“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
– Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Both the subject and radiant colors of the beautiful stained glass window pictured in today’s WS Trading Card draw attention to a little slice of heaven on earth. This slice forms the top of the Cathedral of Brasilia and inspires church-goers who can see the sky reflected overhead in bright colors of blue, green, white and brown.
Visitors enter the cathedral through a dark tunnel that opens up into the bright sunlit-filled centerpiece, symbolizing the movement from the outside world into an enlightened sunlit space.
The overall structure of the church is a hyperboloid shape and one of the most unique shapes I have ever seen.
The concrete-framed building itself is designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a central figure in modern architecture. It is dedicated to Mary, the Blessed Mother of God, and welcomes over a million visitors every year.
The glass artwork designed by artist Marianne Peretti in 1990 serves as the perfect compliment to the late Elisabeth Kubler-Ross whose words re-iterate this week’s focus on inner light. Dr. Kubler-Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist whose work in near-death studies set the standard in the 1960s for hospice care and the treatment terminally ill patients.
Dr. Kubler-Ross penned a ground-breaking book On Death and Dying (1969) discussing her theory of the five stages of grief in the Kubler-Ross model. The impetus for her book came after moving to Chicago and seeing how doctors and nurses treated the terminally ill. Hoping to draw attention to the real-life concerns of dying patients, Elisabeth spoke to thousands of patients and heard incredible stories about many near-death experiences.
Ironically, when Elisabeth suffered a major stroke in 1995 and was confined to hospice care, she questioned how much listening the medical profession had actually done. Her experience was not pleasant and she argued we still had a long way to go to achieve better patient treatment. The need to draw on her own inner light became an absolute necessity.
Tomorrow we meet Lorna Byrne, a woman overflowing with light and an uplifting message.