works. His creative activity was characterized by experimentation.

Boccaccio’s most notable work is The Decameron, a collection of short stories or tales begun in 1349 and completed in 1353. Ranging from the tragic to erotic, the 100 tales are told during the Black Death by a group of three young men and seven young women who are sheltering in a villa outside Florence to escape it. Boccaccio revised The Decameron in the early 1570’s, after likely having conceived the series of novellas after an epidemic in 1348. The Amorosa Visione was a fifty-canto allegorical poem.

It isn’t enough for your heart to break because everybody’s heart is broken now. Allen Ginsburg (1926-1997), Indian Journals (1970).

Allan Ginsburg was a poet and writer. Starting in the 1940’s, Ginsburg was a member of the Beat Generation along with Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) and William S. Burroughs (1914-1997). Ginsburg opposed militarism, capitalism, and sexual repression. His views on drugs, hostility to the government, and an openness to Far Eastern religions and philosophy were countercultural.

Ginsburg’s Indian Journals: March 1962 – May 1963 is a travel journal during Ginsberg’s journey in India with partner Peter Orlovsky.

The heart is the monarch of the body. Tikunei haZohar, chapter 13.

Tikunei haZohar is a main text of the Kabbalah which is a method, discipline, and school of thought in Jewish mysticism.

The light of splendor shines in the middle of the night. Who can see it? A heart which has eyes and watches. Angelus Silesius (1624-1677).

Angelus Silesius was born Johann Scheffler in Breslau, the capital of Silesia. Raised a Lutheran, he changed his name when he became a Catholic in 1653. He became a Franciscan Catholic priest in 1661. During this time, Silesius began publishing polemical essays against Protestantism as well as religious mystical poetry.

That sun of the intellectual world, that inner eye of the heart…Richard of Saint-Victor (1110-1173), medieval mystic.

Richard of Saint-Victor was one of the founders of medieval Christian mysticism. A Scottish philosopher and theologian, Richard was a member of a religious order (or “canon regular”). From 1162 to 1173 he was the superior of the famous Augustinian Abbey of Saint Victor in Paris, a richly endowed monastery and school.

The abbey and school of Saint Victor was an international center of piety and learning. During the first (though less famous) Renaissance of the 12th century, the monastery and school attracted many famous scholars, students, and retreatants, such as Peter Abelard (1079-1142), Hugh of St. Victor (1096-1141), Peter Lombard (1096-1160), Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) and Thomas Becket (1119-1170). 

I know of no restorative of heart, body, and soul more effective against hopelessness than the restoration of the Earth. Barry Lopez (1945-2020), nature writer.

Barry Lopez  was an American writer of both fiction and nonfiction. His extensive nature writing is known for its humanitarian and environmental concerns. Lopez won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for Artic Dreams (1986) and Of Wolves and Men (1978) was a National Book Award finalist.

“Dear Lord we beg but one boon more: Peace in the hearts of all (persons) living, peace in the whole world…” Joseph Auslander (1897-1965), U.S. Poet Laureate.

Joseph Auslander was an American poet who was appointed as the first Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress in 1937 and served until 1943.

I’d like to know what it is that catches the imagination like a strange touch on the very heart, the very spiritual being of prenatal memories, that persist with reference to earth-places, like little streams bordered by willows, like fields of yellow wheat, like hills with the summoning sky above them against which may stand an old corncrib? Why should such common things stir down where there is no explanation in the heart? Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950), U.S. poet.

Edgar Lee Masters grew up in Sangamon County in Central Illinois. In Chicago he built a successful law practice, and for eight years he was the partner of Clarence Darrow. At 30 years old, in 1898, Masters published A Book of Verses, his first collection of poetry.

His Spoon River Anthology, a collection of monologues from the dead in an Illinois graveyard, was published in 1915. It was wildly successful and is one of American literature’s most popular books of poetry. Masters was friends with other Illinois poets such as Carl Sandburg and Vachel Lindsay. 

For where your treasure is there your heart will be also. Gospel of Luke 12:34.

One of the sayings of Jesus on trust in God. In talking about the Kingdom of God, Jesus develops it in terms of one’s own death. He keeps its ideal positive and demanding.

The human heart is local and finite, it has roots; and if the intellect radiates from it, according to its strength, to greater and greater distances, the reports, if they are to be gathered up at all, must be gathered up at that center. George Santayana (1863-1952), The Philosophy of Travel.

George Santayana was a Spanish-American philosopher, poet, and humanist who made important contributions to aesthetics, speculative philosophy, and literary criticism.  A one-time professor of philosophy at Harvard University, Santayana was well known for his aphorisms. Attributed to Santayana is the famous aphorism: “”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In The Philosophy of Travel (published in The Virginia Quarterly Review in Winter 1964), Santayana speculates on the human capacity for locomotion as the source and definition of our intelligence.

Virtual Tour of The Shrine of Christ’s Passion in St. John, Indiana. (73 Photos and Video).

Photographs, Text, and Video ©John P. Walsh

INTRODUCTION

One hour’s drive (about 40 miles) south of downtown Chicago– and 90 minutes drive from the University of Notre Dame near South Bend, Indiana, is The Shrine of Christ’s Passion. Within a 30-acre site whose landscaped rocks, hills, and trees envelop the visitor, the shrine is located on busy U.S. 41 at 10630 Wicker Avenue in St. John, Indiana. A pioneer town settled in 1837, St. John still sits among farm fields though there is increasingly more development only minutes from the Indiana-Illinois state line.

On the historic Wachter family farm, the level terrain is a perfect outdoor setting for an array of multi-media and interactive attractions. Most visitors, whether as individuals or in groups, come to the shrine to traverse the half-mile winding concrete pathway that contain over 40 life-sized bronze sculptures which dramatize the Passion of Jesus Christ in the Bible.

The visit to the shrine begins in the well-stocked gift shop and leads directly outdoors to the dramatization of Jesus at The Last Supper and into the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prays. This is followed by the 14 traditional Stations of the Cross. The visit ends at Jesus’s empty tomb and his appearance to Mary Magdalene. Finally there is the dramatic Ascension of the Risen Jesus into Heaven on Mount Olivet.  

The shrine opened in 2011 and added its latest attraction– namely, a re-creation of the rock-filled path up Mount Sinai to where Moses has received the 10 Commandments –in 2017.

The Shrine of Christ’s Passion required a decade of planning and over $10 million dollars to build. Each setting or station for Christ’s passion has an orientation kiosk. Each features the well-known recorded voice of American television journalist Bill Kurtis. A push of a button has Mr. Kurtis’s voice over the kiosks’ speakers provide a clear and brief description in English of the sculptures’ scenes followed by a short meditation.

Along the broad concrete pathway the prayer trail is meditative and its easy progression from station to station lends itself to discovery. Formed hills, planted trees, bushes, and grasses as well as many large boulders, provide a complete landscape far from the outside world. The design creates a terrain that is self-contained and works to evoke the arid climate of the Holy Land where the last days of Christ can become vibrant today.

Upon exiting the gift shop with its walls and shelves of tempting religious articles and other items for purchase — all proceeds apparently go to the upkeep of the shrine– one steps into an outdoor pastoral setting which offers the immediate transition into the world of the Bible and following in the footsteps of Christ during his darkest moments. Visitors share the trail with others from around the nation and world. This is part of what makes each visit to the shrine unique and alive. Yet there is ample space and freedom to enjoy one’s own completely personal experience.

Whenever one may visit the shrine — it is open 361 days a year– the prayer trail has an atmosphere that is quiet and respectful. There is always a place to sit and drink in the sculpture art detailing the greatest story ever told. Among its flora, evocative rock and land formations, and realistically-rendered life-sized sculptures depicting Jesus Christ’s suffering –- one witnesses in a a new way Christ’s mission which triumphed over sin and death. 

A large and impressive place, The Shrine of Christ’s Passion retains a human scale along with giving the visitor a sense of being serenely out in nature.  Depending on how much time a visitor can spend, a visit to the shrine could possibly be accomplished in as little as 30 minutes though at least an hour should be allowed to see and begin to savor everything it has to offer.

In addition to the main prayer trail and gift shop, the shrine includes more attractions such as the Moses, Mount Sinai, and the 10 Commandments trail; The Sanctity of Life Shrine; and Our Lady of The New Millennium, a monumental three-story (34 feet) tall statue of the Virgin Mary constructed out of over 8,000 pounds of stainless steel.

The Shrine is operated by a non-denominational nonprofit, private foundation. Admission to all attractions at the shrine is free. The Shrine is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Thursdays until 8:00 p.m. The Prayer Trail is open year round, weather permitting.  

Sources –
The Shrine of Christ’s Passion Official website – http://shrineofchristspassion.org/
Our Lady of the New Millennium – https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2011-03-04-ct-talk-mary-statue-0305-20110304-story.html

IMAGES FROM THE PRAYER TRAIL

Main Entrance on U.S. 41 at 10630 Wicker Avenue in St. John, Indiana, minutes from the Illinois-Indiana state line. Just 40 minutes from downtown Chicago, there is ample free parking and tour buses are welcome.

The Gift Shoppe.

The Last Supper Luke 22:19

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

Garden of Gethsemane Mark 14:34

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” Jesus said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

THE 14 STATIONS OF THE CROSS AT THE SHRINE OF CHRIST’S PASSION, ST. JOHN, INDIANA.

1. Jesus is condemned to death Matthew 27: 19-26

“Pilate had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”

2. Jesus carries His cross John 19:16-17

“Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).”

3. Jesus falls for the first time Isaiah 53:1-3

“He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”

4. Jesus meets His mother, Mary Lamentations 1:12

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
    Look around and see.
Is any suffering like my suffering
    that was inflicted on me..?”

5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross Luke 23:26

“They seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.”

6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus Psalm 17:15

“As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
    when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”

7. Jesus falls for the second time   Isaiah 53:4-6

“Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.”

8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem Luke 23:27-31

“A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.”

9. Jesus falls for the third time Isaiah 53:10-11

“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand….”

10. Jesus is stripped of His clothes Matthew 27:27-31

“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him.”

11. Jesus is nailed to the cross Luke 23:33-34

“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.”

12. Jesus dies on the cross­ Luke 23:44-49

 “Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.”

13. Jesus is taken down from the cross Mark 15:39

“When the centurion who stood facing him saw how Jesus breathed his last he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!'”

14. Jesus is placed in the tomb Luke 23:50-53

“Going to Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.”

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene John 20:16

 “Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” 

MORE of the Prayer Trail

The Ascension Acts of the Apostles 1:9

“…Jesus was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.”