Spiritual Me

January 15, 2014

An Ancient Prayer at Villa Borghese

2009-12-31 23.00.00-349










Give me good digestion, Lord, and also something to digest; 

Give me a healthy body, Lord, and sense to keep it at its best.

Give me a healthy mind, good Lord, to keep the good and pure in sight;

Which, seeing sin, is not appalled, but finds a way to set it right.

Give me a mind that is not bound, that does not whimper, whine or sigh.

Don’t let me worry overmuch about the fussy thing called I.

Give me a sense of humor, Lord; give me the grace to see a joke,

to get some happiness from life and pass it on to other folk.

Thomas H. B. Webb

Photo taken of me by my husband Lupe Gonzales in Rome’s beautiful Villa Borghese located just north of the Spanish Steps. It is said to have been a vineyard in the 16th century, and that in 1605 cardinal Scipione Borghese turned it into a park. The lake that can be seen in the background was created in the middle of the park at the end of the 18th century. It is the largest public park in Rome. In 1903 the City of Rome obtained Villa Borghese from the Borghese family and opened it to the public. This 148 acre park is home beautiful museums, temples, fountains and colorful trees like the one I’m sitting in front of known in Rome and Greece as the Judas Tree.

I found out about the origin of its name, and wanted to share with you. After learning about this with the use of my phone, I could not help but pray and thank the Lord for his love and kindness.

The story involves both the dogwood tree and the redbud tree, both of which bloom in spring right around Easter.

The story goes like this:

The dogwood trees came to Jesus after the resurrection, and made a request – Since the wood that was used to crucify our Lord was from the dogwood, they requested that they no longer grow tall enough or strong enough to be used for timber for this purpose.

The Lord agreed, and since that time, the dogwood has grown short in stature, with small limbs, unsuitable to be used in major lumber projects.

Also, because of the request, the Lord also caused beautiful white crosses to bloom on the tree, with a reddish spot of blood in every bloom, and a tiny crown of thorns at the center of the blossom.

The redbud trees came and asked the Lord a favor as well. Since the great traitor Judas Iscariot had hung himself on this tree, they asked the Lord to ensure that never happened again.

The Lord agreed. Henceforth, all redbud trees have grown short in stature, with limbs thin and low to the ground, unsuitable for hangings.

Also, because of the request, the Lord also caused crimson blooms to burst out along the branches like rivulets of blood, to remind one of the blood Christ shed for the sins of the world, and the innocent blood betrayed by Judas. And the leaves henceforth would grow in the shape of hearts, to remind all who look of the endless and boundless love of God for our lost race.

Bicycle riding at Villa Borghese

Facebook Comments


About the Author

Nydia O
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" my life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and my spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts, nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most importantly, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .

Visit Art.com

Sabbath dinner

We are not Islands

A common trick our mind plays on us involves the use of negative thoughts. Hopelessness, loneliness, low self esteem, helplessness… we know this game, for most of us have experienced low points in our lives. I usually refer t...
by Nydia O

Boat ride in Galilee

A New Shore

This past December the privilege of visiting towns on the banks of the sea of Galilee was bestowed upon me by some amazing miracle. This was a time of meditation and healing not to mention a new beginning. Plenty of emotions an...
by Nydia O


Thoughts before a Yard Sale

I guess it has to do with growing older, but recently there is a bible verse that resonates every time i think of organizing a yard sale or selling my clothes online or at a consignment shop. New American Standard Bible  ̵...
by Nydia O



How the Movie Risen Shook my Thoughts

Last night after dinner my husband and I headed to the movie theater to watch the new movie Risen. My recent work schedule has kept me away from TV, so news of its production did not reach my radar. It was a nice surprise espec...
by Nydia O

St. Joseph Catholic Church in Edinburg

Why Consider not Leaving Mass Early

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there...
by Nydia O


Visit Art.com


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>