A Packing List for Jerusalem

A Packing List for Jerusalem

A few months ago, I met a real live pilgrim. He has walked over 2,700 miles in the past two years and helps other pilgrims walk too. He has a particular fondness for the Camino de Santiago, or the Way of Saint James. The Camino is a network of routes stretching across Europe and leading to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, said to house the remains of Saint James the Greater. Pilgrims have walked the Camino since the medieval era, and the route is experiencing a revival now.
My friend and I discussed the Camino’s rich history, and I thought we were finished. But then this pilgrim turned to me and asked, “So when are you going to walk the Camino?”

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By the Garden Gate: A Journey With Robert Campin

By the Garden Gate: A Journey With Robert Campin

A few years ago, in New York for a conference, I made a pilgrimage to The Cloisters museum and gardens. I use the term “pilgrimage” advisedly. Like a medieval traveler going to a shrine, I went to see a sacred object—the painting known as the Merode Altarpiece by Flemish artist Robert Campin. From Midtown, the Cloisters was enough out of the way to make the journey a little difficult, the gratification a bit delayed. The museum’s medieval setting enhanced my sense of sacred purpose.

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Life on the Edge: The Decentered World of Alexander the Great

Life on the Edge: The Decentered World of Alexander the Great

Stories abound in recent times of success gone awry. From congressmen to corporate heads, civil servants to CEOs, our world seems full of superstars who rise to the top, only to fall when they cannot help themselves to a little bit more. Consider, for example, the fortieth governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich.

Only the second Serbian-American to be elected governor of any state, he recently was removed from office following federal corruption charges. Former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens, for his part, had one of the longest Senate runs in American history before his felony conviction for making false financial disclosure statements. In the corporate world, we have, of course, Enron’s Jeff Skilling. After a heady climb to the top of one of the nation’s most innovative companies, he currently is serving year three of a lengthy sentence for insider trading and fraud

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Stigm(at)a: Facing the Mirror of the Wounds of Christ

Stigm(at)a: Facing the Mirror of the Wounds of Christ

In my memory, I am in seventh grade, sitting in my science class next to a boy I like. The boy sits to my right. This is good, because my right side is definitely my best. At one point during the hour I go to the front of the room to collect an assignment. As I walk back to my desk, I am facing the boy from the other direction. That’s not so good, because it means that he’s seen the left side of my face. Now he’s looking into my eyes. He’s asking me a question, but he doesn’t use words. Instead, he takes his index finger and traces a pattern down the side of his own face.

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Road to Revelation: The Art of Caravaggio in Salley Vickers’s The Other Side of You

Road to Revelation: The Art of Caravaggio in Salley Vickers’s The Other Side of You

It has been several years since I stood before Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus in London’s National Gallery, but I remember the experience well. I was with my husband. Having recently completed our own journey overseas, we both were struck by Caravaggio’s portrayal of a journey, or at least the end of one. The painting shows the two disciples in the Gospel of Luke who, after the resurrection of Jesus, travel from Jerusalem to Emmaus, where they encounter the risen Lord (Luke 24:13–35). Theirs was a journey of sorrow, since they believed their friend and teacher to be dead. It was also a journey of mystery. On the way, a stranger joined the disciples and burned their hearts with talk of the prophecies concerning Jesus. Upon being invited to dine with the disciples in Emmaus, the mysterious traveler revealed himself to be the resurrected Lord when he broke and blessed the bread.

Read the full article at “The Cresset”